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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Strategic Goal 6: Promoting International Understanding


Bureau of Resource Management
Report
January 15, 2009

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Photo showing Secretary Rice meeting with young Moroccan soccer players who were learning life skills in the United States.

Through U.S. sports diplomacy Secretary Rice meets with young Moroccan soccer players who were learning life skills in the United States. Department of State Photo

Foster mutual understanding through a two-way flow of people, ideas, and information to create peaceful and productive relationships between the United States and other countries.

I. Public Benefit

American values are the foundation of our international engagement. Public perceptions of the U.S. directly affect our ability to achieve our foreign policy and development assistance objectives, making the international exchange of people, ideas and information vital to the security of the United States. Public diplomacy and public affairs functions are premised on the belief that overseas publics who are well-informed about the United States and its policies can positively influence public policy.

II. Summary of Performance

FY 2008 Results Achieved for Strategic Goal 6
RatingNumber of IndicatorsPercentage of Indicators
Above target2 28%
On target2 29%
Improved over prior year, but target not met1 14%
Below target2 29%
Data not yet available0  0%
Total7100%

Key Selected Achievements

  • Nearly 300 current and former heads of state and government are alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and roughly 50 percent of current world leaders are IVLP alumni.
  • In FY 2008, the Department of State engaged more than 24,000 foreign secondary school students, many from under-served communities, in its various programs.

III. Performance Analysis and Resources Invested

FY 2008 Budget Authority for Strategic Goal 6
(Dollars in Millions)
Strategic PrioritiesBudget
Offer a Positive Vision$  278
Marginalize Extremism$  131
Nurture Common Interests and Values$  755
Total$1,163

A total of three strategic priorities are included under Strategic Goal 6. The following are a few illustrative performance indicators. The complete set of 7 indicators can be found in the Department’s Annual Performance Report at http://www.state.gov/s/d/rm/rls/perfrpt/2008apr/ on page 106.

1. OFFER A POSITIVE VISION: Offer a positive vision of hope and opportunity, rooted in the most basic values of the American people, by sponsoring educational programs at all levels, advocating for the rights of people, and conducting other public diplomacy programs.

The Department offers a positive vision of hope and opportunity that is rooted in the most basic values of the people of the United States: our deep belief in freedom, including freedom of expression and religion, and our belief in the dignity and equality of every person. We believe that a free people, well-informed, will make the best choices for the common good, as factual information is the antidote to ignorance, misunderstanding, and violent extremism.

Analysis: The U.S. Government sponsors educational and information sharing programs at all levels, advocates for the rights of people, and partners with countries across the world to fight terrorism, which threatens the right of all people everywhere to live in security and peace. The Department communicates through a wide range of speaker, print and electronic outreach programs in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Persian, Russian and Spanish.

Performance Indicator Target and Results Summary for 2006-2009
Performance Indicator2006
Results
2007
Results
2008
Target
2008
Results
2008
Rating
2009
Target
Percentage of participants who increased their understanding of the United States immediately following their program92%93%93%95%Blue: above target.
Above target
94%
Impact(s): The following indicator measures the level by which participation in public diplomacy programs engages international audiences on issues of foreign policy, society and values to create an environment receptive to U.S. national interests.
Data Source, Verification, and Validation: Survey assessment is administered at the beginning and end of each program. Capturing data on attitudinal change is difficult and sometimes reflects world events not related to an exchange experience. Performance data are validated and verified using Data Quality Assessments and must meet five data quality standards of validity, integrity, precision, reliability, and timeliness. Data quality assessments revealed no significant data limitations.

2. NURTURE COMMON INTERESTS AND VALUES: Expand international understanding of our common interests and values through messages and programs built on areas in which U.S. Government expertise corresponds to the interests and needs of our partners and counterparts.

The Department’s programs and messages are built on areas in which U.S. Government expertise corresponds to the interests and needs of our partners and counterparts since common interests and values are integral to U.S. Government communications. Creating indigenous capacity—whether it is in health, education, press freedom, workforce training, agriculture, law enforcement, or governance—is key to long-term progress, the stable development of civil society, and firm and friendly bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Analysis: The Department’s public diplomacy programs annually involve more than 40,000 U.S. and foreign exchange participants in over 170 countries. Alumni engagement also facilitates the long-term evaluation of Department programs.

Performance Indicator Target and Results Summary for 2006-2009
Performance Indicator2006
Results
2007
Results
2008
Target
2008
Results
2008
Rating
2009
Target
The number of global educational and cultural exchange Alumni registrants25,32929,44832,29335,141Blue: above target.
Above target
35,632
Impact(s): Continued efforts to engage with the Department’s nearly one million exchange alumni and to support their efforts to implement the concepts they explored during their programs, enables the continuation of an on-going dialogue on key issues with and among alumni.
Reasons for Exceeding Target: More than the expected number of program exchange alumni registered on the website due to successful public diplomacy, outreach campaign activities.
Data Source, Verification, and Validation: The Department’s Alumni Affairs Office manages a website to promote alumni engagement. Performance data are validated and verified using Data Quality Assessments and must meet five data quality standards of validity, integrity, precision, reliability, and timeliness. Data quality assessments revealed no significant data limitations.

For a complete discussion of the following strategic priority, please refer to the APR.

3. MARGINALIZE EXTREMISM: Counter extremism by promoting educational and cultural exchanges, democratization, good governance, and economic and human development.

 


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