MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Thanks to all who made it through the snow to SAIS here today. On behalf of our dean, Jessica Einhorn, and all of us at SAIS, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our audience, especially to representatives from the State Department and to our guest, Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter. My name is Jason Loughnane. I’m a first-year master’s student in the International Development Program and I’m the coordinator of this year’s Development Roundtable Series. For those new to our series, a brief background.
Originally conceived by our international development faculty, including Professors Cinnamon Dornsife, and Francis Fukuyama, the Development Roundtable Series invites leading practitioners to present and discuss innovative topics related to international development with students and fellow professionals in the D.C. community. We’re excited to kick off our Spring 2011 series with such an esteemed guest.
Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter was appointed to the State Department by Secretary Hillary Clinton in January 2009 after serving as dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs since 2002. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in international relations from Oxford, a J.D. from Harvard Law, a master’s in international affairs from Oxford, and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton. And while her impressive list of alma maters does not contain our fine institution – (laughter) – we do hold a special place in her heart as her husband is a SAIS alum class of 1984. Please give a warm welcome back to SAIS to Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter. (Applause.)
DR. SLAUGHTER: Thank you. I think that makes me an honorary. And I have to say, I’m always happy to be here. This is my second to last day in office before I return to my own teaching duties. So I thought it was particularly nice to be able to come to SAIS and give my last official QDDR talk before I return. Although, I am quite certain that I will continue to be engaged with the QDDR. My first class, which I start teaching on Wednesday, is entitled “Implementing the QDDR.” So I’m not getting away from this anytime very soon.
Now, I could just start reading and we could be here for quite some time. The printed version is 210 pages. There is an executive summary. You can get all of this online. I will start just by saying I do encourage those of you who are really interested in particular parts of what I say today or what you’ve heard to go read the report itself. This was an 18-month process. There’s a tremendous amount in the actual report that is not in the executive summary, and there are a lot of details that, particularly for those of you who are studying development or thinking hard about conflict prevention and fragile states, will find, I think, quite interesting.
But I’m not going to read it, and I’m not even going to march through it because we only have 45 minutes, and I want to take time for your questions. So instead what I’d like to do is talk about seven ways in which the QDDR sees us – us, the United States Government – engaging the world. It is a really, I think, different vision of how we must engage the world going forward than might have been articulated had you done a QDDR, a Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, say back in 1990 or 2000 or possibly even 2005. So let me use that framework to highlight the major themes of the QDDR, and then I’m happy to take your questions.
So the first way we have to engage the world is through civilian power. The QDDR is called “Leading through Civilian Power.” It says up front that the first face of American power has to be our diplomats and our development professionals, supported by and often in partnership with our military, but nevertheless, the first face has to be civilian.
Let me start out by saying this is not an antagonistic statement, e.g., civilian power versus military power. Not at all. Indeed, the strongest advocates for this position next to Secretary Clinton are Secretary Gates, Chairman Mullen, General Petraeus, Admiral Stavridis. The military as a whole recognizes that, given the kinds of challenges we face in the 21st century, given our resources, given the way we want to exercise power in the world, we have to build our civilian power. And the face of American power should be civilian.
The second – so the first point you think of leading through civilian power. The next thing to say about that is that it is not just USAID and the State Department. We define civilian power as including civilians across the federal government. That includes within the Department of Defense, who have built up their own civilian affairs capabilities in many cases. But it includes Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, USDR, and I could go on and on.
When the President convened a presidential policy directive, a study group on our development policy, 16 agencies showed up around the table as development agencies. There are more – we could have added 10 more, but there were 16 agencies, again, Labor, Justice, Energy, obviously the financial agencies, all of whom engage in development programming, all of whom define themselves as development agencies. If we ask for the agencies who do diplomacy, I think it would be hard not to find an agency. And that’s for the simple reason that all of these domestic agencies, to do their domestic jobs, increasingly have to work with their counterparts across borders, they have to develop relationships, they are increasingly doing programming and projects on the ground.
That’s not new, and it’s not unique to the United States Government. Indeed, governments are grappling with this around the world. We at the State Department and USAID could ignore it, we could compete with it, or we could embrace it. We could say we are far better off as a nation if our Secretary of Health and Human Services, or our director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with their counterparts abroad. If there’s a global pandemic, of course the State Department will be involved. USAID might be – might well be involved, but we surely want those who are in charge of our public health also involved. And I could replicate that example across the board.
