Women and Development: A Conversation with Anne-Marie Slaughter

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Princeton University
Isobel Coleman
Council on Foreign Relations

ISOBEL COLEMAN:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Good afternoon.  I'm Isobel Coleman.  I'm a senior fellow here at the Council on Foreign Relations and director of the council's Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative, and also the director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program.     

And this is the second meeting in a series that we are doing, Women and Technology, which is sponsored by ExxonMobil, which you might have guessed.  

And I have with me here Lorie Jackson from ExxonMobil, who is just going to spend a minute describing some of the work that ExxonMobil has been doing in this space.  And we thank ExxonMobil and Lorie for your sponsorship.  

LORIE JACKSON (director, Women's Economic Opportunity Initiative, ExxonMobil):  Thank you, Isobel.  It's a great pleasure to be partnering with the Council on Foreign Relations and particularly partnering with you on this effort to develop a really meaningful dialogue around how to best accelerate women's economic progress throughout the world.    

And I'm here with my colleague Beth Snyder from ExxonMobil.  We launched our citizenship effort in this area in 2005 and since then have spent about $50 million, but continue to look for the most effective interventions and increasingly, in addition to the training, the networks, the coaching and mentoring network sponsoring for women throughout the world to help develop them as effective businesswomen. We're also integrating technology to help accelerate women's economic progress -- agricultural technologies, energy technologies and ICT -- and have partnered with a variety of folks on the ground, through the Ashoka Changemaker Challenge last year, that are helping to demonstrate to us that this is a very fruitful pursuit.  

And as you probably would gather, having great partners is key, and in that regard, we're looking at expanding our partner base.  And in fact the State Department and ExxonMobil are looking at developing a memorandum of understanding around the clean technology space, because of our mutual interests.    

And for that reason and many others, we're so glad to be able to hear Anne-Marie Slaughter's views around the State Department's vision for partnering and the integration of diplomacy and development, and very glad that all of you could be with us here today.  

Thank you.  

COLEMAN:  Well, thank you, Lorie.  

And thank you, Anne-Marie, for joining us here.  We have as our wonderful speaker today Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, who is, happily, again a professor, back at Princeton University, after two, may I say, quite grueling years as director of Policy Planning at the State Department -- first woman to hold that  position.  And it must have been a very interesting State Department to work in, and we're going to come to that.    

Annie-Marie is -- as many of you know, is a world-renowned lawyer and has held positions at a number of law faculties, including at Harvard, Harvard Law School, and prior to joining Policy Planning at the State Department was the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, of which I'm a graduate.  

So, Anne-Marie, it is with great pleasure that we have you here today, and we're looking forward to your comments on this topic of women and technology.  And maybe we can just start out by you telling us a little bit, from your vantage point as head of Policy Planning at the State Department -- we had a secretary of state who really lives and breathes this stuff, knows it inside and out, knows how important it is invest in women, for a whole variety of reasons.   

We were talking a little bit before this meeting -- whether it's, you know, hard power versus soft power -- and I made the point:  I never think of it as hard power versus soft power; I think of it as hard power versus harder power.  (Laughter.)  

And it is harder, in many ways.  There are huge challenges out there for breaking cycles of poverty, for putting countries on a positive trajectory, when for decades they've been on a negative trajectory.  And we have enormous hard vested interests in doing that.  

And how, at the State Department, were these issues conceptually, at a high level -- how were they thought about?  What were you tasked to do around these?  Because so many of the initiatives that came out under your watch actually involved investing in -- whether it's clean cookstoves or  food security or many things that centrally involve focusing on women -- maybe we'll start there.  

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER:  All right.  Thank you.  

So first of all, it's great to be here.  This is a new definition of "ladies who lunch," and I like it -- (laughter) -- "ladies and gentlemen who lunch."  I'm equally pleased to see a number of friends around the table.  

But I had promised when I came back to Princeton, which really meant coming back to my 12- and 14-year-old sons, who had been living with their father while I commuted for two years -- so that's the grueling part -- I promised that I would do very little in the way of invitations.  I haven't been great at that, but one of the things I said right away, when Isobel asked if I would come and do this lunch, I said absolutely, because this is so closely related to things that I spent a tremendous amount of time on at the State Department, and it's frankly part of continuing Secretary Clinton's agenda to be able to be out now and to speak to groups like this one.  

So I think probably a month or so in at the State Department -- and I should just say, I had no prior relationship with Secretary Clinton.  She interviewed me in December and offered me the job three weeks later, and I was at work two weeks after that.  So everybody was getting to know each other.  But it became very clear very quickly that she saw the development dimension of global politics as important as the diplomatic dimension; that making diplomacy and development two equal pillars of what we do in the world is -- was essential to advancing American interests, advancing global interests, solving the collective global problems.  Whether that's the spread of violent extremism, or climate change, or global pandemics, or the stability of the global economy, or resource scarcity -- we can -- we can run down the list -- all of those problems can't be tackled just by government- to-government diplomacy.  They have to be tackled on the ground, where people live.  And half of those people -- unfortunately, a little under half, because of "gendercide" -- but nearly half of those people are women in the world.  

So that's the starting point.  If that's your lens, if you start by not looking at a world of states, (sort of ?) a world of governments -- still enormously important, and she spends an enormous amount of her time, obviously, negotiating with other governments -- but also of societies, with all the problems that societies have that have to be addressed for us to advance our own and global interests, then you immediately focus on women.  And indeed, I point out to people that the -- that the lack of focus on women is not necessarily a matter of gender blindness, per se; it's a matter of human blindness.  In other words, the world that I grew up in in foreign policy is the world of the Cuban missile crisis, where you just talk about governments.  You don't talk about men or women; you talk about governments, and they are unitary things.  Or really, you talk about states, and they are unitary things.  

The minute you focus on society, then you have to say:  Well, who's in society?  It's not just a monolithic thing.  You need a youth strategy.  You need a strategy that's focused on different segments of society, like entrepreneurs.  You need to think about technology in society.  And then, as I said, staring you in the face are -- you know, society's composed of men and women, and the women in developing countries play an absolutely essential role.  And this is the next part of just what I'll say about Secretary Clinton's conception, and I think our own.  They play an essential role as the pillars of their families, of their communities, as change agents; not just as victims.  

So that's the other thing that Secretary Clinton is very committed to.  Even when we're talking about women and security, where, obviously, there are terrible war crimes being committed against women, it's equally important to note how important women can be in actually moving their societies toward peace, to be active players and participants in change, in progress, in innovation.  

So let me start with that sort of framework:  a focus on development, a focus on societies, and that immediately leading you to a focus on women.  

