oversight

Humanitarian and Development Assistance: Project Evaluations and Better Information Sharing Needed to Manage the Military's Efforts

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-02-08.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                United States Government Accountability Office

GAO             Report to Congressional Committees




February 2012
                HUMANITARIAN AND
                DEVELOPMENT
                ASSISTANCE
                Project Evaluations
                and Better
                Information Sharing
                Needed to Manage the
                Military’s Efforts




GAO-12-359
                                              February 2012

                                              HUMANITARIAN AND DEVELOPMENT
                                              ASSISTANCE
                                              Project Evaluations and Better Information Sharing
Highlights of GAO-12-359 a report to
                                              Needed to Manage the Military's Efforts
congressional committees




Why GAO Did This Study                        What GAO Found
In recent years, the Department of            The Department of Defense’s (DOD) management of its key humanitarian
Defense (DOD) has increased its               assistance programs reflects both positive practices and weaknesses:
emphasis and spending on                      • Alignment with strategic goals. DOD aligns its humanitarian assistance
humanitarian assistance efforts outside           project planning with the goals outlined in U.S. and departmental strategies,
of war and disaster environments.                 and has clearly established processes for implementing its projects.
From fiscal years 2005 through 2010,          • Interagency project coordination. DOD has taken steps to coordinate with
DOD obligated about $383 million on
                                                  the Department of State (State) and the United States Agency for
its key humanitarian assistance
                                                  International Development (USAID) on projects, such as seeking
programs. Because civilian agencies,
such as the Department of State and               concurrence on project proposals and embedding representatives from their
United States Agency for International            agencies at its combatant commands, but coordination challenges remain.
Development (USAID) also carry out            • Poor data management. DOD does not have complete information on the
many assistance efforts, DOD’s efforts            status or actual costs of the full range of its Overseas Humanitarian,
require close collaboration with these            Disaster, and Civic Aid (OHDACA) projects. In addition, Humanitarian and
agencies. This report was conducted               Civic Assistance project data in DOD’s database differ from what DOD
as part of GAO’s response to a                    reports to Congress.
statutory mandate and reviewed                • Limited program evaluations. From fiscal years 2005 through 2009, DOD
(1) DOD’s management of two key                   had not completed 90 percent of the required 1-year post-project evaluations
humanitarian assistance programs—                 for its OHDACA projects, and about half of the required 30-day evaluations
the humanitarian assistance program               for those projects, and thus lacks information to determine projects’ effects.
funded through its Overseas                   • Limited program guidance. DOD’s primary guidance for the OHDACA
Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid             humanitarian assistance program is limited, is not readily accessible to all
(OHDACA) appropriation and its
                                                  DOD personnel, and has not been updated for several years.
Humanitarian and Civic Assistance
program—and (2) the extent to which           Furthermore, DOD, State, and USAID do not have full visibility over each others’
DOD, State, and USAID have visibility         assistance efforts, which could result in a fragmented approach to U.S.
over each others’ efforts. To conduct         assistance. There are several initiatives under way to improve information
this review, GAO analyzed funding and         sharing, including one directed by the National Security Council. However, no
program information, and interviewed          framework, such as a common database, currently exists for the agencies to
officials at DOD, State, USAID,               readily access information on each others’ efforts. Moreover, the potential for
nongovernment organizations, and 12           overlap exists among agencies’ efforts in four areas: (1) health, (2) education,
U.S. embassies.                               (3) infrastructure, and (4) disaster preparation. For example, both USAID and
What GAO Recommends                           DOD are conducting health care projects in Yemen and building schools in
                                              Azerbaijan. Overlap may be appropriate in some instances, especially if agencies
GAO recommends that DOD update its            can leverage each others’ efforts. However, given the agencies’ information-
humanitarian assistance program               sharing challenges, there are questions as to whether DOD’s efforts are an
guidance, improve data management,            efficient use of resources since USAID serves as the lead U.S. development
and conduct project evaluations, and          agency. State and USAID officials said that DOD’s humanitarian assistance
that DOD, State, and USAID improve            efforts can be beneficial, especially when responding to disasters or supporting
information sharing. GAO also
                                              foreign militaries. However, officials said DOD’s efforts can have negative
suggests that Congress consider
                                              political effects, particularly in fragile communities where even small gestures,
clarifying DOD’s role in humanitarian
assistance efforts. DOD partially             such as distributing soccer balls to a particular population, can be interpreted as
agreed with the recommendations, and          exhibiting favoritism. While DOD’s funding for humanitarian assistance is small
State and USAID agreed with the               relative to the billions spent by State and USAID, its programs are expanding.
recommendations addressed to them.            Given interagency information challenges, the fiscally-constrained environment,
                                              and the similarity of agencies’ assistance efforts, DOD and the other agencies
View GAO-12-359. For more information,        involved in foreign assistance could benefit from additional direction from
contact John Pendleton at (202) 512-3489 or
pendletonj@gao.gov.                           Congress on DOD’s role in performing humanitarian assistance in peacetime
                                              environments.
                                                                                      United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                      1
               Background                                                                   4
               DOD’s Humanitarian Assistance Program Management
                  Incorporates Positive Practices, but Several Weaknesses Hinder
                  the Effective Use of Resources                                          11
               Information-Sharing Challenges and Potential for Overlap among
                  the Agencies’ Efforts Could Result in a Fragmented Approach to
                  U.S. Assistance Efforts                                                 26
               Conclusions                                                                40
               Matter for Congressional Consideration                                     41
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                       41
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                         43

Appendix I     Scope and Methodology                                                      51



Appendix II    DOD’s Obligations for Humanitarian Assistance Efforts by Combatant
               Command                                                                    59



Appendix III   Humanitarian Assistance Efforts in U.S. Africa Command’s Area of
               Responsibility                                                             61



Appendix IV    Humanitarian Assistance Efforts in U.S. Central Command’s Area of
               Responsibility                                                             62



Appendix V     Humanitarian Assistance Efforts in U.S. European Command’s Area of
               Responsibility                                                     63



Appendix VI    Humanitarian Assistance Efforts in U.S. Northern Command’s Area of
               Responsibility                                                             64




               Page i                       GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix VII    Humanitarian Assistance Efforts in U.S. Pacific Command’s Area of
                Responsibility                                                             65



Appendix VIII   Humanitarian Assistance Efforts in U.S. Southern Command’s Area of
                Responsibility                                                             66



Appendix IX     Noninteractive Graphics and Text for Appendixes III-VIII                   67



Appendix X      Comments from the Department of Defense                                    73



Appendix XI     Comments from the Department of State                                      80



Appendix XII    Comments from the U.S. Agency for International Development                83



Appendix XIII   GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                      86



Tables
                Table 1: State and USAID Representatives within DOD’s
                         Combatant Commands                                                14
                Table 2: Key DOD, State, and USAID Information-Sharing
                         Initiatives                                                       28
                Table 3: List of Organizations Contacted                                   56


Figures
                Figure 1: Completed Construction of a Primary School in Vietnam              6
                Figure 2: DOD’s OHDACA-Funded Humanitarian Assistance
                         Program Obligations                                                 7




                Page ii                      GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Figure 3: DOD Soldier Provides Medical Treatment to a Woman in
         Latin America While Engaging in an HCA Medical
         Readiness Activity                                                                9
Figure 4: DOD’s Humanitarian and Civic Assistance Obligations                             10
Figure 5: Completed HCA Projects Reported to Congress as
         Compared with HCA Projects Marked “Completed” in
         DOD’s Database, Fiscal Years 2007 through 2009                                   18
Figure 6: Estimates of Post-Project Evaluations for OHDACA
         Projects Costing over $10,000 for Fiscal Years 2005
         through 2009                                                                     21
Figure 7: Potential for Agency Overlap in Some Peacetime
         Humanitarian and Development Assistance Efforts                                  34
Figure 8: Similar USAID and DOD Health Efforts in Yemen                                   36
Figure 9: DOD’s OHDACA-Funded Humanitarian Assistance
         Obligations by Combatant Command for Fiscal Years 2005
         through 2010                                                                     59
Figure 10: DOD’s Humanitarian and Civic Assistance Obligations
         for Projects Conducted within the Combatant Commands’
         Geographic Areas for Fiscal Years 2005 through 2010                              60




Abbreviations

DOD               Department of Defense
HCA               Humanitarian and Civic Assistance
OHDACA            Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid
USAID             United States Agency for International Development




This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the
United States. The published product may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety
without further permission from GAO. However, because this work may contain
copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be
necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately.




Page iii                            GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   February 8, 2012

                                   Congressional Committees

                                   While much attention has been paid to U.S. military efforts in Iraq and
                                   Afghanistan, the Department of Defense (DOD) has also increased its
                                   emphasis and spending on humanitarian assistance efforts outside of war
                                   and disaster environments in recent years. DOD’s humanitarian
                                   assistance efforts include constructing schools, digging water wells,
                                   preparing communities for natural disasters, and helping local populations
                                   obtain medical care. DOD policy states that stability operations—which
                                   include providing humanitarian assistance—are a core U.S. military
                                   mission that the department shall be prepared to conduct with proficiency
                                   equivalent to that of its combat operations. 1 From fiscal years 2005
                                   through 2010, DOD obligated about $383 million for its two key
                                   humanitarian assistance programs 2 outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. 3
                                   Civilian agencies, such as the Department of State (State) and the United
                                   States Agency for International Development (USAID) carry out
                                   assistance efforts on a larger scale than DOD to build and sustain more
                                   secure and prosperous nations or provide economic or development
                                   support. Thus, DOD’s humanitarian assistance efforts require close
                                   collaboration with these federal agencies to avoid potential duplication,
                                   unnecessary overlap, or fragmentation, and to maximize the return on the
                                   U.S. government’s investment in foreign assistance.

                                   This report was conducted as part of GAO’s annual response to the
                                   mandate found in Public Law 111-139, Title II, section 21 (2010), which
                                   requires us to report on duplication, overlap, and fragmentation in federal
                                   government programs. We examined the U.S. military’s role in conducting


                                   1
                                    This policy was initially established in DOD Directive 3000.05, Military Support for
                                   Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations (Nov. 28, 2005).
                                   The directive was subsequently reissued in modified form as DOD Instruction 3000.05,
                                   Stability Operations (Sept. 16, 2009).
                                   2
                                    While DOD conducts a variety of humanitarian assistance programs, DOD’s two key
                                   humanitarian assistance programs are (1) the Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic
                                   Aid humanitarian assistance program and (2) the Humanitarian and Civic Assistance
                                   program. In this report, we refer to both programs together as DOD’s humanitarian
                                   assistance efforts.
                                   3
                                    Figure is in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars.




                                   Page 1                                GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
humanitarian assistance outside of war or disaster environments,
including its management of humanitarian assistance efforts and its
collaboration with State and USAID. 4 Specifically, we reviewed (1) DOD’s
management of two key humanitarian assistance programs—the
humanitarian assistance program funded through its Overseas
Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid (OHDACA) appropriation 5 and its
Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA) program—and (2) the extent to
which DOD, State, and USAID have visibility over each others’ assistance
efforts to avoid duplication, unnecessary overlap, or fragmentation.

To conduct our work, we reviewed relevant documents, including
guidance, legislation, and data related to DOD’s OHDACA and HCA
programs. We chose to focus on these two key humanitarian assistance
programs based on interviews with officials from the Defense Security
Cooperation Agency; the Joint Staff; and the Office of the Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability
Operations. We conducted interviews with officials from various DOD
offices involved in planning and implementing DOD’s humanitarian
assistance efforts, including the geographic combatant commands and
Special Operations Command. We also gathered and reviewed guidance,
strategies, and data from State and USAID and contacted officials from a
wide range of offices and a selection of 12 U.S. embassies. We selected
2 embassies within each of DOD’s six geographic combatant commands’
areas of responsibility that received the largest amount of OHDACA
funding from fiscal years 2005 through 2010. To understand how much
DOD has spent on its humanitarian assistance efforts, we obtained
DOD’s obligations for the OHDACA and HCA programs from fiscal years
2005 through 2010. Specifically, for the OHDACA humanitarian
assistance program obligations, we analyzed data from DOD’s Program
Budget Automated System and determined these data to be sufficiently
reliable for presenting obligations from fiscal years 2005 through 2010. To



4
 Our prior work has identified critical management steps and practices that can help
agencies to achieve success, including aligning efforts to strategic goals, coordinating with
stakeholders, collecting complete and accurate data, measuring performance, and
developing policies to help achieve results.
5
 The OHDACA humanitarian assistance program is one component program funded by
the OHDACA appropriation. This report reviews only the OHDACA humanitarian
assistance program, which will subsequently be referred to in this report as the OHDACA
program. We did not evaluate DOD’s other programs under OHDACA, such as the
humanitarian mine action program and the foreign disaster relief initiative.




Page 2                               GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
determine DOD’s obligations for the HCA program, we used information
from DOD’s annual reports to Congress on the program for the same time
period. 6 To assess DOD’s management of its humanitarian assistance
programs, we obtained and reviewed DOD directives, reports, and
guidance on management practices, as well as guidance, instructions,
and other documents on interagency coordination between DOD and
State and USAID. To assess the completeness of DOD’s OHDACA and
HCA project data, we obtained and analyzed data from DOD’s Overseas
Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System to identify
discrepancies and determine the accuracy of data entered in the system.
We assessed these data for reliability and determined that the data were
not sufficiently reliable for presenting cost and project status data, but
were sufficiently reliable to present examples of DOD humanitarian
assistance efforts. We discuss these data issues in this report. To assess
the extent to which DOD measures the performance of its completed
humanitarian assistance projects, we analyzed a generalizable random
sample of DOD’s OHDACA projects that DOD identified as likely to have
been completed and that cost more than $10,000 to determine the extent
to which DOD had recorded that performance of required project
evaluations had been conducted after the projects were completed. We
interviewed agency officials from the Defense Security Cooperation
Agency, the Joint Staff, and the combatant commands to discuss the
accuracy and completeness of project data in DOD’s Overseas
Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System database and
challenges to completing project evaluations. To assess the extent to
which DOD, State, and USAID have visibility over each others’ assistance
efforts to avoid duplication, unnecessary overlap, or fragmentation, we
reviewed guidance and documentation on information-sharing initiatives
and interagency collaboration practices, and interviewed agency officials
about their information-sharing practices and challenges. We also
analyzed DOD, State, and USAID project data to identify areas of
potential overlap between the agencies, and interviewed DOD, State,
USAID, and nongovernmental organization officials about the potential
positive and negative consequences of DOD’s involvement in
humanitarian assistance efforts.