So this is really a new and much broader definition of how we project power in the world on the civilian side, taking account of all different agencies. Doing that, recognizing the contributions of all those agencies, but also recognizing that there does have to be a unified strategic framework and hence a lead diplomatic and lead development agency, State Department is the lead diplomatic agency, and USAID is the lead development agency with all those other agencies. So that’s engaging through civilian power.
The second way in which the QDDR says we have to engage the world is much more regionally and multilaterally, that we’re in a world of over 190 nations who do not vote in blocs merely in the ways that they used to. It’s much more likely to be shifting coalitions of interest. Often that means really having to do intensive work on the ground country by country. To get the kind of cooperation we need to address regional and global problems, we have to work through regional organizations and global organizations, and we have to be better organized to do that.
There are a number of specific recommendations that I can talk about in a question period about what that means – things from establishing regional hubs and having Foreign Service officers based at those regional hubs and traveling around the different embassies in the region, to appointing a civilian deputy at the combatant commands with DOD and others. But that the second focus is really – we have to be able to engage multiple nations at one time. We’re facing the need to mobilize people to address problems. This is the way to do it.
Third is a – three different ways to engage the world within the State Department, and then I’m going to turn to the development agenda. The State Department, of course, has its regional bureaus. All of you know that. And it has its functional bureaus, and the functional bureaus fall under different under secretaries. But how they’re created and how the bureaucracy is, in fact, organized dictates where our resources go, how we organize ourselves not only in Washington, but often at embassies. It really does signal the issues we think that are most important and how we’re going to engage the world. If you – I can’t be possibly speaking to a SAIS audience without your understanding of the nuances of bureaucratic politics. You can’t be in Washington for more than a week without understanding those nuances.
We right now have an under secretary for international security and arms control; an under secretary for global affairs, which covers climate change, the environment, science, democracy and human rights; and then an under secretary for economic, agriculture, and business affairs. Going forward, we need to be organized and to engage the world in terms of state security, human security, and global systems. That’s a very big change, and let me explain more precisely what I mean.
On the one hand, clearly, the security issues we face are still state to state. Just think about North Korea or Iran or many of the crises that we see arising either in the context of nonproliferation or possibly destabilizing the region. That’s still traditional international security and arms control, although we have recommended creating a bureau of counterterrorism, and it’s possible that that would be added to that bureau. So that’s still there.
But we are now creating a set of bureaus to focus on human security, to focus on the conditions that govern individual lives within states in addition to relations between states. That’s an under secretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights. And under that under secretary will be a new bureau for conflict and stabilization operations – which I’ll talk about, really focused on conflict prevention – International Narcotics and Law Enforcement – that may sound very technical, but the way to think about it is conflict and stabilization operations will address the kinds of issues going on in Sudan. INL, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, address the kinds of issues going on in Mexico or Guatemala or any country in which there’s every bit as much violence, but it has a criminal – a more criminal dimension rather than, say, an insurgent dimension, even though those are often intertwined.
And then under that under secretary is democracy, human rights, and labor. Because we don’t just protect people from violence; we protect people through law, we protect people by standing for their rights and standing for their ability to have accountable governments. And finally, population, refugees, and migration; that effectively is the source of our humanitarian diplomacy. So when people are in absolute crisis, we meet their basic humanitarian needs.
Put all that together and that’s quite a different picture of the world. It isn’t either/or. It’s not state security or human security; it’s both. It’s looking at relations between states and relations within societies at the same time, and saying the kinds of problems we face, from climate change to global pandemics to countering violent extremism to the stability of the global economy to resource scarcity – a lot of those issues have to be tackled within states as well as between them.
The third way we’re engaging the world from the diplomatic side is global systems. So it was always odd to have an under secretary for global affairs that didn’t include the economy. If I said to all of you, “All right, we’re going to take on global issues,” you would probably say, “Well, that you start with the economy, which is the most globalized system we have.” New under secretary for economic affairs, energy resources, and the environment; so energy resources is a new bureau. It’s interesting to put those three things together. It also says you really can’t have sustainable economic growth without paying attention both to the environmental consequences and to the need for energy. The flip side of that is a effective way to address climate change or any number of environmental issues has to take account of economic needs and energy. So it puts those three things together.