COLEMAN:  Well, let's go right into QDDR.  


COLEMAN:  Since I think you were --  

SLAUGHTER:  I'll just keep talking, and avoid that. (Laughs.)  

COLEMAN:  -- you were one of the -- if not the primary author of the QDDR.  And it really starts out, and finishes, with a focus on women, throughout almost the entire life cycle -- development life cycle, human life cycle -- looking at the role of women in society; and a number of real thoughts about shifting the big, massive, you know, Titanic that is our development bureaucracy in a direction that looks more and acts more around these, you know, soft issues.  How did that all come about?  

SLAUGHTER:  So the QDDR, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, was a massive undertaking.  It was 18 months of well over 500 people across State and USAID, working in lots of different committees.  But Secretary Clinton wanted the diplomatic and development equivalent to the QDR, the Quadrennial Defense Review, which has -- we're into the -- DOD is on its fifth Quadrennial Defense Review.  

That actually started in 1990.  The Homeland Security agency issued its first quadrennial review, the Intelligence Committee has one. Theirs has the happy acronym of the QICR, the Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review.  Ours was not the QICR.  But -- so this is something that's been coming.  

For Secretary Clinton, there were two big reasons to do it.  One is very political.  And I mention it because one of the great things about working for her was having a -- you know, a terrific politician who had been a senator and, of course, had just finished a run for president.  She was very focused on budget issues, on how the Hill works, on how do you have to engage with the Hill to be able to build your budget.  And one of the things she said was that when the Defense Department came to the Armed Services Committee, on which she sat, it didn't just say, I'd like 5 percent more, please.  They said, here is our Quadrennial Review, and based on our Quadrennial Review, here is our annual budget and this is how it's connected to the big goals we've set.  

So she said, I think totally rightly, there has to be a greater culture of planning and we have to have strategic vision.  

The second reason was absolutely as part of wanting to elevate development.  She wanted State and AID together to engage in a review of where we were going to be going in terms of the problems of the world and how we needed to change both our diplomatic establishment and our development institutions to get there.  And the work of it -- much of the work of it was exactly overcoming the traditional suspicion between State and USAID -- I wouldn't say we overcame it, but I hope we made a dent in it -- but really getting development people at the table in discussions where normally you only had diplomats; and vice-versa, because AID has its own world and they're often not focused on the political issues that you need to focus on. So getting State and AID to be more integrated in ways that meant we use diplomacy for development purposes, and we eusre, when we do development, that it is in a political context that makes sense and that the politics are aligned with the development.  

COLEMAN:  One of the criticisms of QDDR is that while it made an effort at that integration, it left some big things unclear still on who controls what between State and AID.  Maybe you can tell us a little bit more where that stands.  

SLAUGHTER:  Well, I mean, there's always things that have to be left for the implementation, and actually we did leave a lot of  things deliberately open.  But the starting point -- you know, there's a spectrum that I think it's important to think about.  On the one hand, of course, there had been a strong move to try to have USAID elevated, like DFID, as a separate Cabinet agency.  And that, I think, once you had sort of appointed Secretary Clinton, those decisions had already been made; that wasn't going to happen.  But there were many people who still really wanted as independent a USAID as you could get.  

And on the other side -- and indeed there were reports out there, and the Heritage Foundation issued a report right after the QDDR that said this is terrible, because they wanted to actually collapse USAID into State completely.  

And what we sought to do was to say, look, you need a very strong development institution that has the ability to innovate, that is looked to around the world.  I had many foundation executives at private dinners who would say things like:  I will fly to London to talk to DFID, but I won't go to Washington to talk to USAID, because there are no ideas there, they're not doing policy work, they're basically implementing -- they're a pass-through for grants that then go to implementers.  

So we needed a strong, innovative, sort of intellectual or policy-setting development institution, and we needed it to be autonomous enough to do those things.  At the same time, our view was it has to be integrated with State, again for political reasons.  I mean, look at the budget cuts right now.  If you did not have Secretary Clinton arguing for USAID but only the USAID establishment, you'd be in even worse shape than many of us have worried about.    

But also, Secretary Clinton's view -- and this is very important, I think, back on the substantive issues -- Secretary Clinton feels very strongly that this is not a private development budget.  If you're an NGO, if you are a foundation, you can spend your money however you like.  But she has to tell American taxpayers why we are putting money into foreign assistance, why we're putting money into Pakistani schools and not Detroit schools, or less in -- we have less.  

And that's the way she sees the issues.  So we had a huge debate about, you know, development for its own sake, development to advance American interests.    

And she came down very strongly that when the U.S. government is doing development, it has to be able to advance our interests.  This gets back to the gender dimension, right?  Because one of the things that we know is you can say, look, we're investing in women around the world because we know that that's the best use of our development dollar, and that when we do that, we get better returns and we get returns that sort of keep on coming.  So that it was a -- it's a focus that is grounded in kind of instrumental, how do you solve our problems -- economic, political -- as well as a kind of moral commitment to development.  

COLEMAN:  Well, since we're talking about money --  

SLAUGHTER:  (Laughs.)  

COLEMAN:  -- budget -- budgets are tight right now.  And one of the things that happened under your watch, under Secretary Clinton's watch, is the development of public/private partnerships. And I think that these hold out a lot of promise, although there's been a lot of promise around it for years that has failed to materialize.  And maybe you can tell us how you think about public/private partnerships.  Is it simply a way for -- to get companies to pay for part of the development agenda, or is there more to it than that?  

SLAUGHTER:  That is certainly the view of many company executives I've talked to.  (Laughs.)  They sound a little like the Europeans; when you say partnership with the Americans, means:  They do what we want.  

COLEMAN:  You pay for it, right.  

SLAUGHTER:  (Laughs.)  Right.  Or they pay for what we want. And certainly those views have been heard.  

I think for -- Secretary Clinton sees this very much in what she calls the three-legged stool -- right? -- the civic sector, the private sector and the public sector having to work together.  And to me, the best image of this, as you all are all New Yorkers, are, every September, if you're unlucky enough to have to stay in town, you have two major events snarling traffic all over the city.    

One, of course, is the U.N. General Assembly, which is the classic government-to-government event.  Indeed, Cathy Ashton, who's the wonderful high representative for Foreign and Security Policy in the -- in the EU, she said the U.N. General Assembly is speed-dating for diplomats, because they basically rotate around bilateral meetings.  

And then, of course, on Seventh Avenue, you have the Clinton Global Initiative.  And what's interesting about that is many of the same heads of state are there.  Indeed, I have watched traffic get snarled as you moved heads of state, including Secretary Clinton, or a foreign minister, to go over to the Clinton Global Initiative.  