6
 DOD’s fiscal year 2010 report to Congress was in draft form and had not been submitted
to Congress at the time of our review.




Page 3                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
             We conducted this performance audit from November 2010 through
             February 2012 in accordance with generally accepted government
             auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the
             audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable
             basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We
             believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our
             findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. Further details on
             our scope and methodology can be found in appendix I.


             DOD operates two key humanitarian assistance programs: (1) the
Background   humanitarian assistance program funded through its OHDACA
             appropriation 7 and (2) the HCA program. 8 Projects for both the OHDACA
             and the HCA programs are generally planned and implemented at the
             geographic combatant command level, with initial project proposals
             developed at the embassy (country) level (see apps. II through VIII for
             information on each DOD geographic combatant command’s OHDACA
             and HCA funding and efforts and app. IX for information in non-interactive
             form). In addition, DOD’s Special Operations Command conducts
             humanitarian assistance efforts through its Civil Military Support
             Elements, in support of DOD’s geographic combatant commands. 9 DOD’s
             humanitarian assistance efforts have been largely performed outside of
             Iraq and Afghanistan.




             7
              The OHDACA humanitarian assistance program is one component program funded by
             the OHDACA appropriation. This report reviews only the OHDACA humanitarian
             assistance program, which will be referred to in this report as the OHDACA program. We
             did not evaluate DOD’s other programs under OHDACA, such as the humanitarian mine
             action program and the foreign disaster relief initiative.
             8
              DOD defines HCA as assistance to the local populace provided by predominantly U.S.
             forces in conjunction with military operations and exercises limited to certain specific
             purposes. Additionally, the assistance must fulfill unit training requirements that
             incidentally create humanitarian benefit to the local populace. Joint Publication 3-57, Civil
             Military Operations (July 8, 2008).
             9
              Special Operations Command stated that it does not receive humanitarian assistance
             funding but that its forces may execute projects with funding provided to the combatant
             commands.




             Page 4                                GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
OHDACA-Funded             DOD uses authority provided in section 2561 of Title 10 of the United
Humanitarian Assistance   States Code to conduct its OHDACA program. The program is managed
Program                   by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, while the initial planning,
                          prioritization, and implementation of projects are generally coordinated by
                          the geographic combatant commands. 10 DOD issued its most recent
                          guidance on the OHDACA program in 2009 to provide a framework that
                          the geographic combatant commands can use to evaluate the
                          appropriateness of potential humanitarian assistance projects. 11 DOD’s
                          humanitarian assistance efforts are aimed at

                          •    improving DOD visibility, access, and influence while building and/or
                               reinforcing security and stability in a host nation or region;
                          •    providing disaster mitigation training and/or bolstering host nation
                               capacity to avert humanitarian crises and response to disasters; and
                          •    generating collaborative relationships with a host nation’s civil society
                               as well as positive public relations and goodwill toward DOD.

                          In addition to advancing U.S. defense interests, DOD’s policy guidance
                          states that humanitarian assistance efforts should address the
                          humanitarian needs of the targeted population. As part of the OHDACA
                          program, DOD conducts efforts that include disaster preparedness
                          projects; basic construction; digging or improving water wells and other
                          sanitation and drinking water projects; repairing/building rudimentary
                          infrastructure such as roads or bridges; and the renovation of public
                          facilities, such as schools, hospitals, clinics, and orphanages (see fig. 1).




                          10
                            The Defense Security Cooperation Agency fosters security cooperation programs vital to
                          U.S. national security to build trust and influence in peacetime, to have access to regions
                          of the world during times of crisis, and to ensure interoperability with coalition partners
                          during times of conflict. Security cooperation programs provide financial and technical
                          assistance, ensure transfer of defense materiel, provide training and services to friendly
                          countries and allies, and promote military-to-military contacts.
                          11
                            Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict and
                          Interdependent Capabilities, Policy Guidance for DOD Overseas Humanitarian Assistance
                          Program (HAP) (November 2009).




                          Page 5                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Figure 1: Completed Construction of a Primary School in Vietnam




Notes: Kien Quoc Primary School is an OHDACA-funded school construction project in Vietnam that
was completed in July 2010. This photograph illustrates a portion of a ceremony in which DOD turned
over the completed school building to the local Vietnamese government.


From fiscal years 2005 through 2010, DOD obligated about $328.4 million
to support the OHDACA humanitarian assistance program. In fiscal year
2005, DOD obligated about $45.2 million as compared with about
$72.4 million in fiscal year 2010, which represented an increase in
obligations of about 60 percent over the time period 12 (see fig. 2). Over
this 6-year time period, DOD’s Pacific and Southern Commands obligated
the highest amounts—about $93.8 million and $75.8 million dollars,
respectively (see app. II).




12
  Figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars.




Page 6                                  GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                         Figure 2: DOD’s OHDACA-Funded Humanitarian Assistance Program Obligations




                         Notes: Figures represent obligations for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance program, as
                         distinguished from the broader OHDACA program. Figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars.




Humanitarian and Civic   DOD conducts its HCA program using authority provided in section 401 of
Assistance Program       Title 10 of the United States Code. The HCA program was managed by
                         the Defense Security Cooperation Agency through 2010, and Joint Staff
                         officials said that the program has been managed by the Joint Staff since
                         January 1, 2011. Initial planning, prioritization, and implementation of
                         projects are generally coordinated by the geographic combatant
                         commands. Two DOD instructions and implementing guidance provide
                         direction for the HCA program. 13




                         13
                           DOD Instruction 2205.3, Implementing Procedures for the Humanitarian and Civic
                         Assistance (HCA) Program (Jan. 27, 1995); DOD Instruction 2205.02, Humanitarian and
                         Civic Assistance Activities (Dec. 2, 2008); and Defense Security Cooperation Agency,
                         Policy/Programming Guidance for FY 2008 Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA)
                         Projects and Activities (May 1, 2007).




                         Page 7                                  GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
U.S. armed forces personnel participate in HCA efforts for strategic,
operational, or tactical purposes that support military objectives while
concurrently reinforcing skills required for the operational readiness of the
forces executing an HCA mission. According to DOD guidance, when
engaging in HCA efforts, U.S. military occupational specialists will provide
services relevant to their specialties. For example, for HCA medical
projects, DOD should utilize U.S. military doctors, dentists, nurses,
pharmacists, or health administrators as appropriate. Furthermore,
according to DOD, under existing guidance prescribed by the Secretary of
Defense, HCA efforts should, among other things,

•   promote the security interests of the United States and the host nation
    as well as the specific operational readiness skills of the members of
    the U.S armed forces who participate in the efforts;
•   complement, and not duplicate, any other form of social or economic
    assistance that may be provided to the host nation by any other U.S.
    department or agency;
•   assist the civilian population, that is, projects cannot benefit any
    individual, group, or organization engaged in military or paramilitary
    activity; and
•   be approved by the U.S. ambassador to the foreign country where the
    activity will occur or by the U.S. Secretary of State.

HCA projects include basic construction and repair of public facilities;
construction of surface transportation systems; construction of basic
sanitation facilities; drilling wells for water; and the provision of medical,
dental, surgical, and veterinary care (including education, training, and
technical assistance) in rural or underserved areas of a foreign country
(see fig. 3).




Page 8                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Figure 3: DOD Soldier Provides Medical Treatment to a Woman in Latin America
While Engaging in an HCA Medical Readiness Activity




From fiscal years 2005 through 2010 DOD obligated about $75.1 million
in support of the HCA program. The obligations for the HCA program are
about one quarter of the amount of the funds obligated to the OHDACA
humanitarian assistance program, although obligations for DOD’s HCA
program have increased by about 75 percent from fiscal years 2005 to
2010. 14 In fiscal year 2005, DOD obligated about $8.5 million compared
with about $14.9 million in fiscal year 2010 (see fig. 4). Over this 6-year
period, obligations were the highest for HCA projects in DOD’s Southern
and Pacific Commands’ geographical areas, at about $32.5 million and
$21.9 million, respectively (see app. II).




14
  Figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars. These figures do not include some costs
associated with HCA activities, such as costs for transportation and military personnel.




Page 9                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                          Figure 4: DOD’s Humanitarian and Civic Assistance Obligations




                          Note: Figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars.




Other Humanitarian        In addition to the OHDACA and HCA programs, DOD conducts other
Assistance-Type Efforts   humanitarian assistance-type efforts, such as HIV/AIDS treatment and
                          prevention assistance to foreign military personnel and their families. For
                          example, from fiscal years 2005 through 2010, DOD obligated about
                          $477.3 million to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
                          (PEPFAR) and about $27.3 million on its Defense Health Program for
                          HIV/AIDS efforts. 15 DOD also conducts efforts to help nations in Africa
                          and Asia respond to an influenza pandemic, using $15 million provided by
                          USAID for efforts from fiscal years 2008 through 2012. In addition, DOD
                          has created a coordination group to develop global health guidance for
                          the department and examine DOD’s role in global health efforts.




                          15
                            Figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars and do not include all of the
                          administrative costs associated with these programs.




                          Page 10                                   GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                              DOD’s management of its two key humanitarian assistance programs—
DOD’s Humanitarian            OHDACA and HCA—has incorporated positive practices, such as
Assistance Program            aligning project planning to U.S. and departmental strategic goals and
                              collaborating with State and USAID on individual projects. However, DOD
Management                    is unable to determine whether it is using its resources efficiently and
Incorporates Positive         effectively because of three key weaknesses in management oversight:
Practices, but Several        (1) incomplete project information because of data management
                              problems, (2) the absence of post-project evaluations for determining the
Weaknesses Hinder             effects of DOD’s efforts, and (3) limited guidance for the OHDACA
the Effective Use of          program.

Resources
DOD Aligns Humanitarian       Recognizing that strategic plans are the starting point and underpinning
Assistance Project            for setting program goals, DOD has generally aligned its OHDACA and
Planning to Strategic Goals   HCA project planning to U.S. and departmental strategic goals, and it has
                              clearly established processes for project implementation. DOD’s policy
and Has Clearly               guidance supports the use of DOD’s humanitarian assistance efforts to
Established Processes for     achieve U.S. national security and foreign policy goals. Moreover, DOD’s
Implementing Projects         Guidance for Employment of the Force and its Joint Strategic Capabilities
                              Plan require each geographic combatant command to produce a theater
                              campaign plan and specific posture requirements for its given area of
                              responsibility. 16 Combatant command officials told us that they link the
                              goals of their humanitarian assistance projects to specific goals or
                              objectives identified in the command’s theater campaign plan or in DOD’s
                              overarching strategic planning guidance. For example, Northern
                              Command officials said they develop a prioritized list of potential
                              humanitarian assistance projects each year based in part on identified
                              missions, goals, and priorities from the command’s theater campaign
                              plan. Similarly, Central Command stated that requirements for its
                              OHDACA projects are derived from the command’s theater campaign
                              plan objectives.




                              16
                                According to the Guidance for Employment of the Force and the Joint Strategic
                              Capabilities Plan for FY 2008, CJCSI 3110.01G (Mar. 1, 2008), each of the geographic
                              combatant commanders is required to produce a theater campaign plan. Furthermore,
                              each geographic combatant commander, except the Commander of U.S. Northern
                              Command, is also required to develop theater posture plans as annexes to the theater
                              campaign plan.




                              Page 11                            GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
In addition, DOD has clear processes in place for planning, prioritizing,
and implementing OHDACA projects. Policies, procedures, techniques,
and mechanisms that enforce management’s directives are an integral
part of an entity’s planning, implementing, reviewing, and accountability
for stewardship of government resources and achieving effective
results. 17 The overall OHDACA program is managed by the Defense
Security Cooperation Agency, while the planning, prioritization, and
implementation of projects generally are coordinated through the
geographic combatant commands. Defense Security Cooperation Agency
officials explained that their office provides funding for the OHDACA
program to the combatant commands in response to annual budget
requests submitted by the commands. They said that when providing
funds, they review factors such as the commands’ past funding levels and
how commands have executed past funding. The Defense Security
Cooperation Agency also reviews and approves all individual projects that
cost more than $10,000, and officials explained that its review considers
the justifications for a command’s project proposals and whether a project
is aligned with the command’s strategic guidance. The initial planning and
development of OHDACA projects for all of the combatant commands,
except for Northern Command, are generally conducted at the country
level with input required from USAID officials. 18 Some of the commands
permit project proposals to be initiated by host nations or other
government agencies, such as USAID. The processes for prioritizing
individual OHDACA projects vary across the commands. For example,
Pacific Command has recently developed an activity prioritization process
that involves assigning points for the degree to which a project meets
established criteria, while at Central Command, officials said that projects
are prioritized according to the assets available to execute a project in a
given country. Many of the commands use entities such as the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers or the Naval Facilities Command to implement their
projects.




17
  GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1
(Washington, D.C.: November 1999).
18
  Officials from Northern Command explained that their projects are developed at the
combatant command level rather than the country level because DOD staff at the
embassies in Mexico and the Bahamas generally did not have enough time to plan
humanitarian assistance efforts. The officials acknowledged that it would be better for the
projects to be developed at the country level because there would be greater familiarity
with the country’s needs.




Page 12                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                             The HCA program was managed by the Defense Security Cooperation
                             Agency through 2010, and Joint Staff officials said that the program has
                             been managed by the Joint Staff since January 1, 2011. Joint Staff
                             officials explained that they serve in a quality assurance role to ensure
                             that projects have been coordinated among the combatant commands,
                             interagency stakeholders, and host nations. They also said that the Joint
                             Staff reviews and approves HCA projects. The overall planning,
                             prioritization, and implementation of HCA projects generally are
                             coordinated by the geographic combatant commands, similar to the
                             OHDACA program. 19 Initial project planning and development at all of the
                             combatant commands are generally conducted at the country level, with
                             input from State officials, and the processes for prioritizing and
                             implementing HCA projects can vary across the commands. For example,
                             Pacific Command’s business rules require the same approach for
                             prioritizing, approving, and implementing HCA projects that it uses for
                             OHDACA projects, as discussed above, and European Command
                             explained that it budgets its projects through the command’s typical
                             operation and maintenance budgeting process.


