Major Programs of IRM's Office of eDiplomacy
Customer Liaison Division (CLD)
The Customer Liaison Division’s mission is to act as a liaison between IRM and the various bureaus within the Department to establish and nurture relationships with IRM’s customers to ensure customer satisfaction with the IRM Bureau products and services. CLD provides incident resolution support, and facilitates communication for the exchange of information between IRM and its’ domestic and overseas customers. CLD’s open communications channels assist to address customer issues, avoid potential conflicts, and ensure alignment of IRM products and services with the requirements of IRM’s customers.
Communities @ State
This initiative enables and encourages Department personnel to form online communities to publish information, connect with others, and spark discussions. Transcending organizational boundaries and geographic constraints, these websites use a modern blogging platform to allow online community members to efficiently publish deliberative content. By choice of the community administrators, some of these online communities are available to members of the interagency foreign affairs community. In addition to administered Community sites, Department personnel may create personal blogs to share their individual perspectives on professional topics.
To ensure best use of limited resources and to promote successful online communities, eDiplomacy has designed guidelines and a planning questionnaire to help prospective community leaders form and manage their communities. The planning questionnaire requires prospective community managers to focus on key questions about purpose, goals, analytics, core audience, day-to-day management and continuity of the community over time.
Corridor is the Department’s in-house professional networking platform. Although similar to external networking sites, Corridor is oriented towards the Department's foreign affairs professionals and personnel from other agencies who use the unclassified network. It enables members to post information about their professional accomplishments and expertise, expand their professional network of connections, discover and tap into the experience and expertise of colleagues worldwide, and form groups to communicate and collaborate based on shared professional and personal interests.
The Current is an information aggregation tool available on the Department’s unclassified intranet that enables individuals to pull in a wide variety of information from sources inside and outside the Department onto a single website – a type of personalized, continually refreshed, online newspaper or briefing book for their work. The Current is closely integrated with other programs in the Knowledge Leadership suite of tools, and enables users to share items of interest with colleagues or begin a discussion by posting an item in Corridor, or in Communities @ State.
Diplopedia is the State Department's internal collaborative online wiki encyclopedia. Just as people create and edit articles on public wikis on the Internet, Department personnel use Diplopedia to create a broad, informative and expanding reference tool for knowledge-sharing about the Department, its programs and offices, and other international affairs subjects. The Department shares a read-only version of Diplopedia for internal U.S. Government interagency viewing. A classified version of Diplopedia serves as a gateway to information on the Department’s classified network.
The IT Innovation Fund was created in 2011 to support transitional projects designed to move Department information technology systems and practices forward. Pursuant to the QDDR’s call to “pursue new ways of doing business” it has provided funding to support and encourage well-conceived, high-impact innovations through the use of existing technologies or processes or the development of new technologies or processes.
SearchState (Enterprise Search)
SearchState, the Department of State’s enterprise search service, enables Department personnel to find the information they need from millions of items in Department websites and databases.
Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS)
The VSFS program is part of a growing effort by the State Department to harness technology and a commitment to global service among young people to facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement. Working from college and university campuses in the United States and throughout the world, U.S. citizen college students can engage with State Department domestic offices and U.S. diplomatic posts overseas through nine-month virtual internships (eInternships). VSFS will soon expand to include crowd-sourcing through a micro-volunteering platform, allowing even more U.S. college students opportunities to conduct digital diplomacy, reflecting the realities of our networked world. For more information please visit www.state.gov/vsfs.
Virtual Fellows Program (VFP)
The VFP allows the Department of State to benefit from the expertise of U.S. citizen professionals who serve pro bono as consultants, advisers, researchers and more on projects formulated by Department of State offices or Missions abroad. Working from their current locations across the U.S. and around the globe, Fellows collaborate virtually with the Department of State without physically relocating. Qualified VFP candidates ideally have a minimum of five years of professional experience that is directly applicable to the assigned task.
Fellows serve virtually on a part-time basis as unpaid consultants. The minimum duration of the Virtual Fellowship is six months, renewable by mutual agreement. For more information please visit www.state.gov/m/irm/vfp, and for project examples, please see our list of currently Available Projects.