But at the Clinton Global Initiative, there are a couple of foreign ministers or high government officials.  There are a couple of CEOs of top corporations.  There are heads of NGOs.  Those can be foundations and advocacy NGOs.  And there are often a thinker or two, folks from around here or from think tanks or from universities.  And it's that coalition that is ultimately necessary to tackle the kinds of big social problems we're talking about.  I mean, even if you could, you know, increase the foreign assistance budget a thousand fold, it would not match all the flows that are coming in from investment and remittances and all the other kinds of flows.  So for Secretary Clinton, it really is a partnership.  We -- she created the Global Partnership Initiative.  And USAID has actually been active in this space for a while.    

What I think we did that was most important -- and this is part of the QDDR -- was to get very technical, because lots of Foreign Service Officers around the world would like to do a public/private partnership.  They have no idea how.  It is not exactly taught them in their diplomatic training.  They don't know people to even reach out to, and if they did, they don't know corporate culture very well, so they're not at all skilled at sort of how you engage, other than saying, would you like to come and pay for this.  

And it's very difficult legally, right?  It's -- you have to do due diligence.  And that means you have to go to the legal adviser's office.    

And I'm a lawyer.  I love my fellow lawyers.  I had to create something called Partners for a New Beginning, which is run by Madeleine Albright and Muhtar Kent with Walter Issacson.  And it's a group of CEOs from a number of top corporations and heads of NGOs and in the civic sector.  It took seven months for me to be able to get it through the legal adviser's office, and I was the director of policy planning and a very determined person.  So that is not -- once we saw that, what we did was to create a manual that has five templates of different kinds of public/private partnerships, some with money, some without money, some different kinds of cooperative agreements.    

And the model was a corporate law firm.    

I thought, you know, when you do a deal in a corporate law firm, you have documents, and you pull them off the shelf and you mark them up. That's the level at which you have to work if you're going to make this more than a kind of boutique thing you do.  And actually there, the budget cuts will push the expansion of those partnerships, because it means that there's a lot of programming that if people want to keep doing it, they're going to have to find partners and they're going to have to be real partners.  

COLEMAN:  And it goes both ways.  Would it be helpful if those manuals were floated around corporations too so they knew how to access that bureaucracy?  Are there any thoughts of that?  

SLAUGHTER:  I hadn't thought of that.  Although, it would be a great project, actually, in terms of a couple of corporations.  It's worth talking to the State Department about to get some of the people who've engaged in the most successful partnerships --  

MS.     :  Yeah.  

SLAUGHTER:  -- to circulate something like that.  

COLEMAN:  Well, let's talk about some of those successful partnerships.  What would say is a successful public-private partnership that has happened in the last couple of years?  

SLAUGHTER:  So you've probably talked about this already, but the Global Cookstoves Alliance is one that we point to because it engages so many different actors.  It started also within the U.S. government, right, it was an example of a partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, which frankly was harder than reaching out to the private sector.  

So just mobilizing people within government who are interested in these issues and then from there reaching to the private sector and to the NGO sector and also a sense of an alliance -- this is another very important point that traditional public-private partnerships were one project, one corporation, one part of government.  I think increasingly we're moving in the direction of collaborative networks. That's what Jane Nelson, who is at the Kennedy School at Harvard would talk about, where like the one movement, if you think about it in the -- in the NGO sector, lots of different people can join, and they can join in the ways they want to and they can find partners.  So if you have a corporation that's working in a particular country, you can  connect it to the embassy, you can connect it to the NGOs that are there.  They can learn from what's worked in other countries.  So it's a bigger framework for lots of individual partnerships.  And I think that's been very successful.  

COLEMAN:  Let's drill down a little bit on that one.  The motto of the clean cookstove initiative is a hundred by 20, so getting a hundred million clean cookstoves into use by 2020.  Tell us about one country where -- and, you know, where it's actually making headway and where some of the partners are coming together, bringing different things to the table.  

SLAUGHTER:  That I can't do.  


SLAUGHTER:  (Laughs.)  I might have been able to do it in December, but I certainly can't do it now.  

COLEMAN:  Okay, okay, fair enough.  I just want to -- before I open it up to your all questions, I just wanted to talk a little bit about food security, because it is such a critical issue.  And I recommend all of you read the Foreign Policy recent article looking at food security.  There are a lot of very interesting articles in that.  

But we've also just had the U.N. come out with new population projections that the world, it looks like, will level off in population not around 9 billion but now more like 10 billion. Fertility rates are falling less quickly than had been anticipated. And of the 55 high-fertility countries, the vast majority of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, which already has food constraints in a number of countries.  

So how, from a policy perspective, how is the State Department thinking about food security?  And maybe talk a little bit about the Feed the Future Initiative too.  

SLAUGHTER:  So the first thing to say about food security is I do think it's a great example of an issue that -- where it's very hard to combine the twin perspectives that I started out with, the sort of state-to-state versus the focus on society.  

So you had -- there was a very good article, I think, on the Foreign Affairs website originally that talked about, you know, bread revolutions and the rise in the price in bread and the connection between instability and really set this against the Arab Spring.  And then there's this foreign policy issue.  There was an article on the front page of the Times.  I retweeted it when it came out, and said, you know, this really is the most important national security issue of today.  

And yet we continually talk about what's happening, you know, across the Middle East without factoring that in.  It -- you know, we  haven't been trained to think about the complex of issues together. So we can think about protesters, we can think about governments, we can think about human rights violations, we can think about sanctions, but we're not simultaneously -- when I say "we" I'm looking at -- some of us may be, but many of us are not -- simultaneously trying to factor in what is happening, obviously to energy prices and to food prices and what -- how that's going to affect how governments ought to be responding but also what we should be predicting.  

So I just give that as an example.    

And it's true at the State Department, too.  The people who work on food security are not the people who are thinking about these issues on a daily or weekly or even monthly basis.  They're still quite different worlds.  And part of what Secretary Clinton is saying is, those people have to be at the table together and much more frequently.  

On the specifics, there was -- this was one of the very first issues Secretary Clinton actually asked Cheryl Mills, her chief of staff, to focus on -- again, both for development reasons, long-term health of the planet reasons and economic reasons, but also security reasons.  And we'd just gone through of course -- well, hadn't just -- but when we came in in 2009, there was the crisis of 2008 and we'd -- had seen lots of food riots.    

This is one where the focus has to be on systems, and this has been true in global health also, where obviously we know that it has to be a move away from food aid.  That is not hard to grasp.    

But then you start focusing on, you know, crops and which crops and who's growing them.  And 70 percent of the small farmers are women.  And you get down to the level of, you know, how hoes are developed, and they're not used if they're not developed properly for women who are most of the farmers.    