DOD Is Coordinating with     Over the past several years, DOD has taken several steps to coordinate
State and USAID When         with State and USAID when planning and implementing its humanitarian
Implementing Projects, but   assistance projects. For example, DOD guidance on its OHDACA
                             program states that DOD will seek USAID concurrence on project
Challenges Remain            proposals early in the project identification process, and certain
                             information concerning that collaboration will be documented in DOD’s
                             project database. Moreover, DOD’s guidance on its HCA program states
                             that combatant commanders are responsible for ensuring that HCA
                             projects that cost more than $10,000 are conducted with the approval of
                             the Secretary of State or his/her designee. DOD has representatives from
                             USAID or State embedded within each of its geographic combatant
                             commands, and it has placed liaisons at State and USAID offices (see
                             table 1). Officials from all three agencies said that these interagency
                             personnel at the commands have helped improve coordination with DOD,
                             although the roles and quantity of these interagency personnel may be
                             limited. For example, some State and USAID officials explained that their
                             advisors assigned to DOD’s combatant commands are able to report on


                             19
                               Northern Command officials said that they do not conduct HCA activities, and no HCA
                             projects for the command were reported to Congress from fiscal years 2005 through 2009;
                             therefore, this discussion applies to the remaining five geographic combatant commands.




                             Page 13                            GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
what is happening in their respective areas of responsibility but cannot
make decisions or speak on behalf of their home agencies. 20 Moreover,
according to USAID officials, USAID made the decision to begin sending
lower-ranking officials to serve as development advisors in most of the
combatant commands because of staffing shortages. Officials from both
USAID and DOD said that this decision could negatively affect
interagency collaboration at the commands because DOD tends to place
a heavy emphasis on rank, and lower-ranking USAID officials may not
have as much access to senior command leadership.

Table 1: State and USAID Representatives within DOD’s Combatant Commands

Combatant command                                    State           USAID              Total
Africa Command                                          10                 3                13
Central Command                                           3                3                 6
European Command                                          3                2                 5
Northern Command                                          3                0                 3
Pacific Command                                           5                2                 7
Southern Command                                          7                2                 9
Sources: DOD and USAID.

Notes: Personnel are stationed at the combatant commands’ headquarters. Also, USAID officials
identified additional positions at some of the combatant commands, but these positions are currently
vacant.


Each of the 12 U.S. embassies we contacted cited examples of efforts to
promote interagency coordination. For example, the U.S. embassy in
Kenya has created an Executive Steering Group consisting of officials
from State, USAID, and DOD who meet monthly to discuss DOD’s
humanitarian assistance projects and other efforts that intersect with
larger diplomatic and development objectives. Similarly, the U.S.
embassies in the Kyrgyz Republic and Moldova have established
assistance working groups made up of interagency officials who meet at
least weekly to coordinate U.S. government assistance efforts, including
DOD’s humanitarian assistance projects, across the embassy. Several
other embassies that we contacted have also established interagency
groups to facilitate coordination, such as those in Albania, Peru, Uganda,
and Djibouti. In addition, DOD’s Pacific Command has begun its “3Ds



20
  USAID said that representatives from its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance are
authorized to make decisions and speak on behalf of the office.




Page 14                                  GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                                Forward” initiative intended to improve coordination among DOD, State,
                                and USAID efforts in the Asia Pacific region. 21

                                Despite all of these various collaboration efforts, DOD faces challenges in
                                interagency collaboration on its humanitarian assistance projects.
                                Specifically, many officials stated that interagency collaboration tends to
                                be personality driven; when staff are replaced, relationships have to be
                                rebuilt and progress can be lost. Moreover, coordination on DOD’s
                                humanitarian assistance projects can be difficult given the differences in
                                total numbers of personnel among DOD, State, and USAID. DOD has
                                about 30 times more personnel than State and USAID combined. 22
                                USAID officials said that their agency has staffing shortages, and it can
                                be a burden on USAID personnel to have to coordinate and provide
                                expertise to DOD on DOD’s humanitarian assistance projects. Officials
                                also said that the frequent rotation of personnel can lead to continuity
                                challenges.


DOD Does Not Have               DOD does not have complete information on the full range of
Complete Information on         humanitarian assistance projects it conducts, which creates uncertainty
the Full Range of Its           as to whether DOD is able to provide accurate, complete project
                                information to other offices within the department, to interagency
Humanitarian Assistance         stakeholders, or to Congress.
Projects
DOD Does Not Know the Status    DOD does not know the status of all of its OHDACA projects—such as
or Actual Costs of All of Its   when a project is going to be implemented, when it is in progress, or
OHDACA Projects                 when and if it has been completed—or the actual costs of nearly one in
                                three of its OHDACA projects because it does not consistently update
                                project information in its database, the Overseas Humanitarian
                                Assistance Shared Information System. It is important that agencies have
                                complete, accurate, and consistent data to inform policy, document




                                21
                                  In the initiative name, “3Ds” stands for defense, diplomacy, and development. The
                                initiative aims to identify and coordinate Pacific Command, State, and USAID efforts in the
                                region. For example, in Vietnam, Pacific Command recommended coordinating with State
                                and USAID on the command’s school-building programs, including consulting with USAID
                                to determine appropriate school construction sites.
                                22
                                  These personnel figures are intended to provide a general understanding of the differing
                                sizes of the agencies and do not represent the number of officials dedicated to
                                humanitarian assistance efforts.




                                Page 15                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
performance, and support decision making. 23 Our analysis of a DOD list
of OHDACA projects 24 that had been marked as “completed” in DOD’s
database found the data to be incomplete and inaccurate. For example,
DOD’s list indicated that 35 projects had been completed by Pacific
Command in fiscal years 2005 through 2010, fewer than had been
completed by each of the other combatant commands except for Northern
Command. Yet Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials told us that
Pacific Command was one of the two commands that conducted the most
projects in the same time frame. In addition, the total cost recorded in the
database for these 35 projects was about $5 million, while Pacific
Command’s actual obligation for its OHDACA projects during this same
period was almost $89 million. In response to our efforts to clarify these
discrepancies, the officials acknowledged that the number of projects that
had actually been completed was likely underrepresented in the list. They
explained that DOD personnel do not consistently update the projects’
status in the database, and thus many projects that were completed had
probably not been reflected as such in the database. Officials from
several combatant commands confirmed that keeping DOD’s database
updated was a challenge because of issues such as having a limited
number of personnel available to work on OHDACA projects. However,
without updated project information, DOD does not have accurate
information to make program management decisions or report information
to other agencies or to Congress.

In some cases, DOD may have better information about its OHDACA
projects at the country level. When we sought information from some
DOD personnel stationed at U.S. embassies who were responsible for
OHDACA projects in those countries, officials at some embassies were
able to provide us with additional details about whether projects had been
completed. For example, officials from the U.S. embassies in Bangladesh
and Moldova were able to provide us with more recent information than
that found in DOD’s database about the current status of projects.
However, officials from U.S. embassies in Indonesia, Kenya, and Uganda



23
  GAO, Assessing the Reliability of Computer-Processed Data, GAO-09-680G
(Washington, D.C.: July 2009), and Executive Guide: Effectively Implementing the
Government Performance and Results Act, GAO/GGD-96-118 (Washington, D.C.: June
1996).
24
 This list of projects was provided to us by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency,
which manages the OHDACA humanitarian assistance program.




Page 16                            GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                                responded to our inquiries with the same information that was available in
                                DOD’s database—which may not have been accurate.

                                In addition to not knowing the status of all of its projects, DOD does not
                                know how much it has spent on some OHDACA projects because its
                                database is not consistently updated with actual cost information after
                                projects have been completed. Across all of the geographic combatant
                                commands from fiscal years 2007 through 2010, DOD had not updated its
                                database with projects’ actual cost information about 30 percent of the
                                time for projects that were identified as completed. 25 Although DOD
                                officials said that the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared
                                Information System database is not used for financial management
                                purposes, 26 the database contains fields for estimated and actual project
                                costs that officials said should be updated by personnel at the combatant
                                commands. DOD officials explained that this project cost information is
                                intended to be used for program management purposes, so that they can
                                review the extent to which the projects’ actual costs differed from the
                                projects’ estimated costs identified when they were submitted for
                                approval. DOD officials acknowledged that the combatant commands do
                                not consistently update the cost information in the database. They also
                                said that maintaining accurate project cost information in the database is
                                a challenge because information cannot be automatically pulled in from
                                DOD’s financial management systems.

DOD’s Data on HCA Projects      DOD’s database also does not provide complete information about HCA
Differ from Those Reported to   projects, with information in the database differing from what has been
Congress                        reported to Congress. DOD is required to submit reports annually to




                                25
                                  Across all of the combatant commands, we found that DOD’s database had not been
                                updated with actual cost information for 25 percent of projects marked as completed in the
                                database for fiscal year 2007, or 49 out of 196 projects; 32 percent of projects for fiscal
                                year 2008, or 119 out of 373 projects; 38 percent of fiscal year 2009 projects, or 130 out of
                                341 projects; and 24 percent of fiscal year 2010 projects, or 104 out of 429 projects.
                                Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials told us that the data for fiscal years 2005
                                and 2006 might not be reliable because they had been imported into the Overseas
                                Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System from a legacy system, so we
                                excluded those 2 fiscal years from this analysis.
                                26
                                  DOD uses another database, the Program Budget Automated System, for financial
                                management purposes. However, cost information in this database is itemized only to the
                                combatant command level, and thus does not provide visibility over the costs of individual
                                projects.




                                Page 17                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Congress on its HCA program. 27 Officials from the Joint Staff and the
combatant commands told us that they use the Overseas Humanitarian
Assistance Shared Information System database to manage and track
their HCA projects. 28 However, we found that the number of HCA projects
marked as completed in DOD’s database was far fewer than the number
of completed HCA projects that were reported to Congress each year
from fiscal years 2007 through 2009, 29 which raises concerns about how
HCA project records are being updated and tracked in DOD’s database.
Figure 5 shows the number of completed HCA projects identified in
DOD’s reports to Congress as compared with the number of HCA
projects marked completed in DOD’s database.

Figure 5: Completed HCA Projects Reported to Congress as Compared with HCA
Projects Marked “Completed” in DOD’s Database, Fiscal Years 2007 through 2009




Notes: At the time of our review, DOD had not submitted a report to Congress on fiscal year 2010
HCA projects. Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials told us that the data for fiscal years
2005 and 2006 might not be reliable, so we excluded those 2 fiscal years from this analysis.


A Defense Security Cooperation Agency official said that the HCA project
information reported to Congress was provided by each combatant
command to the agency, and agency officials did not know from where



27
  The annual report is required to include a list of the countries in which HCA activities
were carried out during the prior fiscal year, the type and a description of the activities
performed in each country, and the amount expended in carrying out each activity.
28
  Northern Command officials said that they do not conduct HCA activities, and no HCA
projects were reported to Congress for the command from fiscal years 2005 through 2009;
therefore, this discussion applies to the remaining five geographic combatant commands.
29
  Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials told us that the data for fiscal years 2005
and 2006 might not be reliable because they had been imported into the Overseas
Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System from a legacy system, so we
excluded those 2 fiscal years from this analysis.




Page 18                                  GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
the combatant commands obtained the information. However, when we
asked officials from each of the combatant commands where they record
information about their HCA projects, they all responded that they use the
Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System database
to manage their HCA projects. Our analysis of the information in DOD’s
database showed that the HCA data in the database varied by combatant
command. For example, the database showed that only 2 HCA projects
had been marked completed for Pacific Command and 6 projects had
been marked completed for Southern Command from fiscal years 2007
through 2009. However, DOD’s reports to Congress listed at least 81
completed projects for each of these commands in each fiscal year over
the same time frame. The HCA project data in the database appeared to
be more comprehensive for Africa, European, and Central Commands
from fiscal years 2007 through 2009, in that the number of projects
marked completed or funded in the database was generally closer to the
number of projects included in the report to Congress. Our analysis of the
information in DOD’s reports to Congress also showed that some
inaccurate information about HCA projects may have been reported. For
example, DOD’s fiscal year 2008 report to Congress included
descriptions for what appeared to be the same projects in both Tanzania
and Uganda that were reported for both DOD’s Africa and Central
Commands. However, an Africa Command official stated that the projects
should have been listed only for Central Command in DOD’s report to
Congress because Central Command funded the projects. 30

DOD’s combatant commands generally continue to program and budget
for new projects, even though DOD lacks complete information in its
database about past OHDACA or HCA projects. Officials said that DOD is
currently in the process of updating its guidance for both of its
humanitarian assistance programs, which provides the department a
timely opportunity to develop procedures to ensure that the information in
its database is complete, accurate, and consistent. However, without
requiring complete data on its humanitarian assistance efforts and
imposing consequences, such as requiring complete data on previous
projects as part of the approval process for new projects, DOD may not
have essential information to inform future planning about its projects and



30
  Africa Command was designated fully operational on September 30, 2008, and
consolidated responsibilities for DOD activities in Africa that had previously been shared
by Central, European, and Pacific Commands.




Page 19                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                          will not be well positioned to provide accurate information about its
                          humanitarian assistance efforts to interested parties.


DOD Is Not Consistently   DOD is not consistently evaluating its projects, and therefore it cannot
Evaluating Projects and   determine whether its humanitarian assistance efforts are meeting their
Cannot Be Certain Its     intended goals, having positive effects, or represent an efficient use of
                          resources.
Projects Are Effective
Project Evaluation        DOD has established project evaluation requirements but is not
Requirements Are Not      consistently following them. For the OHDACA program, DOD guidance
Consistently Followed     states that “after-action reviews,” or project evaluations, are to be
                          conducted for all projects within 30 days of project completion. 31 For
                          projects costing more than $10,000, a second evaluation should be
                          conducted 1 year after project completion to document sustained
                          outcomes. We drew a generalizable random sample of OHDACA projects
                          that DOD identified as likely to have been completed and that cost more
                          than $10,000. From fiscal year 2005 through fiscal year 2009, we
                          estimated that 1-year evaluation reports were not completed for 90
                          percent of these projects, and that the 30-day evaluation reports were not
                          completed for about half, or about 53 percent of these projects (see fig.
                          6). 32 Officials across DOD acknowledged that project evaluation was an
                          area of weakness and cited several reasons why the department was not
                          consistently performing project evaluations, including lack of personnel
                          available to conduct evaluations, difficulties visiting project sites because




                          31
                            Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict and
                          Interdependent Capabilities, Policy Guidance for DOD Overseas Humanitarian Assistance
                          Program (HAP).
                          32
                             To determine this estimate, we analyzed the presence of completed project evaluations
                          in the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System in a generalizable
                          random sample of 97 OHDACA projects, out of a total of 579 projects, from the list of
                          projects funded by the combatant commands from fiscal years 2005 through 2009 that
                          DOD identified as likely to have been completed and that had costs greater than $10,000.
                          All estimates based on our sample are subject to sampling error. The margin of error for
                          these estimates is no more than plus or minus 10 percentage points at the 95 percent
                          level of confidence. In addition, we estimate that 10 percent of the projects identified as
                          likely to have been completed had not in fact been completed, meaning that no
                          assessments were due at the time that we reviewed the project files.