The fourth way we have to engage the world, which really, I think, includes a lot of these others, is through development. Secretary Clinton started the QDDR by saying this is not just going to be diplomacy; this is going to be a review of diplomacy and development. She started her time in office by talking about smart power and talking about defense and diplomacy and development. And one of her absolute commitments as Secretary of State is to elevate development as a core pillar of foreign policy so that it is not something that is peripheral to foreign policy; it is something that we do at the core of foreign policy, just as we do diplomacy.
But let me be very clear; that does not mean we subordinate development to political ends. It means that wherever we are, we recognize that the development dimension of the problem we face, whether that is in Afghanistan or whether that is in Rwanda or whether that is in Costa Rica, any country you focus on the development needs of the society as well as the diplomatic needs of the state. And often, those two go together; you elevate development issues through your diplomacy.
In practice, that meant rebuilding USAID, that meant really building back its personnel; it lost 40 percent of its personnel since the early 1990s, it had lost its brain, its policy planning and learning shop – I am the head of policy planning at State. I did not have a counterpart at USAID; I now do. Almost 70 people who are already issuing papers and really doing some innovative thinking again. It meant giving them back enough control of their budgets that they could actually do their budgets and hold people accountable for implementing those budgets. It meant giving them control of major presidential initiatives, like the Global Food Security Initiative, and over time, the Global Health Initiative. And it meant allowing them to invest in development innovations – new technologies, new ideas. Many of you probably know that Michael Kremer is the new head of Development Innovation Ventures. He’s one of the most creative development economists in the world. He’s the new face of USAID in that space, and that’s saying quite a lot.
Fifth way is through conflict prevention. We had a coordinator for stabilization and reconstruction. Deputy Secretary Lew was asked to put a thousand civilians on the ground in Afghanistan when he came into office. There’s been an understanding that we needed a civilian capability in fragile states and in conflict zones. But if you really think about this from a civilian power perspective, you would not start with reconstruction and stabilization. You don’t wait until the troops are in the field. You start with conflict prevention. You start with what we’re trying to do in Yemen or Sudan or Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan or any number of countries where you could see possible conflicts. And it is important to engage early and with specialized expertise.
So there is a new bureau of conflict and stabilization operations. The first duty of that bureau is to gather a lot of the specialized knowledge that has been developing over the last 20 years as people have been in places like Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia or East Timor, or more recently, obviously, in either Iraq or Afghanistan, to find that we know what doesn’t work, and in some cases, we’re beginning to know what does work – to pull together that expertise to become a center of excellence, and then to be able to put people on the ground in flexible teams, working with USAID, with the military, with Justice, with any other agency that is engaged, very quickly.
The sixth way to engage is through women. In every part of this document – diplomacy, development, conflict prevention, international security, human security, and indeed our own internal reforms – we focus on women. We focus on elevating women in our diplomacy, whether that’s our bilateral or multilateral diplomacy. Across the board in development, we know that investing in women and girls is the best investment we can make in development, but not just on the softer side; on the conflict side as well, bringing women to the table, engaging them in both conflict prevention and conflict resolution. They are not just victims. They are agents of change. They are agents of economic growth. They are half the population. If we’re not taking account of that, we are missing something very important.
And finally, a – we need to engage the world through much more than government. And here, you can start before you get to the QDDR. The National Security Strategy uses the term public-private partnerships over 30 times. That’s very unusual for a national security strategy. We normally talk about state-to-state relations, pretty much exclusively. This is a vision, and it’s very much Secretary Clinton’s vision as well, that says absolutely, government obviously has specific responsibilities. There are some things only government can do. But we are operating with one hand tied behind our back if we are not actively working with the civic sector and the corporate sector and even the academic sector to mobilize specific public-private partnerships and even broader networks of collaboration, so that – you see this for instance, in the health area, lots of different entities. Again, corporations, NGOs, foundations, are working broadly in the same direction, broadly as part of the same network, tied in to what government is doing, to solve a particular problem.
So you can think of this as a whole-of-society approach or a whole-of-nation approach, but it is very much saying we cannot engage the world through government alone. And there is room and possibilities for more people, more groups, more entities than ever before to be part of what we do in foreign affairs.