But of course, very quickly, you get to the problems of not being able to get crops to market and then the distribution systems.  So first of all, having the markets and having the technology to figure out what the prices are.  That's where the cellphones come in.  But of course, then that means different roads.  And so it -- you know, you can do the -- everything is connected to everything else, and obviously there had to be some limits.  But ultimately the Feed the Future program concentrates on a set of issues from actual crops to nutrition to market-distribution systems.  

The other thing that it does, which is, I think, critical to our approach more broadly in the QDDR, is it chooses countries that have their own plans.  So this is country ownership in the development literature.  But we really picked out countries that were already working on food security and that had plans to improve their own -- you know, their own agricultural systems, and then we worked with them.  

Now this is, on the one hand, a better recipe for success, on another hand it means a lot of people are going to still be going hungry.  It means the ones who -- the many people who are the hungriest stay hungry because they're exactly in the countries where the governments aren't doing anything.  And what we had to do was to distinguish between humanitarian assistance and those countries where we really thought there was a better chance -- there's never anything like a perfect chance -- at being able to have a sustainable development initiative.  

The last thing I'll just say, I mentioned cellphones on -- in terms -- and we -- that's the classic example of market women who are able to call ahead and get better prices.  In all of this, we have focused on technology.    

And I'll just say that the -- I led a tech del., a technology delegation, of nine technology executives -- all women -- to Liberia and Sierra Leone for a week at the beginning of March.  I was actually back at Princeton, but I got permission to do it.  And we met with the government officials, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson -- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia and also in Sierra Leone.    

But what we did was to meet with governments and NGOS and women entrepreneurs in both countries, many of whom were from the diaspora who had fled to the U.S. during the conflicts in both countries and then come back, and talked to them about how technology would help what they were doing.  And what was most important was just hooking them up with a vice president from Twitter, who was able to talk about short codes and help them set up short codes.  And we had two executives from Google who could -- who talked to the policymakers. And we had somebody from the Cherie Blair Foundation who knew about what was working in terms of technology and maternal health in other countries.  And that combination of focusing on technology and having the government facilitate private-to-private connections was very much a hallmark of what we tried to do sort of throughout.  

COLEMAN:  Okay.  Thank you.  I think I'm going to open up to all of your questions now.  If you could just identify yourself with your affiliation.  And, you know, a lot of people in the room, so if you could keep your questions pretty brief.  

(Off mic) -- start.  Linda.  

QUESTIONER:  Linda Gottlieb.  Is there any site that all of these best practices are collected in?  I mean, obviously you've gained enormous information.  Is there a place that everybody could access it?  

SLAUGHTER:  I could spent a whole nother hour on government knowledge-management practices or the lack thereof.  (Laughter.) What's -- so there isn't one site.  I mean, on public-private partnerships, the Global Partnership Office is doing a lot of that. And they are very good, and they are very responsive.  And in terms of women generally, the global -- the -- Melanne Verveer's office, the ambassador for Global Women's Issues, is also, I think, quite responsive.  

One of the things the QDDR did not do but I think will happen is a move before Secretary Clinton steps down to consolidate a number of these different initiatives that are focusing on different parts of society.  But for right now, they are still different parts of the department.  

COLEMAN:  And consolidate them how?  I mean, do you mean consolidate Feed the Future with Cookstove -- I mean, put all of these things together, or are you talking about different offices?  

SLAUGHTER:  Well, I'm not sure exactly how, but what they have in common is that they are all focused on reaching out to different sectors of society.  And one of the things we did in the QDDR was to move away from global issues just as a catch-all portfolio.  So we created an undersecretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights.  And the importance of that was connecting the classic soft-power issue, where civilian security is drugs and thugs, the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement -- the official title -- (chuckles) -- and also a new bureau that we recommended creating on conflict and stabilization operations.  

So those are the issues of protecting the security of citizens; then linking those to Population, Refugees and Migration and to  Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  So we took the -- we didn't want just a grab bag of sort of issues where you reach out to the environment or to women.  

At the same time, these issues of public-private partnerships, the Office of Innovation, all the technology stuff that Alex (sic) Ross does, the Global Women's Issues Office, the Office of Outreach to State and Local Governments, these -- which is also something new, where there are many, many state and local governments that want to be involved in what we do; and then things like the special representative for outreach to Muslim communities -- what they have in common is really focusing on different segments of society.  And I don't know exactly how they'll be pulled together, but if they're left -- actually as your question reflects -- if they're left as just individual secretarial initiatives, they're much less likely to be sustained.  

COLEMAN:  Well, maybe I can just stick with that question because some have questioned how much of this new sort of focus on direction, on development, on elevating development issues, on focusing on women -- how much of that will survive Hillary Clinton herself when she steps down as secretary of state?  I mean, a lot of it is very tied up with her.  And as I said in the beginning, you know, she more than any other secretary of state has lived and breathed this stuff for a long, long time.  She really innately gets it.  You could see a new secretary of state coming in who doesn't get it in the same innate way.  And also because it's been so closely associated with her, there could be pressure.  

On the other side, as you and I both know, these things are directly related to a lot of key development and security issues.  So, you know, it -- I just wonder what -- how you look at that.  

SLAUGHTER:  Well, there are certainly some institutional things that I'd like to see happen to help lock these things in.  And part of the QDDR was designed to help lock these things in.  So I think those institutional moves will be made.  But I think more generally, time is simply on our side.  I mean, I give many lectures to the Foreign Service Institute because they discovered they had a professor in the house.  And they had -- there's an appetite for these various courses.  And it was just extraordinary.  The generational divide was very visible.  

All of our younger FSOs -- and I'm not going to define the age at which I start calling them younger FSOs -- but the younger FSOs would be nodding vigorously when you'd talk about using technology and outreach in these various ways, or any of the issues we've just talked about, because to them that is a key part of the world they're in. They did not -- you know, they haven't grown up in a world of separate states in which there are formal diplomatic protocols about how you engage another government.  They've grown up in a world that is completely connected in all sorts of different ways, and they are very interested -- I mean, they really understand part of their job as expanding diplomacy to include this much broader set of issues.  

And the parts of the world where we're engaging the most -- China, India, Africa, Brazil -- these are all countries who, even as they become the world's biggest economies, will still be developing countries.  So you're not going to have -- traditionally, the richest countries and the -- and the biggest economies were the same.  That's no longer going to be true, which means development issues will be on the global agenda.  And increasingly, if we're focusing, you know, on growth areas, again, whether it's India, whether it's Africa -- I was just talking to Jim Hogue (sp) about the importance of Africa -- those issues will be on the diplomatic agenda, brought that way by other countries.  So we have to be ahead of the game in responding -- fully engaged, innovative, really I think leading the way in terms of how you integrate development and diplomacy.  