                          Page 20                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
of political instabilities within some countries, and confusion concerning
the amount of funding available to perform project evaluations. 33

Figure 6: Estimates of Post-Project Evaluations for OHDACA Projects Costing over
$10,000 for Fiscal Years 2005 through 2009




Notes: Figure is based on a generalizable random sample of projects that DOD identified as likely to
have been completed. The margin of error for these estimates is no more than plus or minus 10
percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence. In addition, we estimate that 10 percent of
the projects identified as likely to have been completed had not in fact been completed, meaning that
no assessments were due at the time that we reviewed the project files.


Because of concerns over the completeness and reliability of data in
DOD’s database of HCA project information, we did not generate and
analyze a sample of HCA projects from the database. However, it is also
likely that DOD is not conducting evaluations for HCA projects. DOD’s
combatant commands are required to prepare midyear and end-of-year
reports that cover all HCA projects conducted during those time frames,
and to broadly assess their overall HCA efforts within 2 fiscal years. Joint
Staff officials told us that they did not monitor whether evaluations of HCA
projects have been completed prior to January 1, 2011, when they began
managing the HCA program, and that completing the evaluations is a


33
  This confusion concerning the amount of funding available to perform project
evaluations is caused by the misperception that OHDACA funds cannot be used to
conduct project evaluations, as discussed later in this report.




Page 21                                  GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
combatant command responsibility. Joint Staff officials said that they are
currently reviewing project evaluations at each combatant command, and
that beginning in February 2012, they plan to address project evaluations
in their monthly teleconferences with the commands. However, officials
from several combatant commands told us that evaluations of HCA
projects are often not completed or that there is minimal follow-up after
projects are completed. While one of the purposes of HCA projects is to
train military personnel, Joint Staff officials said that determining the long-
term effects of their projects is important and that they plan to propose
language emphasizing the importance of long-term project evaluations in
DOD’s updated HCA policy guidance. The lack of consistent project
evaluations appears to be a long-standing problem in the HCA program.
In 1993, we reported that DOD’s combatant commands were not
evaluating their HCA programs. Moreover, we reported that HCA projects
did not always meet the host country’s needs, and that some projects
were not being maintained or used. We recommended at that time that
the commands evaluate their HCA projects and determine their
effectiveness, and that DOD ensure that projects contribute to U.S.
foreign policy objectives and have the full support of the host nation. 34

Agency managers need performance information to ensure that programs
meet intended goals, assess the efficiency of processes, and promote
continuous improvement. 35 Without consistently evaluating its projects,
DOD lacks information to demonstrate tangible positive or negative
effects of many of its projects. Furthermore, Congress needs information
to determine whether a program is working well in order to support its
oversight of agencies and their budgets. Officials from many of DOD’s
combatant commands told us that humanitarian assistance projects help
them gain access and influence in foreign nations, build valuable
relations, or promote stability in foreign countries or regions. For example,
DOD officials asserted that vaccinating cattle in Uganda helps
counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, but they did not provide any
documentation to support this position. 36 Moreover, we have previously


34
  GAO, Department of Defense: Changes Needed to the Humanitarian and Civic
Assistance Program, GAO/NSIAD-94-57 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 2, 1993).
35
 GAO/GGD-96-118.
36
  DOD’s fiscal year 2008 report to Congress on its HCA efforts describes a project that
involved assisting the Ugandan government in providing healthy livestock to civilians
relocating from internally displaced persons camps to their former villages, but does not
mention how the project relates to efforts to combat terrorism in Somalia.




Page 22                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                             reported instances of unintended consequences because of problems
                             such as the lack of information on past DOD projects. 37 For example,
                             DOD officials had discovered a dilapidated school in Kenya with a placard
                             noting that the school had been donated by the department. However, the
                             existence of the school was unknown to current DOD staff in the region,
                             and its poor condition could promote unfavorable views of the U.S.
                             military. While DOD officials, for example, expressed confidence that
                             such instances were no longer occurring, without consistently evaluating
                             projects, DOD cannot be certain of project consequences—whether
                             positive or negative.

DOD Has Not Addressed Lack   Although there is widespread consensus among DOD offices and all of
of Project Evaluations or    the geographic combatant commands that project follow-up is an area of
Assessments of Long-Term     weakness, DOD has not assessed its evaluation process or requirements
Effects                      to determine whether changes are needed to employ a more risk-based
                             evaluation approach in order to strategically allocate resources. Given
                             concerns expressed by officials from several combatant commands
                             regarding the costs associated with conducting project evaluations and
                             their resource limitations, it may be inefficient to evaluate some of DOD’s
                             lower-cost humanitarian assistance projects, as there might not be a
                             sufficient return on investment to justify the expenses associated with
                             performing the follow-up. We have advocated for a comprehensive risk
                             management approach as a framework for decision making that assesses
                             the values and risks of various courses of action as a tool for reexamining
                             defense programs, setting priorities, and allocating resources, and that
                             provides for the use of performance measures to assess outcomes. 38
                             Under such a risk-based approach, it is possible that not all humanitarian
                             assistance projects would need to be evaluated.

                             Moreover, officials from several combatant commands said that it is
                             difficult for them to measure the long-term effects of DOD’s humanitarian
                             assistance efforts. However, several resources exist that DOD could
                             potentially leverage to assess its humanitarian assistance efforts over the




                             37
                               GAO, Defense Management: DOD Needs to Determine the Future of Its Horn of Africa
                             Task Force, GAO-10-504 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 15, 2010).
                             38
                               GAO, High-Risk Series: An Update, GAO-05-207 (Washington, D.C.: January 2005),
                             and Defense Management: Additional Actions Needed to Enhance DOD's Risk-Based
                             Approach for Making Resource Decisions, GAO-06-13 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 15, 2005).




                             Page 23                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
long term. 39 For example, in 2011, the RAND Corporation developed the
Prototype Handbook for Monitoring and Evaluating DOD Humanitarian
Assistance Projects that was designed as a guide for planning and
executing project assessments for both OHDACA and HCA projects.
Some combatant command officials said that they were aware of the
RAND Corporation handbook and were beginning to use it. In addition,
State and nongovernmental organization officials suggested that DOD
examine resources such as the Sphere Project, 40 which has developed
minimum standards to achieve in humanitarian response as well as key
indicators that can be used to show whether a standard has been
attained. Furthermore, USAID requires performance management plans,
which are tools to plan and manage the process of monitoring, evaluating,
and reporting on progress toward achieving its assistance objectives. It
has also developed performance indicators in areas such as democracy
and governance and for the HIV/AIDS programs to help assess their
progress. 41 USAID and State both recently issued new evaluation policies
that emphasize the importance of project follow-up.

Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials said that the new version
of DOD’s project database, the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance
Shared Information System, will have expanded features that will better
enable DOD to capture whether the long-term goals of its humanitarian
assistance projects have been met. For example, the agency stated that
in developing the new version of the database, particular attention has
been paid to facilitating and simplifying ease of use in order to encourage
the capture of relevant data from users. Specifically, officials said that
there will be check boxes to indicate whether project evaluations have
been completed, and the database will automatically send e-mail
messages to project stakeholders to alert them of the need to complete



39
  We did not independently evaluate these resources to assess how they might be
applied to DOD’s efforts.
40
  The Sphere Project was initiated by a group of nongovernmental organizations and the
Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. Its goal in developing the standards was to
improve the quality of humanitarian response and enhance the accountability of the
system. The Sphere Project, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in
Humanitarian Response, 3d ed. (2011).
41
 We have previously reported on challenges in monitoring and evaluating some of
USAID’s projects. See GAO, Afghanistan Development: Enhancements to Performance
Management and Evaluation Efforts Could Improve USAID’s Agricultural Programs,
GAO-10-368 (Washington, D.C.: July 14, 2010).




Page 24                            GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                         the required evaluations. In addition, the officials said that the database
                         will contain specific evaluation questions based on the project’s goals.
                         These aspects of the database were still under development at the time
                         of our review, and thus we were unable to review the evaluation
                         questions or assess whether they will incorporate some of the indicators
                         mentioned above. While these changes, if implemented, could help
                         address some of DOD’s project evaluation weaknesses, until DOD
                         reviews its project evaluation requirements to make any necessary
                         changes, measures the long-term impact of its efforts, and consistently
                         conducts its required evaluations, the department will be unable to
                         determine whether these efforts are an effective use of DOD’s resources
                         in an increasingly constrained fiscal environment.


DOD’s Guidance for Its   DOD has not issued a departmental instruction to guide the OHDACA
Largest Humanitarian     program. The two primary sources of guidance that DOD uses for the
Assistance Program Is    OHDACA program—a policy cable and a chapter in DOD’s security
                         assistance management manual 42—have not been updated in several
Limited
                         years. The guidance is limited and not easily accessible to all DOD
                         personnel, which could contribute to misinterpretation. For example,
                         several officials told us they believed that OHDACA funds could not be
                         used to perform assessments of completed humanitarian assistance
                         projects. While there are some restrictions on the use of OHDACA funds
                         for program evaluation, DOD attorneys confirmed that two required
                         OHDACA project evaluations—at 30 days and at 1 year after project
                         completion—could be properly funded as part of the OHDACA program.
                         Furthermore, the cable, last updated in 2009, is only disseminated to a
                         limited number of people and is not readily accessible to all DOD
                         personnel. Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials also
                         acknowledged that the guidance in the security assistance management
                         manual, last updated in 2003, is out of date and does not reflect the
                         current operating environment.

                         DOD has issued two departmental instructions for the HCA program,
                         which receives less funding than the OHDACA program. As a
                         departmental practice, DOD issues instructions for certain programs,
                         which establish policy or provide general procedures for implementing
                         policy. Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials explained—and



                         42
                          DOD, Security Assistance Management Manual, DOD 5105.38-M, ch.12 (Oct. 3, 2003).




                         Page 25                         GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                            officials from several combatant commands agreed—that issuing a
                            departmental instruction would be helpful in ensuring that everyone
                            shares a common understanding of the humanitarian assistance program,
                            the processes and guidelines for these projects, and the roles and
                            functions of the relevant players and agencies. Moreover, an instruction
                            could help facilitate consistency in program implementation, which is
                            especially important given the frequent rotations of military personnel.
                            Officials indicated that DOD is in the process of reexamining the existing
                            guidance and plans to issue an instruction and updated guidance for the
                            OHDACA program in early 2012. Until DOD issues an instruction and
                            updated guidance for the ODHACA humanitarian assistance program,
                            there could be continued confusion or inconsistency in how the
                            combatant commands implement the program.


                            DOD, State, and USAID do not have full visibility over each others’
Information-Sharing         assistance efforts, which could result in a fragmented approach to U.S.
Challenges and              assistance. While the agencies have various initiatives under way to
                            share information about their humanitarian or development assistance
Potential for Overlap       efforts, they face two main challenges: (1) the initiatives are not
among the Agencies’         interoperable or coordinated across the agencies and (2) the agencies
Efforts Could Result        use different terminology to describe similar assistance efforts. Without
                            full visibility over each others’ efforts, the potential exists for unnecessary
in a Fragmented             overlap in U.S. assistance efforts, which ultimately raises questions about
Approach to U.S.            DOD’s expanding role in providing humanitarian assistance.

Assistance Efforts

Initiatives Are Under Way   Various initiatives are under way to improve visibility over the agencies’
to Improve Interagency      assistance efforts, but there is no framework, such as a common
Information Sharing, but    database, to readily share information across the agencies. DOD
                            guidance requires collaboration and coordination with USAID, and with
Challenges Remain           State as appropriate, when planning humanitarian assistance efforts. 43
                            Our prior work has also cited the importance of information sharing to



                            43
                              Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict and
                            Interdependent Capabilities, Policy Guidance for DOD Overseas Humanitarian Assistance
                            Program (HAP), and DOD Instruction 2205.3, Implementing Procedures for the
                            Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA) Program.




                            Page 26                           GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                                facilitate interagency collaboration on national security issues. 44
                                Interagency information sharing can be especially important given the
                                shift toward transnational threats that may require a broader perspective
                                to effectively plan and implement humanitarian assistance efforts. For
                                example, issues such as pandemic outbreaks, disaster response and
                                management, and food security are all complex issues that necessitate
                                coordination across the agencies. In addition, we have identified as a
                                good collaborative practice the need to establish compatible policies,
                                procedures, and other means to operate across agency boundaries,
                                including compatible standards and data systems. 45

Several Initiatives Are in      DOD, State, and USAID recognize the need to improve information
Progress to Improve             sharing, and they have begun to take steps to address the challenge. For
Information Sharing, but They   example, officials within the agencies are attempting to enhance working-
Lack Coordination               level coordination through efforts such as the 3D Planning Group, 46 which
                                aims to examine DOD’s, State’s, and USAID’s different strategic planning
                                efforts. The 3D Planning Group works to develop an environment where
                                the agency officials can resolve interagency planning challenges and
                                institutionalize processes to improve collaboration on interagency
                                planning. However, according to participants, the planning group is an ad
                                hoc effort—participation is voluntary, outside of other responsibilities, and
                                it may not be a high priority for the agencies. Moreover, as shown in table
                                2, the agencies have various technological initiatives under way to
                                improve information sharing.




