UPDATED: Webster joins with USIP to host QDDR webcast conference


David Carl Wilson, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will speak tomorrow at the United States Institute of Peace conference about the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR). Webster University partnered with the USIP to host the webcast conference with times from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Webster’s Washington, D.C. campus.
Along with Wilson, the conference speakers are Nancy Lindborg, USAID assistant administrator, Melanie Greenberg, Interaction executive vice president, Ambassador Robert Loftis, former acting coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization for the Department of State and Jeff Helsing, USIP dean of curriculum.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton established the QDDR in December 2010 to “advance American interests and values and to lead other nations in solving shared problems in the 21st century,” states the QDDR. The QDDR outlines the attempt for increased diplomacy with foreign nations is through” civilian power.”

The QDDR explains civilian power as, “the combined force of civilian personnel across government and civil society.”

Helsing said the USIP was one of many organizations to contribute to the QDDR. USIP experts, he said, consulted on the QDDR specifically in terms of conflict prevention.

“In addition, USIP hosted two senior State Department officials, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Donald Steinberg when they provided the first public overview of the QDDR immediately after its public release in December 2010,” Helsing said. ” USIP also helped develop and publish  The Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction, which also contributed ideas to the QDDR.”

 The conference will cover the following themes (as listed on the event website):

-What in the QDDR is relevant to the work of NGOs and private voluntary organizations (PVOs)?

-How will the objectives of the QDDR affect NGOs and PVOs?

-Where is there complementarity in the following areas?

  • Conflict Prevention
  • Capacity building
  • Development of effective civil society
  • Humanitarian aid
  • Contributions of new technology

Helsing said Sean Coleman, Webster’s regional director of the Bolling Air Force Base campus, originated the ideas for these themes.

“He knew that USIP had been actively involved with the topic and because Webster is bringing its International Non-Governmental Organizations Master’s Program to Washington, he thought the topic would be an excellent vehicle that fit Webster’s academic interests and USIP’s interests,” Helsing said. “One of the key objectives of the QDDR is to enhance the ways in which NGOs can more effectively contribute to sustained economic development and provide ways and programs that can enhance peacebuilding in societies that are in transition from war to peace.”

Helsing said he hopes the conference will inform others of the QDDR’s new developments and its capabilities to improve humanitarian action, peacebuilding and developmental efforts.

“We hope that this will be beginning of a useful and ongoing discussion between the US Government and many NGOs about how they can contribute to the mutual goals of sustainable economic development and conflict prevention,” Helsing said.  “There is an interesting mix of senior officials from the government and the non-governmental sectors.  They will be sharing their insights into how best to achieve the goals of the QDDR.”

Helsing added the conference comes at a good time because “the State Department just stood up a new office that will focus on the goals and objectives as well as the implementation of the QDDR.”

For more information on the QDDR conference in Washingtion, D.C., click here.

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