Intersections Between Public Diplomacy & International Development

Principal Investigator:
James PammentCPD Research Fellow 2013-15

Public diplomacy and international development are usually considered separate fields, both for scholars and practitioners. However, for decades PD actors have received funding for activities such as scholarships, exchanges, information work and training out of official development assistance (ODA) budgets. As many countries seek to increase ODA spending toward the internationally-agreed target of 0.7% GNI, there are trends towards reclassifying PD activities as ODA. For example, two-thirds of the British Council’s grant-in-aid funding now falls under the ODA budget. Does aid take on different characteristics when it is delivered by a PD actor? Does PD change when it is funded as ODA? Where are the lines between them drawn? A survey of the PD research field shows that the relationship between the two areas is poorly conceptualized, and there is a lack of case studies capable of demonstrating the practical and theoretical consequences of convergence.

This project investigated the conceptual and practical challenges facing policymakers and practitioners at the intersection between the two fields. Drawing upon comparative examples from a number of countries and contexts, the project provided case studies of how different organizations are dealing with these problems. Based on practical examples, the project contributed to the conceptualization of how public diplomacy and development assistance intersect. As such, the research is of relevance to policymakers, practitioners and scholars with an interest in public diplomacy, international development, and the contemporary tools of statecraft more generally. The results were published as a CPD Perspectives aimed at policymakers, practitioners and scholars, and in a series of blog postings aimed at a wider audience.

Read this special issue of CPD Perspectives edited by Pamment, Intersections Between Public Diplomacy & International Development: Case Studies in Converging Fields.