                                44
                                  GAO, Interagency Collaboration: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight of National
                                Security Strategies, Organizations, Workforce, and Information Sharing, GAO-09-904SP
                                (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 25, 2009).
                                45
                                 GAO, Results-Oriented Government: Practices That Can Help Enhance and Sustain
                                Collaboration among Federal Agencies, GAO-06-15 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 21, 2005).
                                46
                                 In the initiative title, “3D” stands for defense, diplomacy, and development.




                                Page 27                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Table 2: Key DOD, State, and USAID Information-Sharing Initiatives

Information-sharing
initiative                Goals                         Lead agency                         Participating agencies        Intended audience
Foreign Assistance        Collect and provide all       Initiative directed by the          Currently limited to State,   General public, foreign
Dashboard                 U.S. government foreign       National Security                   USAID, and the                nations, Congress, U.S.
                          assistance information in     Council and                         Millennium Challenge          government agencies, and
                          a standard, accessible,       implemented by State                Corporation                   donors
                          and easy-to-use format        and USAID
Foreign Assistance        Collect and report data       State and USAID                     All PEPFAR                    Currently limited to
Coordination and          on PEPFAR foreign                                                 implementing agencies         PEPFAR implementing
Tracking System           assistance funding for                                                                          agencies, with the intent
             a
(FACTS Info)              HIV/AIDS                                                                                        to share information with
                                                                                                                          all FACTS Info users
Overseas Humanitarian Manage the life cycle of DOD                                          DOD supplies project          DOD and U.S.
Assistance Shared     DOD’s OHDACA-funded                                                   data; State and USAID         government agencies
Information System    and HCA humanitarian                                                  have access to review
                      assistance projects                                                   data
Global Theater Security   Link all of the combatant DOD                                     Initially limited to DOD      Initially to be an internal
Cooperation               commands’ and DOD                                                                               database for DOD, with
Management                components’ security                                                                            the intent to share
Information System        cooperation efforts in                                                                          information across all
                          one system                                                                                      interagency partners
Foreign Assistance        Compile and report U.S.       USAID                               Nineteen agencies             Donor countries from the
Database                  foreign assistance data                                                                         Development Assistance
                          annually                                                                                        Committee of the
                                                                                                                          Organization for Economic
                                                                                                                          Cooperation and
                                                                                                                          Development; the
                                                                                                                          database is also available
                                                                                                                          to the general public
                                           Source: GAO analysis of DOD, State, and USAID data.

                                           Notes: PEPFAR is the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. PEPFAR is led by State, but is
                                           an interagency effort to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS around the world.
                                           DOD’s two key humanitarian assistance programs are the humanitarian assistance program funded
                                           through DOD’s OHDACA appropriation and the HCA program, which is funded by the military
                                           services through their operation and maintenance funds appropriations.
                                           a
                                            FACTS Info supports U.S. foreign assistance budget formulation and execution for State and USAID,
                                           and enables the management of planning and reporting requirements, and is not limited to PEPFAR
                                           data. We chose to highlight the use of FACTS Info to share PEPFAR data as an example of how the
                                           system can be used to share information.


                                           While these initiatives may help improve information sharing, many
                                           involve similar stakeholders and audiences, and officials told us that
                                           currently the various agencies’ initiatives are not interoperable or
                                           coordinated. For example, State officials told us that there is some
                                           overlap between the data compiled for the Foreign Assistance Database
                                           and those compiled for the Foreign Assistance Dashboard. Furthermore,
                                           while the Foreign Assistance Dashboard and Foreign Assistance



                                           Page 28                                           GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Database will contain information from the same data request, it is not
expected that the two systems will be able to share information, and
officials from DOD, USAID, and State confirmed that their information-
sharing initiatives are not interoperable with other agencies’ initiatives.
Officials responsible for the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, Foreign
Assistance Coordination and Tracking System, and Global Theater
Security Cooperation Management Information System said that as these
systems are refined, their intended audiences will expand to include many
of the same participants and users, and thus coordination will be critical in
order to avoid unnecessary overlap.

Officials said that interagency information sharing can be challenging at
the agency headquarters level because communication can be informal,
ad hoc, or personality driven. For example, State officials said that the
agencies generally do not share information or communicate their
budgetary plans for humanitarian and development assistance. Officials
from DOD, State, and USAID thought that the extent to which interagency
communication occurs tends to be personality driven and can vary based
on the individuals involved. Furthermore, DOD officials said that
collaboration can be difficult because when new staff members arrive,
they have to rebuild relationships to facilitate information sharing, and
progress in coordinating humanitarian assistance projects across the
agencies can be lost. USAID officials also stated that coordination with
DOD varies by country and can depend largely on how well stakeholders
within the country share information. According to National Security Staff,
different agencies have said that there would be benefits to having
information about all U.S. government foreign assistance efforts readily
available in a centralized manner, but that there are challenges to
developing a framework for formal interagency information sharing
because the agencies collect data on their efforts differently and the data
are not always readily available.

However, our outreach to 12 U.S. embassies identified practices at the
country level to facilitate information sharing among DOD, State, and
USAID officials, and all cited specific examples of positive collaboration
and coordination occurring within the embassies. For example, officials
from the U.S. embassy in Bangladesh engage in weekly working group
meetings in which DOD, State, and USAID officials plan, prioritize, and
coordinate how to implement humanitarian assistance efforts in the
country. Officials cited examples of cooperation between USAID and
DOD to build cyclone shelters and provide medical relief to poor
populations as instances where information sharing across the agencies
has led to the effective coordination of efforts. U.S. embassy officials in


Page 29                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                          Kenya said that as a result of the information sharing that occurs during
                          their interagency working group meetings, they were able to ensure that
                          DOD and USAID did not duplicate each others’ efforts to sponsor
                          exchanges among religious figures in Kenya. However, there may also be
                          information-sharing challenges at the embassy level. For example,
                          officials from the U.S. embassy in Indonesia cited several challenges to
                          interagency collaboration, including the lack of formalized coordination
                          and information-sharing mechanisms.

Agencies Use Different    Officials from DOD, State, and USAID told us that a basic challenge
Terminology to Describe   affecting their ability to share information is that the agencies use different
Similar Efforts           terminology to describe similar assistance efforts. To facilitate
                          collaboration, agencies need to address the compatibility of standards,
                          policies, procedures, and data systems that will be used in the
                          collaborative efforts. Collaborating agencies may need to find common
                          ground while still satisfying their respective operating needs. 47 Yet the use
                          of different terminology among federal agencies as well as
                          nongovernmental organizations can hinder communication and can be
                          especially challenging with the frequent rotation of personnel. For
                          example, according to DOD officials, DOD uses the term humanitarian
                          assistance to describe its strategically planned assistance, such as
                          OHDACA-funded and HCA efforts. DOD also conducts foreign
                          humanitarian assistance to relieve or reduce the results of natural or man-
                          made disasters or endemic conditions. By contrast, USAID and State
                          refer to immediate, life-saving relief as “humanitarian assistance” but
                          other capacity building efforts as “development assistance.” According to
                          State, the international community—including nongovernmental
                          organizations, national governments, the United Nations, and other
                          international organizations—generally use the same terminology as
                          USAID and State when referring to their assistance efforts.


                          DOD officials explained that the terminology they use to describe their
                          efforts is derived from their legislative authority to perform humanitarian
                          assistance, and DOD and USAID officials said that DOD uses
                          “humanitarian assistance” rather than “development assistance” to ensure
                          that the department is not perceived as performing development efforts
                          that are outside of its legislatively prescribed areas of responsibility. In



                          47
                           GAO-06-15.




                          Page 30                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                            addition, officials from DOD, State, and USAID said they use different
                            terminology to refer to similar efforts, in part because they do not have the
                            same goals or funding sources for their efforts. However, officials from all
                            three agencies agreed that this differing terminology is an obstacle to the
                            effective sharing of information. For example, DOD officials who were
                            engaged in implementing some of DOD’s humanitarian assistance efforts
                            told us that differences in terminology can create challenges in
                            understanding the scope and nature of each others’ efforts. State officials
                            said that the differing terminology creates challenges to setting goals or
                            objectives when planning with each other. USAID officials said that an
                            interagency working group was formed a few years ago to try to develop
                            a common terminology, but the task proved too difficult and the group
                            dissolved. Several officials agreed that having a better understanding of
                            other agencies’ terminology for assistance efforts would facilitate
                            information sharing or collaboration across the agencies.

                            Without guidance to understand each others’ terminology and a
                            framework to effectively share information, the agencies do not have full
                            visibility over each others’ assistance efforts, which could lead to “stove-
                            piped” planning, uninformed budgetary decisions, and a fragmented
                            approach to the U.S. government’s humanitarian and development
                            assistance efforts.


DOD Has Military Goals      DOD conducts humanitarian assistance efforts to advance U.S. military
for Humanitarian            interests, but performs efforts similar to those of State/USAID. Without full
Assistance, but Potential   visibility over each others’ efforts, the potential for unnecessary overlap
                            may exist. 48
for Overlap Exists with
State and USAID in Four
Key Areas

DOD Has Several Goals for   DOD generally conducts humanitarian assistance efforts through its
Humanitarian Assistance     OHDACA and HCA programs to advance U.S. military interests, and its
                            efforts can primarily be grouped into four sectors of assistance: health,
                            education, infrastructure, and disaster preparation. DOD’s humanitarian


                            48
                              For the purposes of our review, we are combining the activities performed by State and
                            USAID because while USAID performs a significant amount of foreign assistance
                            activities, it performs them in close coordination with State and some projects are funded
                            by State.




                            Page 31                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
assistance efforts are aimed at improving DOD visibility, access, and
influence while building and/or reinforcing security and stability in a host
nation or region; providing disaster mitigation training and/or bolstering
host nation capacity to avert humanitarian crises and response to
disasters; and generating collaborative relationships with a host nation’s
civil society as well as positive public relations and goodwill toward DOD.
DOD’s combatant commands identified additional goals for the
humanitarian assistance program. For example, Africa Command stated
that by improving the living conditions of local populations, some
humanitarian assistance programs may help in countering terrorists or
violent extremist organizations. European and Southern Command
officials stated that a primary goal of their humanitarian assistance
programs is to gain access to certain areas in order to engage with local
governments, militaries, and populations in support of U.S. strategic
objectives. Central Command officials said that a benefit of performing
humanitarian assistance is that in addition to building the capacity of a
foreign nation, the efforts can also build trust and confidence of the local
populations in their government. One of the primary goals of DOD’s HCA
program is to promote operational readiness skills of U.S.
servicemembers, along with improving basic economic and social needs
of foreign nations.

In comparison, State and USAID, as the lead agencies for foreign
relations and development, respectively, generally perform similar
development assistance efforts as DOD, but on a much larger scale to
benefit foreign nations and advance development goals. For example, to
further its diplomatic mission, State provides assistance to build and
sustain more democratic, secure, and prosperous foreign nations that
respond to the needs of their people. State’s efforts address a wide range
of foreign policy issues, including those related to climate change,
counterterrorism, democracy and human rights, economics, energy
security, food security, health, narcotics, trafficking in persons, and
women’s issues. USAID, to further its development mission, provides
economic, development, and disaster response assistance around the
world in support of U.S. foreign policy and development goals. USAID
provides assistance in areas such as agriculture, democracy and
governance, economic growth and trade, the environment, education and
training, global health, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response.
Overall, State and USAID obligated almost $50 billion to certain




Page 32                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                                 development assistance efforts outside of Iraq and Afghanistan from
                                 fiscal years 2005 through 2010. 49

DOD’s Efforts Could              Although the agencies have different reasons for conducting their
Potentially Overlap with Those   humanitarian assistance or development efforts, they perform similar
of State/USAID                   efforts in the areas of health, education, infrastructure, and disaster
                                 preparation, and without full visibility over each others’ efforts, there is the
                                 potential for some overlap (see fig. 7). 50 Overlap in efforts may be
                                 appropriate in some instances, especially if agencies can leverage each
                                 others’ efforts. In other instances, overlap may be unintended, may be
                                 unnecessary, or may represent an inefficient use of U.S. government
                                 resources. For example, USAID officials said that the agencies’ having
                                 differing goals for assistance can create foreign policy challenges in
                                 sending a clear and coherent message to the country receiving
                                 assistance.

                                 Our review of DOD’s humanitarian assistance projects from 2005 through
                                 2010 revealed that DOD and State/USAID are engaging in similar efforts
                                 within the four sectors. For example, DOD and State/USAID are
                                 performing similar education projects by building schools and supplying
                                 school supplies, and they are both improving health care by training
                                 medical personnel, building hospitals, and providing medical supplies and
                                 vaccinations. DOD and State/USAID are also performing similar
                                 infrastructure projects, such as drilling wells and constructing sanitation
                                 facilities, and similar disaster preparation projects by training first
                                 responders and helping communities establish plans to respond to natural
                                 disasters.




                                 49
                                   USAID officials identified the following development assistance accounts as comparable
                                 to DOD’s humanitarian assistance efforts: the Economic Support Fund account; the
                                 Development Assistance account; Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia; the
                                 Global Health and Child Survival account; and Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance funds
                                 for preparedness and disaster risk reduction.
                                 50
                                   It is important to note the distinction between overlap and duplication. While we found
                                 that the potential for overlap exists—that is, the agencies are performing similar types of
                                 efforts, sometimes in the same geographic areas—we did not find examples of actual
                                 duplication of specific projects conducted by DOD and State/USAID. However, State and
                                 USAID officials cited past instances of apparent duplication, such as DOD drilling water
                                 wells or building schools and clinics near the same areas in which USAID was performing
                                 similar services.




                                 Page 33                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Figure 7: Potential for Agency Overlap in Some Peacetime Humanitarian and
Development Assistance Efforts




Notes: Graphic does not represent a numerical calculation.


For the purposes of our analysis, we defined health care efforts as providing medical care,
assistance, and education on basic health care issues, building hospitals and clinics, or providing
medical equipment; education efforts as training teachers, providing school supplies, or building



Page 34                                  GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
educational facilities; infrastructure efforts as drilling wells and building roads, bridges, or rudimentary
structures; and disaster preparation efforts as helping foreign nations plan for, prepare for, and
respond to natural disasters.