So I lied. I think I went five minutes over. But those seven ways, let me must recap: civilian power, defined as civilians across government; through regional and multilateral approaches; through state security, human security, and global systems on the diplomatic side; through development broadly in every global problem we face in our diplomacy, in our elevation of our own ability to do development at premier levels; through conflict prevention and response; through engaging women – again, not just as objects but as subjects and active participants in diplomacy and development; and finally, through the whole-of-nation, whole-of-society, not just through government.
And with that, I urge you, of course, to read the entire QDDR. But for now, I’ll take your questions. Thank you. (Applause.)
MODERATOR: Great. Thank you, Dr. Slaughter. So we’ve got about 20 minutes for questions. As a reminder, when asking a question, please wait for a moderator to bring the microphone to you. Please stand up, state your name and your affiliation, and please ask only one question, with a very brief leading introduction if necessary. (Laughter.) If you do ask more than one question, I’ll leave it to Dr. Slaughter which one she can choose to answer.
We’d like to begin with a question from a SAIS student. Right over here. Chris.*
QUESTION: Hi, Dr. Slaughter. My name is *Chris Cochran.* I’m a first-year student in the international development program here at SAIS.
The QDDR proposes an elevated role of the U.S. ambassadors in the coordination of U.S. abroad-focused agencies, and I wonder what are some potential weaknesses of this more centralized organization?
DR. SLAUGHTER: Hmm, potential weaknesses. Let me start with potential strengths. (Laughter.) So what you’re talking about is that we describe chiefs of missions as CEOs of a multi-agency mission. And what we’re saying is you do have so many different agencies now engaged in countries that sometimes our embassies feel like they are hotels and travel agents, that they’ve got all these people coming through who are running programs in their countries. They are not actually in a position to see the whole, to develop a strategic plan that works, through the chief of mission or the deputy chief of mission on the diplomatic side to the AID mission director on the development side, who, of course, reports to the chief of mission but is the lead development advisor, and then in a way that actually uses all those resources, aligns them, makes sure we’re not undercutting ourselves by doing a program through the Labor Department or through the Justice Department on the one hand and AID or State on the other. That also should devolve more flexibility to people in the field. And we, again, think that it’s important to do that.
In terms of – so there’s – there is a downside, a potential downside, which is that there’s no ability for the chief of mission, if this works as we foresee it, to say, “I didn’t know this was happening.” And there are occasionally entities that work in ways that plausible deniability – I am not talking about the intelligence community; let’s just make this very clear. (Laughter.) I’m talking about often specific agencies that are running programs and if something happens, then the ambassador may not have known. That’s not something we actually want. We want full accountability. But certainly, it means that there is a more coherent framework within which everybody has to operate.
MODERATOR: Great. We’ll go over here.
QUESTION: Hi. My name is Monica Sunder (ph). I’m also a SAIS student, second year, on conflict management. I’m in the process of becoming a Foreign Service officer and I have felt some frustration with the process. Even though it’s been thorough and comprehensive, the QDDR did take 18 months. And it took so long to reach a conclusion, I feel it is very obvious in the policy community that we’re understaffed in both State and USAID. And so my question is: One of the recommendations – or the recommendations that you made, were made under the Democratic-controlled Congress, even though in December we knew what was coming. And so what do you feel are going to be the challenges in implementing the hiring recommendations of the QDDR in the new phase of budget cuts and deficit reduction?
DR. SLAUGHTER: Okay, thank you. So first of all, let me just clarify, we actually didn’t recommend the increases that are going on in State and AID. That was done in 2008 under the last Administration. There was a commitment to double the size of the Foreign Service at USAID, and USAID has actually hired a thousand new people already under its Development Leadership Initiative. The State Department has brought on well over 500 new Foreign Service officers and has a – still we’re on track to do quite a bit more. So we actually were just acknowledging that we needed to continue that and that, ideally over time, once we’ve absorbed those new people, that we would still like to further.
We knew, of course, by the summer that we were heading into a very different budget environment. And we knew, certainly by September, October, that things might look quite different in town. A large part of this has been about figuring out how we can simply work better and more effectively. You don’t see the same kinds of specific cuts that you see when the military is able to do this kind of a review. We are, frankly, in a very different situation. What you do see in a lot of these reorganizations is you’re putting parts of the Department together that currently duplicate each other in some ways. And so we see that as a way of going forward and doing things in a more streamlined way.
