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.
Analysis: The number of media interviews given by U.S. officials to key Arab media outlets in the NEA region shows an uneven trend in support of U.S. efforts to Offer a Positive Vision. The indicator showed an increase from FY 2007 to 2008, but registered a decline in FY 2009 to 986 interviews, down from 1,079 the previous year. This decrease reflects gaps at U.S. posts in the NEA region. Although it is sometimes challenging to determine the specific impact of interviews given by U.S. officials, any opportunity to communicate the message of the U.S. responsibly and accurately is critical in an environment where anti-American sentiment and misinformation are pervasive. This performance indicator reflects the State Department’s ongoing priority of person-to-person engagement to form lasting relationships.
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.
Analysis: The State Department and USAID work to nurture common interests and values between Americans and people of different countries, cultures, and faiths around the world. Creating indigenous capacity – whether it is in health, education, free press, 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. Even in autocratic societies, leaders must increasingly respond to the opinions and passions of their people. Public diplomacy is working to develop new ways to communicate and engage with foreign publics at all levels of society. In doing so, the United States must do a better job listening, learn how people in other countries and cultures listen to the United States, understand their desires and aspirations, provide them with context for U.S. decisions, and offer information and services of value. The U.S. Government sponsors educational and information sharing programs at all levels to advocate peace, liberty, and justice for all. The Department communicates through a wide range of speaker, print, and electronic outreach programs in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Persian, Russian, and Spanish. Shown is an indicator that tracks the percentage of non-U.S. citizens’ understanding of the United States after participating in a USG-sponsored exchange.
Trends in the area of Nurturing Common Interests and Values suggest a high correlation between participation in U.S. Government sponsored educational and cultural exchange programs and an increase in participants’ understanding of and favorable views toward the United States. This underscores the importance of maintaining and leveraging an active alumni network of exchange participants that have benefited from a positive experience with the United States.