We also found several examples of overlap in the types of efforts
conducted by DOD and USAID within specific countries. For example, in
Haiti, both USAID and DOD have performed efforts to improve disaster
response preparation: USAID has worked with the Haitian government to
improve early warning systems and develop comprehensive plans to
prepare and respond to disasters, and DOD has developed an
earthquake preparedness program for internally displaced Haitians. DOD
has also performed disaster preparation efforts in Indonesia, where
USAID is developing disaster risk reduction programs to support U.S.
government climate change goals in the country. Officials from the U.S.
embassy in Indonesia stated that the efforts between DOD and USAID on
their disaster management efforts will need to be well coordinated to
prevent duplication because there is not currently a formal method for the
agencies to coordinate and communicate about these efforts. In Yemen,
USAID has renovated health clinics and provided medical supplies to
support pre- and postnatal care and other basic health care services,
while DOD has used mobile health care clinics to provide basic medical
care to rural populations (see fig. 8). In addition, both DOD and USAID
have built schools and education facilities in Azerbaijan and have worked
to upgrade and rehabilitate water wells in Pakistan.




Page 35                                    GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Figure 8: Similar USAID and DOD Health Efforts in Yemen




                                        Officials from DOD, State, USAID, and nongovernmental organizations
                                        identified some areas where they believed that DOD is well suited to
                                        provide foreign assistance, such as providing military-to-military
                                        assistance to foreign militaries or helping foreign nations respond to
                                        natural disasters in their countries. For example, DOD provides military-
                                        to-military support by educating foreign militaries on HIV/AIDS treatment
                                        and prevention and training them in disaster response techniques.
                                        Officials from State, USAID, and nongovernmental organizations also
                                        stated that DOD’s greater resources, personnel, and logistics support
                                        capabilities can be helpful when responding to a disaster. In addition,
                                        State and nongovernmental organization officials said that with its greater
                                        resources and personnel, DOD could help to fill gaps in areas not met by
                                        State and USAID efforts because of differences in the agencies’
                                        capacities. For example, nongovernmental organization officials said that
                                        DOD’s greater capacity can be beneficial when undertaking large
                                        infrastructure projects, such as constructing roads and bridges. An official
                                        from State cited similar benefits, stating that DOD can be helpful when
                                        civilian capacity is overwhelmed or when rapid infrastructure projects are
                                        necessary to repair roads and bridges, which would then help facilitate
                                        civilian relief efforts. USAID officials also said that DOD can play an


                                        Page 36                       GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                               important role in supporting USAID’s development work by providing
                               security for USAID staff in hostile environments, such as in Iraq and
                               Afghanistan, where USAID staff are unable to move as freely.

Potential Negative Effects     DOD has recognized that, in the past, mistakes have occurred within its
Heighten Concern about DOD’s   humanitarian assistance programs, and DOD officials said they have tried
Efforts                        to incorporate lessons learned into the programs’ management. However,
                               officials from State, USAID, and nongovernmental organizations cited a
                               number of potential negative consequences that could result from DOD
                               performing humanitarian assistance efforts. Officials from DOD, State,
                               and USAID said that some DOD personnel may lack expertise and
                               education on performing development assistance-type work in foreign
                               nations. 51 Officials from USAID and State also said that because of
                               DOD’s military goals for humanitarian assistance efforts, the department
                               may view its efforts from a more short-term, security-oriented perspective,
                               as compared with the long-term, development-oriented perspective
                               generally taken by civilian agencies. For example, the officials said that
                               DOD may not fully consider the potential political or social implications of
                               performing humanitarian assistance projects in a country, which could
                               lead to unintended consequences or misused resources. A State official
                               explained that foreign assistance is often provided to fragile communities
                               with complex dynamics, and even seemingly small projects, such as
                               distributing soccer balls or candy, can have consequences, such as
                               neighboring villages interpreting the U.S. government as favoring one
                               community over another. Officials cited a few examples where negative
                               effects had occurred because of DOD projects:

                               •    European Command officials said that DOD had built a hospice care
                                    center for HIV/AIDS patients in a town in the Ukraine that was
                                    received negatively based on the local community’s perspective on
                                    the disease. Officials said that because these cultural sensitivities
                                    were not considered, the local community was not supportive of the
                                    project and European Command did not achieve the intended goal of
                                    gaining access and influence in the Ukraine.
                               •    U.S. embassy officials in Uganda said that DOD personnel had built a
                                    library but did not ensure staffing of a librarian or provide books and



                               51
                                 We have previously reported that DOD personnel lack expertise in performing
                               development assistance-type work in foreign nations. See GAO, Defense Management:
                               Improved Planning, Training, and Interagency Collaboration Could Strengthen DOD’s
                               Efforts in Africa, GAO-10-794 (Washington, D.C.: July 28, 2010), and GAO-10-504.




                               Page 37                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                                bookshelves. The library sat empty for a year before USAID
                                renovated the structure as a war memorial and research center for
                                victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency.
                          •     U.S. embassy officials in Lebanon described an incident in which
                                DOD officials did not coordinate with USAID on a school renovation
                                project and demolished a portion of the school’s roof that had
                                previously been built by USAID.

                          USAID and nongovernmental organization officials also stated that DOD’s
                          involvement in humanitarian assistance efforts to advance military
                          interests like counterterrorism or global security can cause distrust among
                          the communities receiving assistance. Moreover, officials from several
                          nongovernmental organizations expressed concern about experiencing
                          distrust from the local population or having their safety jeopardized when
                          DOD personnel perform humanitarian assistance efforts. Furthermore,
                          State, USAID, and nongovernmental organization officials stated that
                          DOD’s projects may not be well sustained because they may not be
                          monitored and evaluated once they are completed. We have previously
                          reported on similar concerns about the sustainability of USAID’s projects
                          because of challenges in monitoring and evaluating some of their
                          development projects. 52


DOD’s Role in             GAO is required to identify federal agencies, programs, and initiatives that
Humanitarian Assistance   may have duplicative goals or activities in order to assist Congress as it
May Need Reexamination    reexamines federal priorities and policy decisions in a fiscally-constrained
                          environment. The current legislation guiding DOD’s OHDACA program
                          was originally enacted in the early 1990s and has been amended several
                          times, most recently in 2003, but does not provide detailed guidance on
                          DOD’s role in providing humanitarian assistance. The legislation allows
                          DOD to, among other things, use funds authorized for humanitarian
                          assistance to provide transportation of humanitarian relief and for other
                          humanitarian purposes worldwide. DOD’s various humanitarian
                          assistance efforts currently performed under the OHDACA program are
                          carried out under this authorization. Moreover, DOD’s OHDACA program
                          has grown by about 60 percent from fiscal years 2005 through 2010 even
                          though it faces several management issues cited in this report. DOD’s
                          Quadrennial Defense Review states that while DOD can and should have



                          52
                              GAO-10-368.




                          Page 38                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
the expertise and capacity to perform capacity-building activities in foreign
nations, civilian leadership of humanitarian assistance, development, and
governance is essential. 53 State officials expressed concern that DOD’s
involvement in foreign assistance has increased significantly, especially
with its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, officials from
DOD, State, and USAID all suggested that Congress provide additional
clarification on the roles, missions, and responsibilities of the agencies
involved in humanitarian and development assistance.

In some cases, DOD has recognized that some humanitarian assistance-
type projects may be better performed by civilian agencies. For example,
a Southern Command official stated that the command suggested a
reduction in its 2011 OHDACA funding for its humanitarian assistance
program because the Combatant Commander had perceived that certain
routine humanitarian assistance efforts (such as building schools and
hospitals) would be better performed by USAID. The Southern Command
Commander instead wanted to focus the command’s humanitarian
assistance efforts and funds on helping foreign nations respond to natural
disasters. In addition, USAID officials cited examples in which DOD
transferred funding to USAID to perform humanitarian assistance efforts.
For example, in Sri Lanka in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, DOD transferred
OHDACA funding to USAID to build schools, hospitals, and clinics; and in
Morocco, USAID officials said that, in fiscal year 2009, DOD transferred
funding to USAID when the agencies learned that they were performing
similar infrastructure projects in the country.

While there is limited guidance on DOD’s role in performing humanitarian
assistance activities, the U.S. government has clearly identified the
importance of development to achieving the nation’s strategic goals and
the agencies responsible for development activities. For example, the
Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development highlights the
importance of development activities toward achieving U.S. national
security interests and expresses a commitment to rebuilding USAID as
the lead U.S. agency for development. 54 The Quadrennial Diplomacy and
Development Review further states that State and USAID are called upon
to lead and advance U.S. foreign policy objectives (as set forth in the


53
 Department of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review (February 2010).
54
 The White House, Fact Sheet on U.S. Global Development Policy (Washington D.C.:
Sept. 22, 2010).




Page 39                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
              National Security Strategy and the Presidential Policy Directive on Global
              Development) through diplomacy and development, with USAID serving
              as the lead agency for development. 55 While USAID is described as the
              lead agency for development assistance, USAID planning officials told us
              that in their view they do not have the ability to control or monitor DOD’s
              humanitarian assistance efforts. Without visibility or oversight over DOD’s
              humanitarian assistance projects, it can be difficult to determine whether
              DOD’s projects necessarily or unnecessarily overlap with those of the
              other agencies and whether DOD’s projects are achieving their desired
              goals. Given several factors—the fiscally-constrained environment, the
              President’s recently expressed commitment to rebuilding USAID as the
              lead U.S. development agency, and the similarity of assistance efforts
              being performed by DOD, State, and USAID—DOD and the other
              agencies involved in foreign assistance could benefit from additional
              direction from Congress on DOD’s role in performing humanitarian
              assistance in peacetime environments. Such additional direction could
              help maximize the use of resources and reduce the potential for the
              unnecessary overlap of efforts.


              At a time of severe budget challenges, improved management and an
Conclusions   examination of the U.S. military’s expanding role in providing
              humanitarian assistance outside of wartime or disaster environments are
              warranted. DOD aligns its two main peacetime humanitarian assistance
              programs, OHDACA and HCA, with its departmental strategic goals and
              coordinates projects with USAID or State. However, until DOD addresses
              several management weaknesses—such as inaccurate project
              information, absent project evaluations, and limited departmental
              guidance—it cannot readily inform the Congress or the U.S. taxpayer as
              to whether its humanitarian assistance efforts represent the most efficient
              and effective use of resources. Moreover, employing a risk-based
              approach to project evaluations and consistently measuring the long-term
              effects of its humanitarian assistance efforts could help DOD determine
              whether its efforts are achieving their goals and having lasting benefits, or
              whether changes are needed in the planning or implementation of its
              projects.




              55
                Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, Leading Through
              Civilian Power: The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (2010).




              Page 40                           GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                      On a broader level, while the funding devoted to DOD’s humanitarian
                      assistance efforts outside of Iraq and Afghanistan is small relative to
                      State’s and USAID’s larger-scale development programs, DOD has
                      nonetheless spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years
                      on efforts that could potentially overlap with those conducted by the
                      civilian agencies. As the boundaries continue to blur between U.S.
                      diplomacy, development, and defense efforts, interagency information
                      sharing becomes paramount. Working together to develop a common
                      terminology and framework to share information on their respective
                      humanitarian and development assistance efforts could provide DOD,
                      State, and USAID with an increased understanding of each others’
                      programs as well as improved transparency, enhanced interagency
                      planning, and a more efficient use of U.S. tax dollars for foreign
                      assistance. Notwithstanding the importance of improving interagency
                      communication, potential for overlap among some DOD efforts and those
                      of State and USAID is still likely to exist even with the establishment of a
                      framework to readily share information. In some cases, overlap among
                      the agencies’ efforts may be appropriate. However, given the current
                      budget climate and concerted efforts by the administration and Congress
                      to reduce government spending, a congressional examination of the
                      legislation governing DOD’s OHDACA program could help clarify the
                      intended role of DOD in performing humanitarian assistance, taking into
                      account the efforts of the civilian agencies and budgetary circumstances.


                      As part of an examination of multiple programs and government functions
Matter for            at a time of fiscal constraint, and to help reduce the potential for overlap
Congressional         among agencies’ efforts, Congress should consider the role of DOD in
                      conducting humanitarian assistance efforts and consider amending the
Consideration         legislation that supports the OHDACA program to more specifically define
                      DOD’s role in humanitarian assistance, taking into account the roles and
                      similar types of efforts performed by the civilian agencies. If Congress
                      chooses to modify the legislation, Congress may wish to consider
                      clarifying the different terminology used by DOD, other federal agencies,
                      and the international community regarding such efforts.


                      To improve the management of DOD’s humanitarian assistance efforts
Recommendations for   and ensure that projects are having lasting, beneficial effects, we
Executive Action      recommend that the Secretary of Defense take the following five actions:

                      •   Direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to help improve
                          consistency in program implementation by issuing a departmental


                      Page 41                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
    instruction and updating accompanying guidance on DOD’s OHDACA
    humanitarian assistance program. In issuing the updated guidance,
    the department may wish to consider further clarifying the use of
    OHDACA funds for specific project evaluation purposes.

•   Direct the Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency to take the
    following actions:
    •     Require that the combatant commands and other DOD users of
          the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information
          System database provide complete and timely updates to
          OHDACA humanitarian assistance project information within the
          system.
    •     Employ a risk-based approach to review and modify project
          evaluation requirements for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance
          program to measure the long-term effects of humanitarian
          assistance projects, and take steps to ensure compliance with the
          requirements.
•   Direct the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, to take the following
    actions:
    •     Require that the combatant commands and other DOD users of
          the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information
          System database provide complete and timely updates to HCA
          project information within the system.
    •     Employ a risk-based approach to review and modify project
          evaluation requirements for the HCA program to measure the
          long-term effects of projects and take steps to ensure compliance
          with the requirements.

To improve transparency and oversight and to maximize the benefits
derived from U.S. government resources devoted to humanitarian and
development assistance efforts, we recommend that the Secretaries of
Defense and State and the Administrator of USAID take the following two
actions:

•   Develop a framework to formalize interagency information sharing on
    humanitarian/development assistance efforts, such as a common
    database. Such a framework could involve selecting an existing
    initiative, such as the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, to be used by all
    agencies for their assistance efforts or taking steps to facilitate
    interoperability among the agencies’ existing independent
    mechanisms.




Page 42                         GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
                     •   Collaborate to develop guidance that provides a common
                         understanding of the terminology used by DOD, State, and USAID
                         related to their humanitarian and development assistance efforts.

