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Read the attached Briefing Paper and answer the following questions as if you had conducted the research:

Answer the following questions:

What is the topic-what do you think you want to do? Write a few sentences describing the topic.

Who do you think your target audience is or should be?

What important information do you deem reliable/unreliable from your research?  Why or why not–do you have evidence?

What means would you have to communicate with them?

What would be your message?

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Briefing Paper
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Briefing Paper
Target Audience
This briefing paper is intended for United States (US) policy makers and federal government
administrators in charge of foreign policy and relations.
Date: April 3rd, 2021
Topic
Using international assistance to promote US image abroad through enhanced public diplomacy
and strategic communications
Background
International assistance is an integral component of US foreign policy. While the country ranks
among the top global donors as a result of its commitment to its generous aid policies, this fact
has mostly been under-sold. Consequently, a crucial opportunity to favorably shape international
attitudes and opinion regarding itself has been missed. This is despite its fellow world
superpowers such as China and Russia being very keen to win the international diplomacy race
through their own global relief and publicity efforts.
Analysis
The COVID-19 Pandemic has had devastating impact on economic and health systems globally.
Various reliable sources from across the world indicate that less developed countries in particular
have been badly affected due to their already disadvantaged economic situations prior to the
pandemic. For instance, in March 2021, Doctors without Borders, a medical charity organization
working in Yemen called for the scaling of COVID-related international aid activities and
funding in the war-ravaged country (Aljazeera, 2021). Consequently, poorer countries have
needed the help of the developed world to mount adequate individual responses to the novel
disease.
The need for international aid to poorer nations is not only limited to COVID-19 Pandemic
response but also other areas of development as well. During the Heads of States and
Governments Meeting on International Debt Architecture and Liquidity on Financing for
Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond, President Irfaan Ali of Guyana noted an
underwhelming performance in the fulfilment of the 0.7 percent of Gross National Income
donation pledge made by developed countries to developing states (Jamaica Observer, 2021). By
committing itself to fulfill this obligation, the US refines its image even further.
The US and other economically advanced countries have seemingly involved themselves in a
subtle positive public diplomacy race. In 2020, China generously donated medical protective
equipment, testing kits and other medical supplies to other world countries (Padden, 2020).
Russia was not left behind as it also extended medical expertise, drugs, and testing kits to about
46 countries early during the pandemic (The Moscow Times, 2020). Most recently, the US
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Congress passed a 1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 related American Rescue Plan that contained an
allocation of 11 billion dollars as foreign aid (Gypson, 2021). The American relief package
places it ahead of the rest in this race and presents an opportunity to provide much-needed
assistance internationally while also promoting its foreign relations.
This briefing’s main message is that current and future programs provide an avenue for the US to
enhance its image in the eyes of the international community as the most generous of
international donors, thereby solidifying its lead in the diplomacy race. It is a tool that is useful
for public policy stakeholder participation to present the importance of an invigorated public
diplomacy mission through active publicity campaigns in international mass and social media.
This strategy has been used by countries such as Russia which in 2020 accompanied its
humanitarian assistance with an extensive social media campaign (The Moscow Times,
2020).There should be bi-partisan support by policymakers for the establishment and
operationalization of an information agency whose activities include, but are not limited to, the
coverage of the distribution and impact of international assistance by the US to the world in local
languages and in the most cultural-appropriate methods possible.
Cautionary Note
There is a danger of international aid efforts by countries to be perceived as not being genuine.
As The Moscow Times (2020) observes, assistance extended during crises may be perceived as
only being an attempt by the donor to score geopolitical points. A careful management of
information related to international aid is therefore necessary to counter any such notions seeing
that they diminish the gains of public diplomacy.
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References
Aljazeera. (2021, March 27). MSF says urgent aid needed for Yemen amid surging COVID
cases. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/27/msf-urges-aid-for-yemen-amid-covidcases-dramatic-surge
Gypson K. (2021, March 10). US set to send $11B in international aid in latest COVID bill.
Voice of America. https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/us-set-send-11binternational-aid-latest-covid-bill
Jamaica Observer. (2021). Guyana president calls on developed countries to honour assistance
pact with small
states. https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Guyana_president_calls_on_develo
ped_countries_to_honour_assistance_pact_with_small_states
Padden B. (2020). China’s coronavirus foreign aid expands influence, shifts blame. Voice of
America. https://www.voanews.com/science-health/coronavirus-outbreak/chinascoronavirus-foreign-aid-expands-influence-shifts-blame

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