All of which means – we see this as exactly the right basis on which to engage this Congress. We want very much, of course, to continue the trajectory we’re currently on even as we recognize that everybody is an environment of more constrained resources. And we will work very hard to maintain our current budget levels and to go forward. And again, as I said at the outset, this is something that the military understands and supports as much as we do. I think – I honestly think when it becomes clear what kind of an investment we’re making and how good that investment is, we will have quite a lot of support.
MODERATOR: Next question, right here in the middle.
QUESTION: Hi. My name is Maria Posey (ph) and I’m a student at another university. Two questions, really, really brief, and they’re probably in the report. But if you could just review, first, the timeline for how long you see this process to take.
And then second of all, you talk about adding a lot of new bureaus, a lot of reorganization, and if you could just elaborate on that a little bit, because I’m thinking it doesn’t just mean adding another ten layers to the bureaucracy; it probably means moving some things around. So if you could just explain that briefly? Thanks.
DR. SLAUGHTER: Absolutely. Thank you. So the timeline, the answer to that is the implementation starts now. Next week, the Secretary will have an unusual gathering of all chiefs of mission from all over the world. They generally come in as regions, by region. They’re coming all in, and they’re coming to focus on some of the things you were talking about on leadership as CEOs of multiagency missions and to hear about different parts of the QDDR and to start the implementation process on the ground.
I fully expect that the major recommendations of this report will be implemented within the next two years. I can’t say that every recommendation will be. And some need many more resources than others, and obviously, there we will operate within what we’ve got. But Secretary Clinton is known for finishing what she starts.
One of the reasons I was willing to undertake this for her and to lead it was that I was convinced this would not be another Washington report, that this would be something that we really would implement. And we will ask Congress to legislate that the QDDR – that we have to do this every four years, which then holds ourselves accountable. It means in four years we have to say, “How’d we do,” just as the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security do.
In terms of the new bureaus, it’s not adding layers. It is – there are the creation of two new bureaus, one on energy security, one on conflict and stabilization operations. One of – conflict and stabilizations – well, both of them pull together different existing parts of the Department. So you have a coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization. There are a lot of assets there, there are assets in other parts of the Department that are – that do engage in conflict and stabilization operations. And the process of the reorganization will be pulling – seeing what goes with what in a way that we think we can be more effective.
Same is true for energy. There are people who do energy in many different parts of the building. One of the ways I’ve thought about this is the – the bureaucracy’s like this vast shifting set of offices, and how you put them together reflects how you see the world and how you need to respond to it at any one time. So you didn’t have global affairs before 1990. In 1990 you had global affairs, or in 1992, that engaged with climate change for the first time. Twenty years on you realize that you really can’t have that in isolation; you need to put that with the economy.
That process is just ongoing. We do not need to ask Congress for those two assistant secretaries. We actually have those positions, and we just haven’t filled them.
MODERATOR: The woman in the back in the red jacket. Please wait for the microphone. Thanks.
QUESTION: Hello, Dr. Slaughter. Thank you. My name is Carla Scappini (ph). I’m a 30 year veteran in this field. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the QDDR. My –
DR. SLAUGHTER: You can stop right there. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Okay. I feel like Washington has finally heard those of us that have been out in the field for all these years. My main concern though is how this actually gets down to the ground. What are the incentives? What are the things that State is putting into place to actually change, not just reorganize or reengineer? USAID and State have been reorganized and reengineered to death, and the effectiveness on the ground hasn’t increased. As a matter of fact, it’s gotten worse.
So what are the incentives that are being put into place at State to incent not only the diplomatic and development but also DOD partnership in coordinating and collaborating and cooperating on improved practices and new tools from Congress to put in our hands so that we can be more effective in the field? How are we really going to make this become our new aid effectiveness mission?
DR. SLAUGHTER: Thank you. Well, we have a very good partial answer. Because you listed a whole lot of things, and I’m not going to say that we’ve addressed all of them. But what we have addressed on the assumption that a large part of what’s happening on the ground that makes us less effective than we should be is, precisely, that there are many different agencies going in different directions. And again, if we – there are lots of synergies, particularly in a time of constrained resources, and then there are lots of places where at least we can stop undercutting each.
And so the – what we’re doing there is building it into performance incentives. We have told the State Department and USAID that if you want to be promoted – and it’s not just – we’re not going to tell them. This has to be written into job descriptions and position evaluations – you must both demonstrate knowledge of the interagency, have spent time in another agency, and demonstrate you can work collaboratively with the interagency.