                     We provided a draft of this report to DOD, State, USAID, the Office of
Agency Comments      Management and Budget, and the National Security Staff for review and
and Our Evaluation   comment. DOD partially agreed with our recommendations and cited
                     some actions that it was taking to address the issues we identified in this
                     report. State and USAID agreed with the two recommendations
                     addressed to State, USAID, and DOD to improve interagency
                     transparency and oversight, and also cited some actions that the three
                     agencies were taking to address these concerns. The National Security
                     Staff did not provide comments. DOD’s comments are reprinted in
                     appendix X, State’s comments are reprinted in appendix XI, and USAID’s
                     comments are reprinted in appendix XII. Technical comments were
                     provided separately by DOD, State, USAID, and the Office of
                     Management and Budget and were incorporated as appropriate.

                     DOD partially agreed with our first recommendation that DOD issue a
                     departmental instruction and update guidance on the OHDACA
                     humanitarian assistance program to improve consistency in program
                     implementation. The department said that it is currently in the process of
                     updating the policy guidance for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance
                     program, with the intent to use this guidance as the foundation for a DOD
                     instruction on humanitarian assistance. DOD further stated that the
                     updated guidance will clarify current guidance requiring the combatant
                     commands to assess the performance and effectiveness of humanitarian
                     assistance projects in meeting their intended objectives. We note in our
                     report that DOD is in the process of reexamining the existing policy
                     guidance for its humanitarian assistance projects, and agree that the
                     updated guidance should serve as the foundation for a DOD instruction to
                     provide consistency in program implementation, clearly distinguish the
                     processes and guidelines for humanitarian assistance projects, and
                     identify the roles and functions of relevant stakeholders and agencies.
                     However, the department is unclear when the guidance will be finalized
                     and when a formal DOD instruction will be developed or issued. Without
                     clear guidance on how the combatant commands should implement and
                     evaluate the OHDACA humanitarian assistance program, there will likely
                     continue to be confusion and inconsistency in the program’s execution.
                     Moreover, the department’s response does not clearly state whether the
                     updated guidance will clarify the ability to use OHDACA funds to conduct
                     project evaluations, which was a source of confusion identified by the



                     Page 43                       GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
combatant commands and DOD officials. The department also noted in
its response that we had addressed the recommendation to the Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability
Operations in our draft report but that this official does not issue
departmental instructions. We agree with DOD’s comment and have
updated our report to state that the Secretary of Defense should direct the
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to issue the departmental
instruction and accompanying program guidance.

DOD partially agreed with our second recommendation that the
combatant commands and other DOD users be required to provide
complete and timely updates on OHDACA humanitarian assistance
projects in the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information
System database. The department stated that it recognizes that providing
complete and timely updates to its database is a concern, and that the
Defense Security Cooperation Agency has begun developing a second
version of the database to address these deficiencies for data beginning
in fiscal year 2012. The department also stated that it believes the new
database, the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information
System 2.0, will address the concern of ensuring complete and timely
updates, and that there is no need to direct the Defense Security
Cooperation Agency to implement a requirement for users to update the
database. The department further noted that it intends to utilize the
capabilities of the new Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared
Information System to tie humanitarian assistance funding for the
combatant commands and other DOD users to the completion of timely
information in the system. Our report acknowledges that the Defense
Security Cooperation Agency is developing a new version of the
Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System but noted
that many of the improvements to the system are still under development
and unproven at this time. We agree that many of the planned
improvements for the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared
Information System, such as e-mail alerts to users to update evaluations
and simplifying the ease of using the database, could make for a more
complete management and reporting system. Our review also states that
requiring complete data on previous projects could be included as part of
the process for approving new projects to ensure that combatant
commands and DOD users are updating information about their
humanitarian assistance projects. However, we remain concerned that,
without explicit guidance from the Defense Security Cooperation
Agency—the OHDACA program manager—or a set time frame for
complete data on humanitarian assistance projects to be entered into the
Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System, the


Page 44                       GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
department may continue to program and budget for new efforts without
complete and accurate information about projects’ costs, status, and
effects.

DOD also partially agreed with our third recommendation that the
Secretary of Defense direct the Director of the Defense Security
Cooperation Agency to employ a risk-based approach to review and
modify project evaluation requirements for the OHDACA humanitarian
assistance program to measure the long-term effects of humanitarian
assistance projects and to take steps to ensure compliance with the
project evaluation requirements. In its response, the department stated
that it is in the process of refining its project evaluation requirements, and
current efforts include identifying ways to make project evaluations less
burdensome to encourage completion, establishing methods to ensure
compliance with evaluation requirements, and refining data collection
methods to make project evaluations more useful. According to DOD, key
components of these efforts are expected to be completed by the third
and fourth quarters of fiscal year 2012. The department also noted that
given the lack of project evaluation data currently available, it may take
some time to formulate a complete and reliable risk-based approach to
project evaluation requirements, and more data must first be collected.
We agree that the efforts identified by DOD are necessary to ensure
compliance with project evaluation requirements and accurately measure
and monitor the long-term effects of the department’s humanitarian
assistance projects. Furthermore, we understand that implementing a
comprehensive risk-based approach may take some time, and as our
report noted, it will be important for the department to consider changes
to its current evaluation process to more strategically allocate resources,
as it may be inefficient to evaluate some lower-cost humanitarian
assistance projects. We maintain that until the department reviews and
updates its project evaluation requirements, and ensures compliance with
the requirements, it will be unable to determine whether its efforts are
achieving their goals, or whether the projects are an effective use of
DOD’s resources in an increasingly constrained fiscal environment.

DOD agreed with our fourth recommendation that the Secretary of
Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to require the
combatant commands and other DOD users to provide complete and
timely updates on HCA projects in the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance
Shared Information System database. The department stated that since
taking responsibility for the HCA program in January 2011, the Joint Staff
has begun making improvements to address management issues
identified in our review. Its response states that the release of the


Page 45                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
upgraded version of DOD’s Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared
Information System database in December 2011 standardizes input for
project reviews and improves communication and coordination within
DOD and across other agencies. As noted in our review, there are
significant differences between the HCA data reported in the Overseas
Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System and the data
reported to Congress, despite the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance
Shared Information System being used by each of the combatant
commands to record information on its HCA projects. Moreover, we
reported that DOD officials were uncertain where the combatant
commands obtained the information on HCA projects that was reported to
Congress. While upgrades to the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance
Shared Information System represent a positive step toward improving
communication and coordination over the HCA program, until the
department establishes and enforces requirements for the combatant
commands to enter complete data on their HCA projects in the database,
the department risks not having the information necessary to plan its
projects and may continue to provide incomplete information to Congress
on its HCA activities.

DOD also agreed with our fifth recommendation that the Secretary of
Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to employ a risk-
based approach to review and modify project evaluation requirements for
the HCA program to measure the long-term effects of projects and to take
steps to ensure compliance with the project evaluation requirements. The
department noted that the Joint Staff has made improvements in the
management of the HCA program, including addressing data gaps and
coordinating with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations to revise the HCA
guidance. In addition, the department stated that the Joint Staff has
established monthly teleconferences with the Deputy Assistant Secretary
of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations, the Defense
Security Cooperation Agency, and the combatant commands to clarify
policy guidance and discuss best practices. We noted these monthly
teleconferences in our report, as well as the Joint Staff’s intention to begin
reviewing project evaluations for each combatant command starting in
February 2012 as positive steps. The department also stated that in
January 2012 the Joint Staff would begin developing an updated version
of the Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System for
HCA projects, and additional guidance for assessing HCA projects, to be
informed by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s concurrent risk-
based approach for evaluating project effectiveness. The department’s
response also notes that the Global Theater Security Cooperation


Page 46                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Management Information System may provide a solution to the problems
of reporting and tracking HCA projects; however, according to DOD
officials, this system is still under development with no identified time
frame for implementation. We state in our report that the lack of
consistent HCA project evaluations is a long-standing problem that will
require additional guidance and enforcement by the Joint Staff to ensure
that HCA projects are effective at both training military personnel and
contributing to U.S. foreign policy objectives. While progress is being
made to establish assessment guidance and begin consistently reviewing
whether the combatant commands have completed required project
evaluations, these actions alone may not result in an increased number of
completed evaluations. Until there is clear guidance and enforcement of
project evaluation requirements, the department will continue to lack
information about the long-term effects of its HCA projects, and the Joint
Staff and Congress will be challenged to provide oversight to determine
whether the program is meeting its intended goals and represents an
effective use of resources.

DOD, State, and USAID agreed with our sixth recommendation that the
three agencies develop a framework to formalize interagency information
sharing, such as using a common database, for humanitarian and
development assistance efforts. DOD, State, and USAID noted that the
agencies have taken steps to improve information sharing across the
agencies, which we cite in our report, and that all three agencies will
continue to explore additional venues to coordinate their efforts. DOD
stated that it will engage with State and USAID to determine what
information-sharing mechanisms could be used to enhance information
sharing, and noted that it has already taken some steps to do so by
providing State and USAID with access to DOD’s Overseas Humanitarian
Assistance Shared Information System database. They also noted that
DOD’s database has a framework in place to be able to share data with
systems such as the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, and that attributes in
the Foreign Assistance Dashboard could be adopted in the Overseas
Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System to facilitate
information sharing. While our report notes that DOD’s database is not
currently interoperable with State and USAID’s databases, it is
encouraging that there are opportunities for the agencies to restructure
their systems to facilitate information sharing as our report recommends.
State’s response noted that it is currently in discussions with DOD and
USAID about broadening the Foreign Assistance Dashboard to include
DOD’s efforts, and that it is working on developing country-specific
strategic plans to facilitate coordination and planning across the agencies.
We note in our report that information sharing, planning, and coordination


Page 47                       GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
appear to work well at the country level, but a standardized approach to
information sharing across the agencies is needed for full visibility over
each others’ humanitarian and development assistance efforts. USAID
stated that it will continue to explore information-sharing opportunities
with DOD and State, but said that there are challenges to sharing
information because each agency has separate databases that are not
integrated, a challenge we recognize in our report. Our report
underscores that the development of a framework to formalize
interagency information sharing, in the form of a common, interoperable
database, is necessary to improve coordination of each of the agencies’
programs, as well as to prevent overlap and an inefficient use of
resources.

DOD, State, and USAID also agreed with our seventh recommendation
that the three agencies collaborate to develop guidance that provides a
common understanding of the different terminology used by DOD, State,
and USAID to describe their humanitarian and development assistance
efforts. DOD stated that although the agencies use different terminology
because of differences in their authorities and mission sets, that a better
understanding of the terms the agencies use would help to facilitate
coordination on similar types of projects. DOD further stated that it will
work with State and USAID to identify a scope and time frame for issuing
guidance on a common terminology. We state in our report that DOD’s
terminology is derived from DOD’s legislative authority to perform
humanitarian assistance, and officials from DOD, State, and USAID
agreed that differences in the agencies’ terminology are an obstacle to
basic communication and information sharing. For example, State noted
in its technical comments that while DOD uses different terminology to
ensure that it is not perceived as performing development efforts that are
outside of its legislative authority, DOD’s activities do not conform with the
definition of humanitarian assistance used by State, USAID, and the
international community, and this can be a barrier to cooperation across
the agencies. USAID noted that development and humanitarian
assistance are the domain of the civilian authorities, with a limited role for
DOD where its unique capabilities are needed. USAID stated that
clarification of distinct objectives, conditions, and terms of engagement of
civilians and military in what is called humanitarian assistance by both
DOD and USAID would be helpful, and new terminology would also help
distinguish the distinct goals and roles and responsibilities. State and
USAID both stated that the agencies are working toward improving
collaboration and coordination across the agencies through the 3D
Planning Group, and that this group could potentially work to develop
guidance on a common set of terminology. We recognize efforts of the 3D


Page 48                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Planning Group in our report, but note that officials from the group said it
is an ad hoc effort that is not a high priority for the agencies. Our report
highlights that the use of different terminology can hinder communication
across the agencies, and we maintain that without guidance that
promotes a better understanding of each others’ terminology, the
agencies are at risk of taking a fragmented approach to their
humanitarian and development assistance efforts.


We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
committees, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the
Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. In
addition, the report is available at no charge on the GAO website at
http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact
me at (202) 512-3489 or pendletonj@gao.gov. Contact points for our
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this
report are listed in appendix XIII.




John H. Pendleton
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management




Page 49                        GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
List of Committees

The Honorable Carl Levin
Chairman
The Honorable John McCain
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable John Kerry
Chairman
The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate

The Honorable Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Chairman
The Honorable Adam Smith
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
House of Representatives

The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Chairman
The Honorable Howard L. Berman
Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Affairs
House of Representatives




Page 50                    GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




             To conduct our work, we reviewed Department of Defense (DOD)
             guidance, including the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review; DOD
             guidance on the Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid
             (OHDACA) humanitarian assistance and Humanitarian and Civic
             Assistance (HCA) programs; and the combatant commands’ theater
             campaign plans and other command guidance. We also reviewed
             relevant legislation authorizing the OHDACA and HCA programs found in
             sections 2561 and 401 of Title 10 of the United States Code, respectively.
             We chose to focus on these two key DOD humanitarian assistance
             programs based on discussions with officials at the Defense Security
             Cooperation Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the
             Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and
             Stability Operations. During the course of our review, we contacted
             officials at a wide range of agencies and offices, including officials at 12
             U.S. embassies. Our selection of embassies consisted of 2 embassies
             located with each combatant command’s geographical area of
             responsibility that resided in countries with the largest amounts of
             OHDACA-funded humanitarian assistance projects from fiscal years 2005
             through 2010. We decided to limit the scope of our review of other federal
             offices to the Department of State (State) and United States Agency for
             International Development (USAID) because DOD guidance for its
             OHDACA and HCA programs provides requirements for coordination with
             these agencies. We met with officials at the Department of Health and
             Human Services early during the review before making the decision to
             limit the scope to State and USAID.

             To understand how much DOD had obligated for its OHDACA
             humanitarian assistance efforts, we analyzed data from DOD’s Program
             Budget Automated System and determined these data to be sufficiently
             reliable for presenting obligations from fiscal years 2005 through 2010. To
             determine DOD’s obligations for the HCA program, we used information
             from DOD’s annual reports to Congress on the program for the same time
             period. 1 We limited our analysis to DOD’s obligations in fiscal years 2005
             through 2010 because DOD issued guidance in 2005 that emphasized
             the importance of stability operations, which include humanitarian
             assistance, and DOD officials also told us that data prior to fiscal year
             2005 may not be reliable. We also included context information on other



             1
              DOD’s fiscal year 2010 report to Congress was in draft form and had not been submitted
             to Congress at the time of our review.




