Via 12 FAH-12 H-010
(Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M/SS))
12 FAM 030 ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD (ARB)
April 29, 2020
April 27, 2020
The department continues to sustain and protect our overseas workforce in over 200 locations around the world. With a large employee footprint, nearly 75,000 employees, our current caseload overseas is only 75 cases – five hospitalized, all locally employed. Domestically we have 30 cases in nine cities. Most cities are single case or two cases. We do not have a documented case of employee-to-employee transmission. We’re watching very closely to that. We’ve been very aggressive in identifying cases early, decontaminating or disinfecting any impacted spaces and getting those spaces back into operation to support State Department functions on behalf of the American people.
So the department is aware of two locally employed staff – I don’t have locations and wouldn’t be able to provide further details – that have died overseas in their own country related to coronavirus. I don’t have any further details that I can pass on. There have been no deaths domestically or with any U.S. direct hires.
Updated: March 28, 9:55 am PDT
(see below the official word from State.)
MR WALTERS: Thank you, Morgan. Hello, everybody, and thanks for the opportunity to give you an update once again. The Bureau of Medical Services really within this outbreak context has two focuses. The first focus is protecting our workforce both domestically and overseas, and our second focus, equally important, is assisting Consular and the rest of the department in the repatriation of American citizens that find them stranded – find themselves stranded in a number of different places around the world.
I can report first on the – on our efforts to protect our workforce. I know there’s a desire to keep pace with sort of how our workforce is doing. I can report that in a workforce of roughly 75,000 people overseas, 220 locations, our current case – COVID-positive cases are at 68. We have one Medevac in transit or in process. That’s an individual who was mildly symptomatic, and we’re coordinating that evacuation back to the States.
And domestically, we have 25 current cases, and – in eight locations around the country, but all are doing well. And that’s about it on the dashboard for today.
With regard to evacuations, I’ll focus first on the medical evacuations. We recently completed a medical evacuation of a coronavirus victim on behalf of DOD out of Camp Lemonnier. That individual – critically ill – was evacuated using our biocontainment capability to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and is doing very well.
An American citizen taken out of Bhutan maybe a week and a half ago and brought back to the United States is doing very well. A chief of mission person that was evacuated out of Ouagadougou was coronavirus-positive and was brought back to the States, is doing very well, and will be convalescing – is being discharged from the hospital and convalescing.
And we have one more that I reported on the dashboard, individual who was minimally symptomatic in south – in – not – in southern Africa, not South Africa – and will be brought back to the States in coming days.
We’re currently running through the State Department’s contracted aviation assets as opposed to charters. We conducted evacuations out of North Africa today, Tunis specifically, completed an evacuation flight out of – that went Ouagadougou to Monrovia, Liberia, and then up to Lisbon, and then back to the States. We’ll be launching more evacuation flights as early as tonight covering Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, into Madagascar. We’ll have one more stop in Africa that we’re working through right now, and then back to the States. And we’ll be conducting these operations over the next several days.
Key Indicator: Number of engagements generated by ShareAmerica content delivered to impact targeted narratives
Indicator Analysis. The Department is moving to align its content production more closely with trending social media narratives in target countries on Administration priority issues. Achieving this will require reallocation of internal resources and development of new editorial procedures. Because significant changes to IIP’s organization/mission are in the process of being implemented, IIP is unsure of the future of this particular indicator, and are not able to provide out-year targets at this time. While ShareAmerica will continue to operate, the direction and methods of evaluation for the program may be impacted.
A recent content team effort illustrates how this new editorial model can work. More specifically, the team:
• Employed analytics tools to monitor African conversations on the subject of Chinese aid. More specifically IIP sought to determine whether/how Africans drew distinctions between Chinese and American efforts;
• Identified key narratives and even phrases (“Debt-trap Diplomacy”) gaining traction in selected English, French, and Portuguese-speaking African nations and audience segments most likely to engage in those narratives;
• Developed content specifically tailored − down to the headline (“How U.S. aid avoids ‘debt-trap diplomacy’”) − to impact those narratives by contrasting development aid best practices with those that enmesh recipients in debt. IIP did not specifically address Chinese aid, but knew from our research that the target audiences could connect the dots; and
• Created Facebook and Twitter advertising campaigns (total expenditure: $1,000 total, or $8 per day/platform in each country) specifically targeting the audience segments identified during research phase.
• Digital analytics measure “post momentum” (engagement rate over previous 24 hours) at 76 times above average;
• 74 percent of respondents clicked-through to read the article;
• Fully 10 percent of respondents shared the article to their own social feeds, shares being the highest level of engagement and clearest indicator of success; and
• Facebook campaign (reach: two million) netted useful benchmarking data, allowing more precise, and inexpensive, future targeting for message reinforcement.
Indicator Methodology :
ShareAmerica content is meant to be distributed primarily on social media. IIP will assess whether social media audiences are finding the content engaging and interesting on those platforms. As a proxy for link clicks and for an engagement metric usable for a large set of articles, IIP will look at the total number of social media engagements (retweets, shares, likes, and comments) on Department ShareAmerica social media posts.
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 18, 2020
This is strange. State’s Bureau of International Information Programs, which oversees ShareAmerica, has produced a videosplainer/PSA on “debt trap” diplomacy and #China’s Belt and the Road. (Are states meant to watch this?) https://t.co/erod8dt2gA pic.twitter.com/VtKYj1sI2i
— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) April 29, 2019
— US Embassy Suva (@USEmbassySuva) March 13, 2019
USAID implements an integrated Program Cycle Policy (Automated Directive System [ADS] 201), USAID’s framework for planning, implementing, assessing, and adapting programs that support countries to advance their journey to self-reliance. The Program Cycle provides policy and procedures for making strategic programming decisions to ensure effective use of foreign assistance resources. The guidance integrates continuous learning throughout all Program Cycle components to inform adaptive management and improve achievement of results. Robust monitoring and evaluation practices provide feedback on progress in achieving short- and long-term objectives.
(Applies to Foreign Service Employees)