Strategic planning (1 - 10 of 326 items)
Department of State: Foreign Language Proficiency Has Improved, but Efforts to Reduce Gaps Need Evaluation
GAO-17-318: Published: Mar 22, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2017.
Foreign language proficiency is a key skill for U.S. diplomats. For example, it helps the State Department effectively process visa applications and address security concerns. Yet, we've found that State has persistent shortfalls in this area—23% of its overseas positions that required foreign language proficiency were filled by staff that didn't meet the requirements (as of September 2016). St...
Managing for Results: Agencies Need to Fully Identify and Report Major Management Challenges and Actions to Resolve them in their Agency Performance Plans
GAO-16-510: Published: Jun 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2016.
The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) requires agencies to describe their major management challenges and identify associated performance information in their agency performance plans (APP). GAO found, however, that 14 of 24 agencies reviewed did not describe their major management challenges in their APPs as required. This is, in part, because the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) gui...
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: U.S. Assistance to Combat This Harmful Practice Abroad Is Limited
GAO-16-485: Published: Apr 27, 2016. Publicly Released: May 19, 2016.
U.S. and United Nations (UN) studies since 2010 have identified a variety of factors contributing to the persistence of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). In many communities where FGM/C is prevalent, FGM/C is an influential social norm that ensures social acceptance and is commonly perceived as a religious obligation. In addition, medicalization of the practice— when it is performed by...
Foreign Assistance: USAID Venture Capital Approach Relies on Evidence of Results but Could Strengthen Collaboration among Similar Programs
GAO-16-142: Published: Dec 21, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 20, 2016.
From fiscal years 2010 to 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program obligated approximately $72.5 million for innovation projects to reduce poverty across a range of sectors, including energy, health, and education. In India, for example, DIV funded intensive learning camps that group children by reading and math abilities rather th...
Unaccompanied Alien Children: Improved Evaluation Efforts Could Enhance Agency Programs to Reduce Migration from Central America
GAO-16-163T: Published: Oct 21, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 2015.
GAO reported in July 2015 that U.S. agencies had sought to address causes of unaccompanied alien child (UAC) migration through recent programs, such as information campaigns to deter migration, developed in response to the migration increase and other long-standing efforts. The increase in migration since 2012 was likely triggered, according to U.S. officials, by several factors such as the increa...
Nonimmigrant Visas: State Has Reduced Applicant Interview Wait Times, but Sustainability of Gains Is Uncertain
GAO-15-773: Published: Sep 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 2015.
Since 2012, the Department of State (State) has undertaken several efforts to increase nonimmigrant visa (NIV) processing capacity and decrease applicant interview wait times. Specifically, it has increased consular staffing levels and implemented policy and management changes, such as contracting out administrative support services. According to State officials, these efforts have allowed State t...
Diplomatic Security: Options for Locating a Consolidated Training Facility
GAO-16-139T: Published: Oct 8, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2015.
In its September 2015 report (GAO-15-808R), GAO evaluated four Department of State (State) Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) requirements that GAO determined were critical in the selection of a site for a training facility and found that Fort Pickett, near Blackstone, Virginia, fully met all four while the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) campus in Glynco, Georgia, did not fully m...
Water and Sanitation Assistance: USAID Has Increased Strategic Focus but Should Improve Monitoring
GAO-16-81: Published: Oct 6, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 2015.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) missions in the 9 countries GAO selected for its review reported implementing a variety of water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in fiscal years 2012 through 2014. WASH activities included capacity building, behavior-change communication, infrastructure construction, technical assistance, policy and governance, and financing. The...
Central America: Improved Evaluation Efforts Could Enhance Agency Programs to Reduce Unaccompanied Child Migration
GAO-15-707: Published: Jul 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2015.
U.S. agencies have sought to address causes of unaccompanied alien child (UAC) migration through recent programs, such as information campaigns to deter migration, developed in response to the migration increase and other long-standing efforts. The recent migration increase was likely triggered, according to U.S. officials, by several emergent factors such as the increased presence and sophisticat...
Afghanistan: Embassy Construction Cost and Schedule Have Increased, and Further Facilities Planning Is Needed
GAO-15-755T: Published: Jul 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 2015.
Cost and schedule have increased for the Kabul embassy construction project, in part due to incomplete cost and risk assessment. Cost for the 2009 and 2010 contracts has increased by about 27 percent, from $625.4 million to $792.9 million, and is likely to increase further. Projected completion has been delayed over 3 years to fall 2017. The Department of State (State) did not follow its cost cont...