The USAID has been very forceful in this regard, essentially saying the USAID-centric model of development is over, that AID has to work across different agencies. If they can’t do that and lead collaboratively, they really can’t be the lead development agency in the way they want. But that message – and we absolutely agree with you – has to go out all the way to the field in terms of what are you being evaluated for. And USAID has just adopted a very different set of promotion criteria to chief of mission, and we’ll be working in that space in State.
New tools, Congress, I agree there’s more to be done. We are putting in an entirely new monitoring and evaluation framework, which will at least start allowing us to really evaluate what’s working and what’s not. That will be a five-year – at least – process. And I think that will help us then get more and better tools.
MODERATOR: Question up here in the front.
QUESTION: My name is David Malara (ph). I’m a consultant on East Asia. And my question was, I’m struck – you were talking about the government and private partnerships. I’m really interested in this idea, but something that immediately came to mind was that when I travel overseas and I talk to people on the ground, just not important people but, you know, people people.
DR. SLAUGHTER: People. All people are important.
QUESTION: Yeah, no. You understand. But not the diplomatic elite, in other words, not the people who have sort of that inside community.
DR. SLAUGHTER: I understand.
QUESTION: There is generally a very favorable impression of American universities, American business culture, American social culture, very negative or cynical views of U.S. Government and its aims. And so I’m wondering sort of on the public diplomacy angle if there’s been any change in thinking on that?
DR. SLAUGHTER: There is. In fact, I was meeting for the under secretary for Public Diplomacy this morning. There’s a whole section in here on a new strategy on public diplomacy, which has many different dimensions. Part of it is not thinking about public diplomacy as communications or not only as communications and messaging, but much more about building relationships, responding, engaging, so that it isn’t we have a message and we deliver it. It’s when someone stands up and says something that’s not right about what the U.S. Government’s doing, we respond immediately. We don’t just respond and say, “You’re wrong.” We actually are willing to engage.
And then more broadly, building relationships with broader sectors of society. So there’s another section in here that talks about engaging beyond the State of which this is a part. But there – it really has to go further than that, because we know that people say, “Look, it’s not how you talk about it; it’s what you’re doing.” And ultimately, to change our public diplomacy, the people who focus on society and their responses and their views and public opinion broadly have to be at the decision-making table in making policy in the first instance. And Deputy Secretary – Under Secretary McHale has already added a public diplomacy deputy assistant secretary to every regional bureau precisely for that. It’s going to be a while. I mean, we have – we’ve got a ways to go, but I do think we’re at least understanding it right, and we’re supporting it as much as we can within here.
MODERATOR: A question over there on the side.
QUESTION: I’m (inaudible). I’m a student at SAIS in international public policy. In this new policy framework, how much weight or emphasis is given to development of international organizations or institutions and the cooperation, harmonization with other foreign development agencies?
DR. SLAUGHTER: Thank you. A great deal. One of the starting points for the development section of the QDDR was a working group on foreign aid effectiveness principles, really the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda, and how we could actually internalize those, which is, of course, something every government has to face. But we committed to them, and then there are many recommendations and there are a lot of things that aren’t even in here in terms of making that a reality. So, country ownership, starting with the country plan, working with them to develop a plan, either an overall development strategy, or more specifically, in global health or food security, which is how both of those initiatives are being run, then working to support them in part of their plan, which then leads you to the principles of donor coordination and division of labor. Because if we are saying, as we’re saying, we will support you, but we’ll support you in one area and we also are going to concentrate our resources across six areas, not everywhere, then some other government or some other international or regional organization has to do some other part. So from our point of view, that’s the best practice in terms of how to engage the government, but it’s also simply going to be necessary in terms of how we then do our own work.
And then finally, a much bigger emphasis on monitoring and evaluation, and really figuring out what works, what doesn’t. That includes a focus on which international organizations, or which parts of international organizations, are working. The DFID in Britain has just done a major review of which international partners are most effective and which are not, and that means we essentially have to apply that to ourselves, to other governments and to those organizations, and then work with the ones that really work. But I think you’re already seeing changes, or at least that’s what I’m told from the ground, and we are certainly committing to them.
MODERATOR: We have time for one more question. We’ll take this gentleman in the front.