QUESTIONER:  Hi.  Having spent 25 years at that venerable institution, the State Department, you're quite right.  I remember coming in in the A- 100 class, and they were still talking about aerograms.  (Laughter.)  

SLAUGHTER:  (Laughs.)  

QUESTIONER:  And, you know, cables were still out there and, you know -- State Department just can't get, like, it's mind around technology.  I work for the U.N. now, and I think they're a lot better at it.  You don't need 18 people to clear a "thank you" note -- (laughter) -- which is what happens, as you well know, in policy planning.  

My question really is, you know, as we really face this crisis in financing, in the budgets, and because the Defense Department is doing a lot of work in this area, it would strike that there should be some kind of an interim -- a QDR and a QDDR that integrates the Defense Department and State Department efforts in this area, and I think State could be more successful.  Because it's facing a lot of cuts  right now.  It's not getting any growth and new people coming in. They're bringing people out of WAE, While (sic) Actually Employed, trying to bring in retired diplomats; but that's not the answer.  The answer is this younger generation that is going to be able to really use Flickr and Facebook and all the other tools of social networking. So, I don't know, do you have any thoughts about how State could ride the coattails of Defense in a time when we're talking about trillion- dollar cuts and more?  

SLAUGHTER:  So the first point is the secretary absolutely agrees with you that there needs to be a closer relationship.  And again, part of the reason to do a QDDR was that we had to have our own planning process to be able to merge one, and at the end of the QDDR it -- the call for a national security budget in which you'd have State, DOD, USAID -- also, though, the intelligence community and Homeland Security and probably part of the Justice Department -- you could imagine how many agencies immediately are going to decide they should be part of a national security budget -- but the point being to be able to make this case long-term.  And this is again Secretary Clinton as a politician as well as a strategic thinker.  It has to be an integrated approach.  You have to be able to define our national security not simply in terms of the military budget and parts of the State Department budget, but much more broadly.  

The Defense Department is very much onboard with this.  Of course, they're a little less onboard with it when it looks like we might be shifting some of their funds to our funds.  But they are and they really have been willing to make a very strong case for why we have to build up our civilian engagement.  And there, I think also, when Secretary Gates steps out of office and when Chairman Mullen steps down, I think you're going to have two very powerful voices there who will be even freer to make that case.  

So I think that's the way -- that if you really want to build this in, it has to be integrated planning.  But integrated planning won't work unless there's at least integrated budgeting as it's presented.  I mean, you're still going to have congressional committees with their favorite thing, and that's a whole nother set of issues.  But it would be a -- it would be a big step forward.  

COLEMAN:  Missy (sp).  

SLAUGHTER:  With a (flash ?).  (Laughs, laughter.)  

QUESTIONER:  Sorry.  Probably a simplistic question, but going back a step from the report, can you explain to me how the -- what has happened as a result of the report with the relationship with State and USAID, and how it's, in a practical sense, sort of playing itself out?  

Because so many of us around this table still deal a lot with USAID.  

SLAUGHTER:  The first thing to say is there's a lot of change going on in USAID.  So a third of USAID employees have been there for less than three years, which is really dramatic.  Over 95 percent of USAID senior staff could retire tomorrow at full pension.  So you've got a big gap.  And that's not surprising.  I mean, USAID lost 40 percent of its personnel since 1990, so the people who stayed on are quite senior and then you have all these young people coming in.  

I start with that because the attitudes are really very different among many of the new recruits, who have not been through the wars and who are really -- they've been trained in a different era of development.  You know, they're not reflexively allergic to the military.  They're not reflexively allergic to any sense of, you know, political engagement.  I mean, they are development professionals and they think of themselves that way.  But what we found was the newer the recruits and the more engaged they were in the field, having been brought in within the last five years, the easier this relationship got.  

I'd say it's also much better at the top, where, you know, through this process -- we had a lot of State and AID people sitting side by side who had never been in meetings together.  There's still, you know, a group of people in both agencies who view each other with less than full civility and respect.  And I think you've just got to let -- you've got to let the changes go through, but you also have to let the generational -- shift.  

The other thing I'll say, though, about this leadership at AID is they are adamant that AID has to play well with others if they're going to be promoted, because the lesson they took was either AID really works with other agencies -- including State, but many other agencies -- or it gets bypassed because other agencies just decide they can do it better.  

And the biggest fight I was in as part of the QDDR was not State and AID, it was AID and HHS, AID and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and HHS over that, because they basically have decided, hey, we're doctors, we are, you know, health specialists, and we can do this better than AID.  And then State's in there saying, wait a minute, you know, there's really a development component to this too.  

So AID, I think, really -- I heard the senior leadership say this repeatedly -- if you want to be promoted, you cannot spend your time  defending AID's turf; you have to prove that you can work much more ably interagency and beyond.  And I think that message is coming through.  But there -- I mean, State also needs a lot of work in terms of how much respect it gives AID.  Believe me, I've seen it on both sides.  

COLEMAN:  Sarah.  

QUESTIONER:  (Off mic.)  Sarah O'Hagan, International Rescue Committee. I'm concerned that against this backdrop of terrific comity between State and Department of Defense and USAID, that while we're fixing everything on that side, that on the congressional side you have this horrible breakdown of this long-standing postwar consensus that humanitarian assistance funding was a key part of our security architecture, and that while both sides of the aisle are worried about security, they no longer, apparently, seem to feel that this is the way to shore it up, to fund it.  So I wonder if you could commit on the congressional.  

SLAUGHTER:  Well, I often say my job covered the widest range of possible issues, but even my job stopped at legislative affairs. So I can't speak with any particular expertise here.  We engaged Congress a lot during the QDDR, but it was all -- you know, pretty much most of it was pre-the-November-election.    

The only thing I would say based on what I saw in Washington is, even if that's true as the budget goes through, I do think, you know, when there's a disaster, the idea that the American people are not going to help, both officially as well as unofficially, is unpalatable.  And at that point, you know, you don't want budgeting through supplements, but if that's the only way you can get it, I still think that the numbers of whatever budget comes out are not necessarily a reliable guide to what we're prepared to do.  That's half a loaf, but I do think that's true.  

COLEMAN:  (Off mic.)  

QUESTIONER:  Any thoughts about whether the linkage between development and diplomacy is going to change or stay the same, given the tremendous change of governments in the Arab world?  

