Page 50 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2013

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50
APRIL 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
AFSA NEWS
USAID Survey continued from page 49
• Compared to previous years, morale has slightly improved,
but responses show that conditions are still not at their opti-
mal level. The most critical negative perception is that USAID
FSOs are being treated unfairly in comparison with State
Department FSOs. There continue to be complaints from
overseas FSOs that the ICASS consolidation system is highly
unfavorable to USAID’s needs. This is an area that requires
special attention by the Administrator if he is to implement all
of the USAID Forward initiatives expected of his staf.
• One of the most encouraging fndings is that there are
positive developments in the Ofce of Human Resources. In
spite of some caustic remarks about HR, the current 2012
survey shows a positive 10 percent gain compared to the pre-
vious survey in 2011. In fact, several ofcers praised specifc
sections and individuals in HR for their improved customer
service. And though the ofce’s “poor” rating is still close to
50 percent, which is unacceptable for any organization, this
is the frst indication that things are beginning to turn around.
We can only hope it will continue. 
It is our role to ensure top service for all USAID FSOs,
which is our primary focus and reason for generating this
survey. We will use the survey’s fndings to provide you with
the best possible service and support.
n
The U.S. Agency for Interna-
tional Development Alumni
Association was formed in
2009 by a group of former
employees who wanted a
professional association to
1) add informed voices to
the national debate on devel-
opment and foreign assis-
tance; 2) encourage alumni
to volunteer their time and
expertise to strengthen
USAID and the broader devel-
opment community; and 3)
facilitate social and profes-
sional networking among
USAID retirees. 
Now entering its ffth year,
UAA has over 750 registered
alumni who stay in touch
through
www.usaidalumni.
org, m
onthly newsletters
and events for those who live
in the greater Washington,
D.C., area. The UAA is also
exploring events for alumni,
both in the U.S. and overseas.
In addition, a growing
number of UAA members
have worked with USAID as
volunteers on critical devel-
opment issues in a variety
of ways. For example, 11 UAA
volunteer mentors were
recently paired with USAID
staf in the Europe and Eur-
asia Bureau in a four-month
pilot project to determine the
feasibility of having retirees
mentor active-duty USAID
staf in feld missions, using
Skype and other distance
methods. 
In 2012, at the request of
USAID, the UAA launched an
urban initiative to tap alumni
USAID Alumni Association
Continues to Grow
expertise on urban policies
and programming. Building
on the success of the initial
efort, UAA’s urban team now
is helping to organize four
workshops with USAID and
other partners on such topics
as urbanization, the environ-
ment and sustainability in
Asia, urban development
pathways in Africa, fnancing
cities in Latin America and
urban governance.
 UAA also has begun
working with former USAID
Foreign Service Nationals in
the Washington, D.C. area to
create a local FSN network
and produce a handbook
for FSNs and third-country-
nationals overseas, who may
resettle in the United States
under the Special Immigrant
Visa program, or who already
are residing in the U.S.  
UAA welcomes former
staf who have served for
at least two years at USAID,
including former Foreign
Service ofcers, Civil Service
employees, political appoin-
tees, fellows, FSNs, personal
services contractors and
other direct contract staf. 
 We urge all potential
members and anyone
interested in USAID and
development issues, register-
ing for the alumni directory
or making a membership
contribution, please check
out
www.usaidalumni.
org. F
or more information,
please send an e-mail to
kshort@usaidalumni.org.
n
AFSA-PAC Seeks Your Support:
Help Get Our Voice Heard on the
Hill
The annual solicitation for the American Foreign
Service Association Political Action Committee
arrived in members’ mailboxes in March. AFSA-PAC
is our vehicle for making our voice heard on Capitol
Hill. It is completely bipartisan as its bylaws state
that donations must be split evenly between Repub-
lican and Democratic members of Congress.
Please help AFSA raise the profle of the For-
eign Service with those making important deci-
sions about our profession’s resources and future.
To make a donation, please return the reply card
included with the mailing. We greatly appreciate
your support.
To learn more about AFSA-PAC, please visit
www.
afsa.org/afsa_pac.aspx.