At a town hall meeting Wednesday morning with a packed auditorium of Department of State employees, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the release of the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) – dedicating the report to the late diplomatic envoy Richard Holbrooke, noting his “insistence that we back up our words with actions,” Clinton said.
The report, entitled “Leading through Civilian Power,” discusses the State Department, the U.S. Agency on International Development (USAID) and the roles of other federal agencies in the broader U.S. government directive to practice diplomacy, support global development and prevent and respond to crises, and how to unify these efforts and make them more efficient and effective.
Health was mentioned exactly once during the meeting. When discussing broad ways to change how State and USAID do business, Clinton mentioned elevating and modernizing development to deliver results by focusing U.S. investments where the U.S. has a comparative advantage. Global health was one of these areas, as were food security, climate change and others. An overall effort to integrate a focus on women and girls in everything State and USAID do was also highlighted by the Secretary.
Although the full report has yet to be posted to the State Department website, word in the AIDS community is that the QDDR affirms that the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, which oversees implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will maintain its independent role, and does not put it under the auspices of USAID. Science Speaks will confirm this as soon as the report is published. A short fact sheet on the QDDR is now available.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 12/15/2010 5:55 p.m.:
Just after 5 pm Wednesday, the State Department posted the QDDR report in its entirety.
On page 84 of the 219-page document, the text states, “The responsibility for leading PEPFAR, following current practice and its governing statute, will remain with [OGAC] at the State Department. The GHI Strategic Council will also continue to provide the Initiative with high-level interagency advice and guidance on meeting the goals and objectives of the Initiative.”
A joint press release from the State Department, USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year defines the GHI Strategic Council as providing high-level policy support, advice and guidance on GHI, bringing together representatives from various government agencies that have expertise in areas that are critical for its implementation. Representatives come from various offices at the Department of State, USAID, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Department of Treasury, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Peace Corps.