SLAUGHTER:  I think it will only increase.  Indeed, for many of us, watching what was happening in December and in January -- and you remember Secretary Clinton gives the speech in Doha in January, where she says, you know, the foundations of your regimes are crumbling into the sand.  Now, the reason she did that was, from her point of view, these are governments that are simply not providing for their citizens, and that can't be sustained.  

So I think what we then were looking at was, you know, had we been more serious about development in Egypt -- I mean, this was one of the big debates, right?  We were putting quote-unquote "development" assistance into Egypt.  It wasn't coming out as actual development outcomes.  Had we been much more serious about that -- and in -- because, in the pursuit of our own interests -- so obviously we had security interests, but it was -- it's -- this kind of an explosion is not serving our long-term interests.  Far better to have had steady reform and development.  

So I think the message is very much that -- I mean, there's the sort of straight political -- you know, imposed stability was going to explode at some point and has, but the larger message is, I think, to be engaging much more seriously in development efforts, ex ante, and protection efforts, and that's written into the president's development policy.    

I mean, to go back to your point, that -- regardless of who is secretary of state, the president's very committed there, and that -- I think that will continue, assuming the president's re-elected.  

QUESTIONER:  Regardless of who's in control of the political apparatus in a particular country, or whether there's anybody in control of -- I mean, I just -- do you just chart your development course regardless of who's in power or whether there's, in the view of the United States, a stable government in power; you just go, say development is a long-term initiative, and we just have to launch it, irregardless, or how do you -- how do you --  

SLAUGHTER:  No, that's a good --  

QUESTIONER:  -- how do you balance those things?  

SLAUGHTER:  So -- it's a good follow-up.  So there are two answers, neither a hundred percent satisfactory.  But one -- one is, there's still obviously the category of states where we are engaged strategically, and a lot of our decisions are still being made strategically.  So a huge amount of our development assistance is going to Afghanistan and Iraq and Egypt and Jordan.    

And the view there was, you're not going to change that any time soon, but what you can do -- Pakistan's another great example -- is to insist on real development outcomes much more strenuously.  

Now again, you know, the -- there are many -- there are many different factors, but we base it -- I think what came through loud and clear was buying short-term amity by closing your eyes at the fact that your development dollars are disappearing or that the government itself is not collecting taxes is not worth -- not just the long-term trade-off but the medium-term trade-off of a population that's not getting help -- so much more emphasis on letting development do its work within those countries.    

More broadly was then again this country ownership view, which -- as I said, this is going with countries who are taking charge of their development themselves.    

Now the problem there is -- and it goes back to the humanitarian issue -- you're going -- I -- it does mean you make those choices independently of political considerations, but it also means, again, the countries that are in the worst shape --  


SLAUGHTER:  -- get the least development help.  And our view was, because that's not going to result in development -- you're just pouring money in; it's not going to help -- but it -- these are still human beings.  So that leaves a much bigger space for humanitarian assistance that is acknowledged as humanitarian assistance.    

COLEMAN:  I mean, we had Daniel Yohannes here, of MCC --  

SLAUGHTER:  Oh, yes.  

COLEMAN:  -- of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, earlier, and I mean, that is what MCC tries to do, is to work with those countries that have said:  OK, we're here to help ourselves.    

But then you end up -- I mean, that criticism of MCC is that they're working with Cape Verde.  You know, it's --  

SLAUGHTER:  Yes.  Not Congo.    

COLEMAN:  -- (chuckles) -- it's not, you know -- Congo, exactly.  And you know, it -- I guess I'm just coming back to the question again, because the fact is, with Egypt, we didn't close our eyes that our development dollars weren't going -- we were actually quite aware of all of the barriers that we faced.  And in fact we spent about decade fighting with the Egyptian government over an NGO law, for NGOs to be able to establish themselves independently and be funded by the United States, and it was a battle we lost.  

But we made the decision, at the end of the day, that we're still going to engage and give them money, because it's better to do that than not.    

We have the exact same dilemma today with Pakistan.  We're not closing our eyes.  We know exactly, you know, that the money -- where it's going and even whose pockets it's going into in Afghanistan, but you know, there's this idea that we're better off doing it than not.    

And how does that dilemma play out from a policy perspective? Because -- how do you shift -- you know, these are our so-called allies, Egypt and Pakistan.    

And we want to work with them, and yet they make it really difficult. And they also then, you know, tarnish development generally from a legislative perspective because people then say, you know, somewhat rightly, look, it's just being wasted.  

And how -- from a policy, planning perspective, how do you navigate that?  

SLAUGHTER:  So -- that's what government service is, is that you have to step out of the lovely conceptual clean solutions of academia and into the messy, always unsatisfactory world of compromise.  But the -- I mean, it -- you're absolutely right.  We're dealing with -- I was on the phone with a reporter coming up here about Pakistan and, you know, the desire to kind of step back.  And of course, that's just even on the security side, whereas from my point of view, when we've left the Pakistani military to its own devices, the results have not been good.  We actually need to stay engaged.  

And on the development side, yes, we have to stay engaged.  And we are not -- we're not going to be able to get sterling development results if -- and with all the implications that says.  However -- so there -- in the past, there were a couple different alternatives.  One was, well, we do it ourselves or we do it through NGOs.  That sort of sidesteps the problem and weakens those people in the Pakistani government who actually do want to be doing things.  So one decision we made was no, we are going to work through the Pakistani government. And doing that means we have to engage them much more directly, day to day, which again, we're not going to stop all corruption, but we're at least having to engage rather than to step around.  

But the other is to be much more vocal about the problems.  I mean, the difference between Secretary Clinton going to Pakistan and saying, hey, 9 percent of your people are paying taxes; how do I explain to the American people that that's happening, that's very important.  I think a lot of this -- and this is where you go to diplomacy and development -- a lot of these issues are very unpleasant.  It's really no fun to raise them with your counterpart sitting across the table in diplomatic discourse.  It's much easier to focus on our common interests than to say -- because these are ultimately very domestic issues -- to say, you know what, you're not feeding your people; you know what, we put all this -- you know, here are our billions; what's happening?  

So it changes the nature of diplomacy.  And I'm not -- I don't think that's automatically, magically going to change Pakistan's  views, but I do believe in diplomacy and in pressure.  And what this approach does is it prevents you from kind of putting this over there. It makes it front and center.  Women, same thing.  Wait a minute, you know.  You say you're for women; what about this law?  And this is now at the core of our interests.  So it is something that we have to raise, just like Jack Lew when he went to Nigeria raised polio, right, when he was talking with various high-level officials.  I don't think that often happens, but you know what?  He got a real hearing when the deputy secretary of state says this is a big issue.  

So I think that's the hope.  It's going to be messy and unsatisfactory.  

