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Fact Sheet on Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

A map showing where the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development operate.

A map showing where the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development operate.

15 December 2010

Fact Sheet on Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

Released by the U.S. Department of State
and the United States Agency for International Development
December 15, 2010

Fact Sheet



The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) is a sweeping assessment of how the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) can become more efficient, accountable, and effective in a world in which rising powers, growing instability, and technological transformation create new threats, but also new opportunities. At its core the QDDR provides a blueprint for elevating American “civilian power” to better advance our national interests and to be a better partner to the U.S. military. Leading through civilian power means directing and coordinating the resources of all America’s civilian agencies to prevent and resolve conflicts; help countries lift themselves out of poverty into prosperous, stable, and democratic states; and build global coalitions to address global problems.

To build civilian power, State and USAID will make the most of a bipartisan Congressional commitment to increase the number of Foreign Service and Civil Service personnel at both agencies. We will seek new efficiencies and savings; focus resources for greatest impact; and work with Congress to secure the resources required to protect Americans at home and advance our interests abroad.

Diplomats and development experts from State and USAID drove the review with valuable input from interagency partners, Congress, and external stakeholders.


• Build America’s civilian power, bringing together the unique contributions of civilians across the federal government to advance U.S. interests.

• Elevate and transform development to deliver results by focusing our investments, supporting innovation, and measuring results.

• Build a civilian capacity to prevent and respond to crisis and conflict and give our military the partner it needs and deserves.

• Change the way we do business by working smarter to save money, planning and budgeting to accomplish our priorities, and measuring the results of our investments.


As Secretary Clinton has said, “To lead in this new century, we must often lead in new ways.” To advance American interests and values and to lead other nations in solving shared problems in the 21st century, we must rely on our diplomats and civilian experts as the first face of American power. In the words of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “There has to be a change in attitude in the recognition of the critical role that agencies like [the] State [Department] and aid [USAID] play…for them to play the leading role that I think they need to play.”


Civilian power is the combined force of civilian personnel across government and civil society. It is the power of diplomats in 271 missions around the world, development professionals in more than 100 nations, and experts from other U.S. government agencies working together to advance America’s core interests in the world.

Civilian power is:

• A cost-effective investment for the American people

• A powerful tool for preventing armed conflict and managing crises

• A catalyst to spur economic growth, open markets for U.S. goods and create jobs at home

• A necessary response to the complex nature of the problems of the 21st century


The QDDR calls for State and USAID to change the ways we do business in four broad areas:

1. Adapt to the diplomatic landscape of the 21st century by:

• Leading the implementation of global civilian operations overseas by empowering and holding accountable Chiefs of Mission as CEOs of a multi-agency effort

• Reorganizing structurally to meet new challenges: an Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment and an Undersecretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights; a new Bureau for Energy Resources and a Chief Economist; and a proposed Bureau for Counterterrorism

• Engaging beyond the capital and leveraging the technological tools of 21st century statecraft

• Integrating a focus on women and girls in everything we do

2. Elevate and modernize development to deliver results by:

• Focusing our investments where we have a comparative advantage: food security, global health, climate change, sustainable economic growth, democracy and governance, and humanitarian assistance — with an emphasis on the rights of women and girls throughout

• Practicing high-impact development by building partnerships with host nations, investing in innovation, and strengthening monitoring and evaluation

• Continuing to make USAID the world’s premier development institution; building the necessary technical expertise and organizational structures; immediately transitioning the leadership of Feed the Future, and setting a target to move the Global Health Initiative at the end of FY 2012 if certain benchmarks are met

3. Strengthen civilian capability to prevent and respond to crisis and conflict by:

• Recognizing that civilians are the first line of defense abroad and making conflict prevention and response a core civilian mission

• Building conflict prevention and response capabilities by creating a new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at State and strengthening the Office of Transition Initiatives at USAID

• Integrating an effective capability to reform security and justice sectors in fragile states

4. Work smarter to deliver results for the American people by:

• Ensuring we have the expertise to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow by building technical expertise and innovative problem solving

• Managing contracting and procurement to achieve our mission effectively and efficiently by drawing more upon expertise within the government

• Planning and budgeting for impact; evaluating all programs before funding to ensure each dollar spent yields results


The QDDR process is an ongoing commitment that began when Secretary Clinton took office and will continue through the launch of the next Review. The State Department and USAID have already begun to implement many of the reforms described in the Report. Some are complete; others will follow. The Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the USAID Administrator will oversee the implementation of the QDDR.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: