Report on Reports

June 4, 2013: Much has been accomplished since the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition released the first Report on Reports in 2008 to provide a roadmap of consensus on how to put smart power to work. The 2012 Report on Reports analyzes more than 30 reports from a wide political spectrum and identifies six areas of broad agreement, focused on making existing initiatives more effective and impactful, and new ideas for innovative approaches to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

A Road Towards a Better, Safer World

The strong consensus to strengthen our smart power tools of development and diplomacy since 9/11 is best illustrated by an impressive series of bipartisan actions undertaken over the past decade by two Presidents and their Secretaries of State, USAID Administrators, and heads of other foreign policy agencies. View the roadmap to see the path to where we are today.

6 Areas of Consensus

Report on Reports1. Strengthen Civilian Power. After more than a decade of an understaffed and underfunded foreign affairs workforce, there is clear consensus America must build even greater U.S. civilian capacity to keep our nation safe and ensure we have the ability to advance our core national security and economic interests. While the past two Administrations have taken important steps to beef up our capacity, there is a strong consensus more needs to be done.

2. Ensure Results-Driven Development. While effective aid has always been a goal, there is renewed focus and commitment that America must pursue effective, results-driven development applying data measurements and innovation to achieve greater impact. Specifically, there is a call to scale up aid effectiveness with rigorous evaluation, transparency, and accountability, and to challenge countries to take responsibility for their development.

3. Leverage the Private Sector. Recognizing the increasingly critical role the private sector, foundations, academic institutions, and other entities play in global development, there is a strong call to enhance public-private partnerships in a strategic manner to create the enabling environment for scalability.

“The United States cannot afford to dispropor-tionately underfund the civilian side of our national security.”
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4. Maintain Sufficient Resources. There is a growing message from military and business leaders to lawmakers of both parties, that despite confronting some of the most daunting economic challenges in several generations, the United States cannot afford to disproportionately underfund the civilian side of our national security, particularly given the growing global challenges facing America.

5. Improve Coordination Among the Players. As foreign assistance programs are administered across a variety of U.S. government agencies, streamlining the interagency process will continue to be essential in improving coordination, clarity of leadership, and consistency in U.S. foreign policy decision making and implementation.

6. Prioritize. Now is the time to focus on the things we do best and establish priorities to maximize impact and manage limited resources. The need will always be greater than what we are able to do, but we must scale up programs that show the greatest promise.

Download the Report (pdf)

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