COLEMAN:  One thing I can tell you -- as a guest at the State Department, I did a speaking tour in Pakistan in October after both Richard Holbrooke and Secretary Clinton had raised this issue about the very low number of Pakistanis who pay taxes and the fact that it is the -- it collects fewer taxes as a proportion of GNP than any country in the region.  And it got a lot of play in Pakistan, and it was being discussed in the media.  And there were -- there was a lot of discussion -- I mean, I was there right after they had made a big push on this.  So there is something to it, but it does -- it puts sand in the gears --  

SLAUGHTER:  It does.  It does.  

COLEMAN:  -- of the relationship in a -- in a tough way.  

There -- Elmira.  

QUESTIONER:  What are the new -- newer approaches to development in social entrepreneurship?  


QUESTIONER:  Can you talk a little bit about that, and did it factor into the QDDR?  

SLAUGHTER:  So, again, there's a whole segment of the QDDR that basically talks about government-to-society diplomacy and society-to-society diplomacy.  And really in many ways, I put social entrepreneurship in that category.  I mean you're -- what you're trying to do is facilitate either people in countries who have great ideas and empowering them, or you're connecting them to people in our society or other societies who have tried approaches that would work.  

And some of those -- actually, some of our tech.dels did some of that in the sense of, you know -- well, give you just one example -- but Ushahidi in Kenya, you know, being developed to monitor the Kenyan elections.  

It was our young people who'd been on a tech.del, who then took that technology and applied it in Haiti after the earthquake, so -- and then -- and ties between Colombians who had demobilized the FARC and people in the DRC trying to figure out ways to demobilize insurgents there; and how you use radios.  For instance, you get former extremists, or former militants to talk about -- you know, go on the radio and talk about what they've done.  So some of it is really cross-fertilization.  

We did not -- and we focused on sort of entrepreneurship across the board.  We have not targeted social entrepreneurs separately.  As part of our overall entrepreneurial active encouragement, we've included social entrepreneurs there, but we didn't -- we didn't -- I mean, notwithstanding Secretary Clinton's great fondness for Ashoka and others, we did not target social entrepreneurs, per se.  USAID I think has more in that regard.  

COLEMAN:  Could you speak a little bit about what might have come out of this review in terms of the problems we anticipate with disengaged youth, some of whom are women -- are going to be women, they're going to be mothers?  And obviously, with the population expanding so dramatically, many of these people are going to be under 25.  

SLAUGHTER:  That's -- yes.  So the -- Undersecretary Maria Otero and Undersecretary Judith McHale were both tasked by the secretary early on to develop an entire youth strategy, not -- and what's important about their both being engaged is, if it were just Undersecretary McHale, then it's really about messaging, you know, and engaging youth around issues they care about, but Undersecretary Otero is the undersecretary for democracy and global affairs.  And the two of them together have been developing a strategy that is focused on specific issues that are more important for youth.  

Now, obviously, the biggest one is the one we have the least ability to affect, which is jobs -- I mean, other than general development.  But the -- I mean, that -- you know, in the end, that's really the issue, not surprisingly, they carry the -- care the most about.  But others are -- I mean, part of the Internet freedom agenda was also deliberately focused on youth.  It came out of youth.  It came out of the secretary's adviser for innovation, who is -- I think he's 36; he looks like he's 15.  And he's totally plugged into this entire generation of what he would call digital natives.  And so a large part of the technology focus and the emphasis on the importance  of preserving an open Internet and the right to connect was part of a youth strategy.  

The other thing that came -- has come out, and we have not fully put into effect, but I think is very important, was to -- from the public diplomacy point of view, was to realize we don't have to have youth like us.  We simply have to have them not be hating us.  And that sounds obvious, but it's not.  One is, you know, you're really trying to develop a message that will get people to think positively about you.  Another is to focus on sets of issues -- that could be maternal health, that could be the environment, that could be women's rights -- that young people can be engaged in as an alternative to whatever much more negative things they could be engaged in.  And that was something actually that the younger people as part of this task force were very focused on.  

So that was just being rolled out as I left, and I don't know exactly where it is now.  All I can say is what's been happening across the Middle East has certainly given an extra intensity to it.  

COLEMAN:  Bonnie.  

QUESTIONER:  Oh, OK.  Bonnie Potter.  I manage a small family foundation and do a lot of work in Liberia.  I was there in March.  I see a lot of foundations out in the field and work with a lot of foundations here, different associations.  Everybody's very siloed; everybody's working on their own issues, on their own geographical areas; very little scale, very little impact.  And I was wondering if there's anything that you all have been doing, or were doing, to try and reach out to foundations to try and integrate them into your strategies.  

SLAUGHTER:  Well, so -- that's a very good question.  First thing to say is part of the QDDR was that that would also have been able -- was a description of much of what the government was doing.  

So Raj Shah's view was that USAID was a mile wide and an inch deep. And he had come from the Gates Foundation and he was really an apostle of, you know, scaling and being able to do things at scale.  So part of the QDDR was a decision to focus our development resources on food security, global health, climate change, democratic governance, economic growth, which you might think can include a lot of those other things, humanitarian assistance and women across the board.  So now that's seven things.  That doesn't sound like a big focus.    

But it does leave out a number of things, important things, like water or education or energy, which doesn't mean we don't think they're important, but it does mean that basically Raj was saying: Look, we can't do everything and we need to be able to do things more at scale.  Part of what that says is, we have to be much more connected than to others who are doing those things that we aren't doing -- and there's a lot in the QDDR about division of labor -- and also working with the government.  So if you know that there are other governments or international organizations or foundations who are working particular areas, part of having a comprehensive development strategy for the country, both by the country and working with our own, is to figure out who's going to fill those gaps -- again, easier on the drawing board than in practice.    

But I do think it -- what Raj has come up with finally -- and I think this is really very bold.  He gave a speech in April where he said his vision of USAID is less as an entity that does development and much more as a platform that connects and -- convenes, connects and essentially catalyzes work among all the different players in the development space.    

And again, I think the sort of tides of history are with that view.  So even if Raj isn't there, there are so many more players in development, and they all do have something to bring to the table. But we're all aware of how much more they could bring to the table if you had even minimal division of labor and coordination.  So that's really in many ways his view, and he has put a lot of emphasis into people in terms of hiring people who will be reaching out rather than administering programs.  But it's not going to happen overnight.  

COLEMAN:  Tim, did you have a question?  

QUESTIONER:  We were discussing just before lunch the fact that there's a higher profile and a better understanding of the importance of educating girls, regardless of what issue we're talking about, across  the development span.  That's a partial answer to what my real question is.    

