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
Note that with the April 10 update, the State Department removed the “pending tests” category, so we no longer have a view on how many pending tests are there at our overseas posts. DOS also replaced “positive cases” with “current cases.” According to the State Department, a current case is “a person with a positive COVID-19 test or clinical diagnosis and not confirmed to have recovered.”
Instead of a “self-isolating” category, State is now calling this category “Remain at home” or individuals “advised to remain at home because of contact with a known COVID-19 case or or travel to a high-risk area.”
On the domestic side, “persons remaining at home” are no longer tracked according to State after stay at home orders/telework instructions were broadly issued.
On March 31, the State Department updated its running total of COVID-19 cases domestically and at overseas posts. The update also notes that it has a “new reporting systems for overseas posts” which apparently resulted in “additional detailed documentation of more cases on March 31.”
The updated numbers still do not include death data, and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) data.
The day before, on March 30, State/MED’s Walters said during the briefing:
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.
When asked about “deaths among the State Department staff due to coronavirus”, Dr. Walters responded:
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.
We have noted elsewhere that the two deaths reference here occurred in Jakarta and Kinshasa. See Pompeo Reads the Data Set Every Morning But Can’t Get @StateDept COVID-19 Casualty Details Right.
As to the “30 cases in nine cities”, we have only counted six cities to-date, so we’re missing three cities at this time.
March 31, 2020 Update
March 27, 2020 Update
Updated: March 28, 9:55 am PDT
On March 27, the State Department released the official repatriation number of U.S. citizens returned home as well as a summary of COVID-19 cases at its domestic offices and at overseas posts. Still not the specificity that we’re looking for, but it is what it is. The major breakdowns include total positive cases, pending tests, recovered cases, and number of employees in self-isolation.
There is no data on number of employees evacuated due to COVID-19, or number of deceased in this summary. There was recently unconfirmed information about one casualty in Indonesia. If there are casualties, we would like to see that locally employed staff are also accounted for. Anecdotal evidence also indicates at least one medical evacuation from overseas to Dulles Airport in Virginia. Those cases are also not included in the official summary of cases below.
We understand from a source that the domestic cases may be difficult to track because it is based on self-reporting to MED. If you know otherwise, please let us know.
(see below the official word from State.)
March 27, Briefing With Dr. William Walters, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Operations, Bureau of Medical Services, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ian Brownlee, Bureau of Consular Affairs On COVID-19:
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.
Via @StateDept’s FY 2018 Annual Performance Report | FY 2020 Annual Performance Plan (PDF/p149)
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.