The long-awaited interim report of the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review will apparently not be released after all.
The draft report’s original release date in January was initially pushed back due to policy disagreements within the Obama administration, Josh Rogin writes in Foreign Policy magazine’s “The Cable” blog. At a deputies committee meeting in April, a decision was made to publish the interim report after publishing the National Security Strategy and the presidential study directive on global development.
Later that month, administration officials decided that the report would be outdated by that time, Rogin writes.
The NSS was released May 27. The PSD “could be released anytime, although not necessarily to the public,” says Rogin, who published a draft version of that document last month.
“Given all that, by the time State would be able to release the QDDR interim report, it wouldn’t really represent the current state of play, sources explained” to Rogin. “Moreover, the time and effort required to roll out the thing would have taken the whole schedule off course.”
According to Rogin, the interim report tackled “Phase 1,” which only specified the problem with the status quo but did not identify solutions. He says the report is “now only being used internally to inform” the next stages. The reports for “Phase 2” was due June 4, and the wrap-up phase or “Phase 3,” he adds, “will commence shortly.”
Hints at the possibility that the interim report would not be published came as early as April. Joel Paque of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition wrote in an April 30 blog post that the QDDR had moved into the second phase and that the interim report was unlikely to be released at all.
A congressional aide is blaming the lack of communication on the QDDR on the absence of consensus within the Obama administration as to what it aims to achieve with the PSD-7 and QDDR process.
“We had hoped that at this juncture we would receive a clearer signal about the direction and shape of foreign aid reform, but clearly there continues to be much disagreement and discussion over in the executive just what the best path forward is,” the congressional aide tells Rogin.