What is the latest thinking on how we can make some positive contributions to lowering gender discrimination and violence against women, which, in some of the work I do, I find is actually increasing rather than decreasing around this world right now?  

SLAUGHTER:  So I'm going to give you my own answer, which is not based on expertise in this particular area, other than as a women.   

Although we need to actually be careful at home.  My two sons are both firmly convinced that women are definitely smarter than guys, and this is a very good reason why their grades need not be at the top of the class.  (Laughter.)  And I don't quite know how I got here, but this is not where I wanted to be.  I can tell you.  (Laughter.)  

COLEMAN:  Actually I take --   

SLAUGHTER:  They literally -- oh, you know, Mom.  Girls are smarter than boys.  

COLEMAN:  I think, statistically, they're right, at the high school level.  (Laughter.)  They've got something.  

SLAUGHTER:  I don't know.  This is not working for me.  But --  

COLEMAN:  I have three teenage boys and I'm hearing the same thing.  

SLAUGHTER:  Yeah.  (Laughter.)  

But seriously, I -- I mean, obviously there are tremendous things we still need to do in terms of empowering women.  But so much of this culturally is also finding a much more valued role for men.  I mean, so much -- I mean, I really thought that when we were in Sierra Leone and Liberia.  And you had -- we were all focused on women and women entrepreneurs and what they could do.  And at every street corner were, you know, gangs of demobilized, unemployed guys.  And they weren't getting any, you know, positive reinforcement from teams of people coming in.  They were being told, you know, what I just said here:  Well, you know, if you really want to spend your development dollars well, spend them, you know, on women.  I believe that, but that ultimately -- it's got to be a healthy culture, and particularly on the violence against women.  We know that here.  When there are recessions here and men can't -- you know, do not feel that they can perform a useful role, they often, you know, get violent.    

But -- and more broadly, I think we have to tackle it that way, that healthy societies have roles for both genders.  Much of what was a man's traditional role in many of these countries is not there, and we need to be focusing on sort of what replaces it.    

I often laugh that -- you know, I started life as a law professor teaching civil procedure.  Well, civil procedure -- day one, you say civil is the etiquette of ritualized babble.  And that's what it is. That's what litigators do.  They are no different than men who used to joust with one another, but it's according to a very prescribed code just like sports in which often men, very powerful litigators, engage in a -- what was once a violent activity -- or my many investment- banker friends.  I mean, you don't have to do gender stereotypes to see that a lot of the roles that men used to play many -- in Western societies that were violent have been channeled elsewhere.  And you don't have those opportunities in many of these countries.  

So I really think we ought to think about it not as a women's issue but as a social issue.  That was not backed by any research, just my own deep belief.  (Laughter.)  

COLEMAN:  Roxanne.  

QUESTIONER:  Hi.  I'm on the board of Save the Children and this is in response to Jeff's (sp) question and (I have ?) a comment.  We are beginning to -- we impact a hundred million people a year in 120 countries, and we employ 16,000 people.  And hopefully we have some impact in what we do.  

We've become very concerned about this issue.  And even though I've been such a strong proponent of everything about women and girls, we are beginning to -- we are going to start a whole initiative within the organization around gender, both men and women, boys and girls, so that we'll be looking across all our sectors and -- (off mic) -- programs we work with the -- (off mic) -- and State and even with the Department of Defense now because you can't afford not to, to look at these issues.  

And right now we're working with MasterCard on what to do with young men and women, but mostly focusing on young men, preparing these corporations for employment but also preparing the youth to be employed in corporations.  And we see this as just a -- (off mic) -- of perhaps how to look at this issue, but urgently needed by all of us (when we ?) begin to look at some innovations.  

SLAUGHTER:  That's great to hear.  

COLEMAN:  Thank you.  Anne-Marie, we have to -- oh, Lorie, go ahead.  

JACKSON:  Yeah, I have a quick question, and it's -- it picks up on the point you made earlier about knowledge management.  And you said that's an area that you think State needs to work on -- I think all organizations need to work on that -- but looking kind of earlier in the process, how would you say State does in terms of information gathering and integration?  And I'm thinking specifically about the topics that you said that you're focused on and some of the topics, like what are you not doing.  

So in your efforts to use development as a strategic policy tool, would you say that you do have access to some of the best thinking on where the biggest bang for buck would be derived and that that -- and where does that information lie, by the way -- and that that information is being used as you craft your programs and partnership with others?  

SLAUGHTER:  Thank you.  So there, I think, particularly in USAID, there is progress.  Partly, Raj Shah set up something called Development Innovation Ventures that is being run by Michael Kremer, who's one of the most innovative young -- my definition of "young" is expanding -- (laughter) -- development economist.  And really just having him there signals to the development community that AID is back, that they're playing in terms of learning from what's working, what's not because of the work that he's done.  He's very tied into the Poverty Action Lab at MIT.  So I think that -- the innovation and learning from what's worked is back on the front burner at USAID.  

The other thing that Raj has made a very big push for is the monitoring and evaluation.  And of course, it's slow, right?  You have to start -- you have to add money upfront to collect data -- baseline data, which obviously takes more time before you can get those dollars out the door on the program.  But he hired Ruth Levine from the --  

COLEMAN:  Center for Global Development.  

SLAUGHTER:  -- Center for Global Development.  And she rolled out in January or February an entirely new set of standards for monitoring and evaluation.  State pledged to adapt them to what we do as part of the QDDR.  They're actually simpler than what State was using before, which was extremely complicated.  And that -- you know, having to evaluate means then you have to keep a better database of what hasn't worked because you're constantly having to judge how well what you're doing has worked in terms of the budget process.  

So I think, without kind of adopting a whole new database approach -- and the number of dead databases, you know, out there from people's prior initiatives are considerable -- just putting the incentives in place to actually learn and to build and accumulate knowledge, I think, is happening already.  

COLEMAN:  So on that note, tomorrow we have Dean Karlan coming, for anybody who's interested, who's written a whole book about randomized trials and looking at monitoring and evaluation of development initiatives and their effectiveness.  He'll be here tomorrow at 5:00.  If anybody wants to attend that, just let me know.  

Anne-Marie, I thought we could go on all afternoon, but we have to wrap up.  Thank you so much for coming.  (Applause.)  

SLAUGHTER:  (Off mic.)

Top Stories on CFR

Middle East and North Africa

The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for reform.


Government leaders are optimistic that COVID-19 is becoming endemic, meaning more predictable and manageable. But many scientists say it’s too soon to behave like the pandemic is over.

Climate Change

The UN climate summit delivered on a loss and damage fund, but it fell short on goals to reduce emissions and avoid the worst consequences of climate change.