QUESTION: Thanks. Dr. Slaughter, I’m Garrett Mitchell and I write the Mitchell Report. And it occurred to me in listening to this that in a day or two, we’re going to lose you, the QDDR is still going to be around, so I want to ask a Anne-Marie Slaughter question. And the question is: You’ve just gone through what I know to have been a highly aerobic and intensive experience and --
DR. SLAUGHTER: I like aerobic. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: And I’m interested to know what – well, maybe I have to wait for the book. But I’m interested to know –
DR. SLAUGHTER: This is the book. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: -- what were the principal – at this point, what were the principal points of learning for you, not about development and diplomacy, not about the specifics of the plan, but things like how to effect change in large institutions? What did you learn about the potential for public-private partnerships that wasn’t there? You came into this with a wealth of experience in writing around and thinking around being a thought leader on these issues, then you did this experience. You emerged from it, in some ways, changed by the experience, and I’d love if you could share, particularly with a bunch of people out here who are hoping that maybe one day they could be an Anne-Marie Slaughter – maybe you could share a little of your thinking with us.
QUESTION: As long as --
DR. SLAUGHTER: How long do you have? (Laughter.)
QUESTION: As long as --
DR. SLAUGHTER: I have been changed by the experience, without any question. And I won’t write a book, but I will be writing an after-action report for the Secretary, effectively, to say what not to do in the next QDDR, because that’s inevitable. You learn a great deal doing it the first time, as any other organization has.
But I think the basic lessons for me in terms of how to make this work – and it still has to be implemented. I am committed that it – I’m convinced it will be implemented and it’ll be implemented better because I’m not here, because the people who have to make it happen have to be on the front lines of implementation. But it is the constant back-and-forth between the big vision, which you have to have, and very, very concrete, small steps that people actually believe can happen. Because I could come in with the first part of this, and not only would this – it would be too broad, people would be too skeptical, but they wouldn’t even know where to start. Bureaucracies are enormous entities full of small offices with individuals in them who have to do their part. So you have to do this in two ways.
One, you had to do it in actually getting to these recommendations. The Secretary had a vision, Deputy Secretary Lew, Chief of Staff Mills, Administrator Shah all had ideas. But if it was only top-down, it was not going anywhere, and the State Department had had lots of those and USAID had had lots of those. You just said there’s no shortage of recommendations, and many of them come from think tanks.
So we engaged somewhere between 500 and a thousand people in five working groups that had sub-working groups, then 12 task forces, and they had task forces. They were all USAID and State people. You can imagine the complications of that. You get 12 different groups all doing different things. And of course, many of their ideas aren’t ultimately in here, but many are. So that process of juggling between top-down and bottom-up and just having to work it and work it and work it, and then that process of taking the big ideas and making them concrete enough, so actually, when you asked your question, if I couldn’t answer you that we’re writing this into position descriptions, it’s not going to make any difference, because we’ll move on, and ultimately, people respond to their personal incentives.
So that – it meant learning things about the State Department. Believe me, no foreign policy expert ever thought they might have occasion to know in terms of human resources or information systems consolidation or contracting guidelines. I’ve looked at it all. But that’s ultimately how you do the – make the change.
The last thing I will say is – and this is my reflection on the policy process as a whole – I’m a lawyer originally. I was a law professor for 12 years. And when you talk about public interest litigation, which is how we make change – obviously in the Civil Rights Movement, various kinds – public interest lawyers bring a series of small cases and they wait for a decision that has just the right phrase in it or formulation in it, and then they bring another case and that allows them to make change over time. And what that part of a decision, whether it says with all – it says separate is not equal, for instance, you use that and you advance it. Policy process is very similar. You’re not going to make change unless people who are determined and motivated on the ground want to do it. And I can’t tell them to do that.
What I can do, or what the Secretary can do, is put things in the QDDR that allow those people to say I’m going to do this and it’s in the QDDR. This is something that actually the Secretary wants us to do. It is – it gives people the authority to make a public-private partnership, to engage beyond the state, to work in innovative ways in development. It is – so part of what you do is you look at all the talented people who do want to make change and you help them do it.
And I think I’ll leave it there.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Dr. Slaughter. Our next – let’s have a round of applause. Thank you. (Applause.) Our next development roundtable lecture will be next Friday at 12:30. David Holdridge, the president of Bridging the Divide, will be speaking in Rome 200. We hope to see all of you there.
Thanks again, to Dr. Slaughter for coming. (Applause.)