             Page 51                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




selected DOD military-to-military humanitarian assistance-type efforts that
help improve the well-being of foreign populations, including HIV/AIDS
efforts. We performed data reliability checks on the information DOD
officials gathered from financial databases by requiring officials to
complete questionnaires about data entry and quality control procedures.
We determined that the data were reliable to present annual obligations
for DOD humanitarian assistance for fiscal years 2005 through 2010.

To understand the strategic goals and assistance efforts of State and
USAID, we reviewed guidance and documents from these agencies,
including the fiscal years 2007-2012 State/USAID joint strategic plan;
State’s 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review; the
USAID Policy Framework 2011-2015; several U.S. embassy mission
resource strategic plans and country operational plans; State and
USAID’s evaluation policies for their programs; and USAID descriptions of
programs within specific countries. 2 We also reviewed a fact sheet on the
2010 Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development and relevant
legislation on foreign assistance. We met with State and USAID officials
to identify funding accounts for development efforts similar to those
performed by DOD, and obtained State and USAID obligations by funding
account for fiscal years 2005 through 2010. We analyzed USAID’s and
State’s obligations by account and fiscal year to identify these agencies’
total spending on development assistance activities comparable to the
humanitarian assistance projects performed by DOD.

To assess DOD’s management of the OHDACA and HCA programs, we
considered successful management practices, as identified in our prior
work. Specifically, we identified critical management steps and practices
that can help agencies to achieve success, including (1) aligning projects
to strategic goals and establishing procedures and mechanisms,
(2) coordinating with stakeholders, (3) collecting complete and accurate
data, (4) measuring performance, and (5) developing policies to help
achieve results. To determine the extent to which DOD aligned projects to
strategic goals, established processes for its programs, coordinated with
interagency stakeholders, and established guidance, we analyzed
relevant documents and interviewed DOD, State, and USAID officials at
the headquarters and combatant command levels. To assess DOD’s



2
 Each of USAID’s country profiles, which are posted on www.usaid.gov, provides an
overview of the agency’s programs in a particular country.




Page 52                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




processes and guidance for the OHDACA and HCA programs, we
reviewed relevant statutes; DOD directives, instructions, joint
publications, and other guidance; and Defense Security Cooperation
Agency and combatant command guidance, business rules, and other
documentation pertaining to the OHDACA and HCA programs. To assess
coordination of projects with stakeholders, we analyzed documentation,
such as guidance, organizational charts, budgetary documents, and
interagency memorandums of understanding, and other relevant
documents, and determined the number of interagency personnel located
at each of DOD’s geographic combatant commands. In addition, we
interviewed officials from many DOD offices involved in these two
programs, such as the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff,
the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Office of the Secretary of
Defense’s Office of General Counsel, and each of DOD’s six geographic
combatant commands and its Special Operations Command, as well as
officials from State and USAID at both the headquarters and combatant
command levels, to obtain their perspectives on DOD’s processes,
guidance, and coordination in planning and implementing its humanitarian
assistance efforts.

To evaluate DOD’s information management of its humanitarian
assistance projects, we analyzed reports from DOD’s Overseas
Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System database of all
OHDACA and HCA projects that were identified as completed in the
database from fiscal years 2005 through 2010. 3 To determine the extent
to which OHDACA project information was complete and accurate in the
database, we reviewed a report of OHDACA projects that had been
marked as completed, and noted that the number of projects listed for
some combatant commands was small compared to what we had
expected based on our discussions with DOD officials. We then
compared the total amount of funding for OHDACA projects conducted by
each combatant command in the reports of completed projects to the total
obligation amounts that appeared in the program funding data provided
by DOD officials and identified discrepancies. To determine the extent to
which actual costs for OHDACA projects were recorded in DOD’s
database, we analyzed the reports of OHDACA projects that had been
marked as completed in the database from fiscal years 2007 through



3
 The reports provided by DOD included all projects that had a status of “completed” in the
“team status” database field.




Page 53                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




2010. 4 We determined that actual cost information was present in the
database if the actual cost field contained any value greater than $1. 5 To
determine the extent to which DOD had complete and accurate data
about its HCA projects, we compared the total number of HCA projects
that had been marked as completed in the Overseas Humanitarian
Assistance Shared Information System HCA project reports to the total
number of completed projects identified in DOD’s HCA reports submitted
annually to Congress in fiscal years 2007 through 2009. 6 Although we
found that data on project status and cost were not sufficiently reliable for
our report, we did determine that the data were reliable for the purposes
of presenting examples of humanitarian assistance efforts conducted by
DOD.

To assess the extent to which DOD conducted its required project
evaluations, we analyzed a generalizable random sample of OHDACA
projects. We began with the reports from DOD’s Overseas Humanitarian
Assistance Shared Information System database of projects from fiscal
years 2005 through 2009 that were marked as funded by the combatant
commands, because Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials said
that this would provide a more comprehensive list of projects than the list
of projects marked as completed. We then excluded from that all projects
that recorded either an actual cost value of $10,000 or less, or if no actual
cost information was available, projects that had an estimated cost of
$10,000 or less in the database, because DOD guidance does not require
a 1-year project evaluation for those projects. We also excluded projects
that had a status of “canceled” by the combatant command in the
database, because a Defense Security Cooperation Agency official told
us it was likely that such projects had not been implemented and thus
project evaluations would not have been conducted. Of the 579 projects
that remained after these exclusions, we sampled 97 projects for review.
Because different samples could have provided different estimates, we


4
 Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials told us that the data for fiscal years 2005
and 2006 might not be reliable because they had been imported into the Overseas
Humanitarian Assistance Shared Information System from a legacy system, so we
excluded those 2 fiscal years from this analysis.
5
 We reviewed the “actual cost” database field in DOD’s Overseas Humanitarian
Assistance Shared Information System database for all OHDACA projects that had been
marked with a status of “completed” in the “team status” database field.
6
  At the time of our review, DOD had not yet submitted an HCA report to Congress for
fiscal year 2010, so that fiscal year was excluded from this analysis.




Page 54                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




expressed our confidence in the precision of our particular sample results
as a 95 percent confidence interval. The margin of error for these
estimates is no more than plus or minus 10 percentage points. This is the
interval that would contain the actual population values for 95 percent of
the samples that we could have drawn. Two analysts independently
reviewed DOD’s complete database files for these 97 projects to
determine whether the 30-day and 1-year project evaluations were
present. Because the database did not specifically identify whether a
project evaluation was a 30-day or a 1-year evaluation, we exercised our
judgment to categorize the assessments based on factors such as the
nature of the information in the evaluation and the date the evaluation
was completed. The two analysts compared their results, and all initial
differences regarding the categorization of the assessments and their
presence were discussed and reconciled. Because of concerns about the
completeness and reliability of data in DOD’s database of HCA project
information, we did not generate and analyze a sample of projects from
the database.

To analyze the extent to which DOD, State, and USAID have visibility
over each others’ assistance efforts to avoid duplication, unnecessary
overlap, or fragmentation, we reviewed documentation related to various
information-sharing initiatives and interviewed relevant officials from
DOD, State, USAID, and the National Security Staff to discuss the
initiatives and information-sharing challenges, including the use of
differing terminology among the agencies to describe similar assistance
efforts. To identify the potential for overlapping efforts among the
agencies, we identified DOD’s humanitarian assistance projects by
sector—for example, health, education, infrastructure, and disaster
preparation—from fiscal years 2005 through 2010 and examined
information on State/USAID’s development efforts within geographical
regions and countries to determine if State/USAID had performed similar
types of projects in the areas as DOD. For the purposes of our review, we
combined the activities performed by State and USAID because while
USAID performs a significant amount of foreign assistance activities, it
performs them in close coordination with State and some projects are
funded by State. To identify specific examples of overlap between DOD
and USAID’s efforts in the same country, we compared DOD’s projects in
a country to those performed by USAID in the same country, and found
examples of similar activities being performed in the four sectors. We did
not evaluate whether overlap would have positive or negative effects. We
interviewed relevant officials from DOD, State, USAID, the Office of
Management and Budget, the National Security Staff, and



Page 55                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




nongovernmental agencies to identify potential benefits and
consequences to DOD’s humanitarian assistance program.

In addressing our objectives, we contacted officials representing a wide
range of offices (see table 3).

Table 3: List of Organizations Contacted

DOD
   DOD offices/agencies
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Defense Security Cooperation Agency
International Health Division
Joint Staff
National Guard Bureau
Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Naval Health Research Center
Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Financial Management and Comptroller
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Health Protection and
            a
Readiness
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and
Stability Operations
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
Pacific Command Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian
Assistance
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
   Combatant commands
Africa Command
Central Command
European Command
Northern Command
Pacific Command
Southern Command
Special Operations Command


State
    Bureaus/offices
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs




Page 56                                GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




    Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance
    Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator
       U.S. embassies
    Albania
    Bahamas
    Bangladesh
    Haiti
    Indonesia
    Kenya
    Kyrgyz Republic
    Lebanon
    Mexico
    Moldova
    Peru
    Uganda


    USAID
    Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning
    Office of Military Affairs
    Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
    Select regional bureaus
    Senior development advisors stationed at various combatant commands
    USAID/East Africa Mission - Djibouti


    Other U.S. government organizations
    National Security Staff
    Office of Management and Budget
    Department of Health and Human Services


    Nongovernment organizations
                b
    InterAction
    Refugees International
Source: GAO.
a
We contacted the International Health Division of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Force Health Protection and Readiness.
b
 InterAction is an alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations with more than
190 members working in developing countries around the world. We met with InterAction
representatives from six nongovernment organizations that engage in a variety of development
assistance-type efforts globally.




Page 57                                  GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




We conducted this performance audit from November 2010 through
February 2012 in accordance with generally accepted government
auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the
audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We
believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.




Page 58                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix II: DOD’s Obligations for
              Appendix II: DOD’s Obligations for
              Humanitarian Assistance Efforts by Combatant
              Command


Humanitarian Assistance Efforts by
Combatant Command
              Figure 9 represents DOD’s obligations by geographic combatant
              command for efforts under the OHDACA program from fiscal years 2005
              through 2010. Over this 6-year period, DOD’s Pacific and Southern
              Commands obligated the highest amounts, about $93.8 million and
              $75.8 million, respectively.

              Figure 9: DOD’s OHDACA-Funded Humanitarian Assistance Obligations by
              Combatant Command for Fiscal Years 2005 through 2010




              Notes: Figures represent obligations for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance program, as
              distinguished from the broader OHDACA program. Figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars.

              Combatant commands and their corresponding areas of responsibility are identified as follows: U.S.
              Africa Command (Africa); U.S. Central Command (Middle East and Egypt); U.S. European Command
              (Europe and Israel); U.S. Northern Command (North America and the Bahamas); U.S. Pacific
              Command (Asia and the Pacific region); and U.S. Southern Command (Central America, South
              America, and the Caribbean).

              U.S. Africa Command was not fully operational until 2008, so U.S. Africa Command’s obligations for
              the OHDACA-funded humanitarian assistance program are from fiscal years 2008 through 2010.
              Also, obligations for U.S. Central Command do not include funding to Iraq and Afghanistan with the
              exception of one project performed in Afghanistan, which DOD recorded at a cost of $27,000.



              Figure 10 represents DOD’s obligations for HCA projects conducted
              within its geographic combatant commands’ areas of responsibility from
              fiscal years 2005 through 2010. Over this 6-year period, obligations were



              Page 59                                 GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix II: DOD’s Obligations for
Humanitarian Assistance Efforts by Combatant
Command




the highest for HCA projects in DOD’s Southern and Pacific Commands’
geographical areas, about $32.5 million and $21.9 million, respectively.

Figure 10: DOD’s Humanitarian and Civic Assistance Obligations for Projects
Conducted within the Combatant Commands’ Geographic Areas for Fiscal Years
2005 through 2010




Notes: Figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars.

Combatant commands and their corresponding areas of responsibility are identified as follows: U.S.
Africa Command (Africa); U.S. Central Command (Middle East and Egypt); U.S. European Command
(Europe and Israel); U.S. Pacific Command (Asia and the Pacific region); and U.S. Southern
Command (Central America, South America, and the Caribbean). U.S. Northern Command (North
America and the Bahamas) does not engage in humanitarian and civic assistance efforts.

U.S. Africa Command was not fully operational until 2008. Dollar amounts in fig. 10 include projects
performed in Africa from fiscal years 2005 through fiscal years 2010, even though projects were
managed by other combatant commands in Africa prior to fiscal year 2008. Also, obligations for U.S.
Central Command do not include funding for efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.




Page 60                                   GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix III: Humanitarian Assistance
Efforts in U.S. Africa Command’s Area of
Responsibility
               Overview                                                        Select AFRICOM and USAID Projects
U.S. Africa Command
(AFRICOM) operates in
52 countries on the African
continent. The continent faces
a wide range of challenges,
including poverty; high birth
rates; an increasingly large
youth population; pandemic
disease; and transnational
threats, such as violent
extremism, piracy, and
narcotics trafficking. AFRICOM
has conducted humanitarian
assistance projects in the
areas of health, education,
infrastructure, and disaster
preparation.




                                                           ,QWHUDFWLYLW\
                                                           LQVWUXFWLRQV
                                                            5ROORYHUWKH
                                                            LFRQWRYLHZ
                                                         SURMHFWLQIRUPDWLRQ


                                                    6RXUFH*$2DQDO\VLVRI;;;
                                                                                                            Fundinga
                                                        Spending on AFRICOM’s humanitarian assistance efforts has increased
                                                        in recent years. Obligations for these efforts under AFRICOM’s
                                                        OHDACA program increased from about $7.5 million in fiscal year
                                                        2008 to about $11.4 million in fiscal year 2010. In addition, AFRICOM
                                                        spent about $16 million on HCA projects during the same time period.
                                                        AFRICOM is also receiving a total of $7.5 million from USAID from fiscal
Servicemembers unload cases of books for the
Damerjog Schoolhouse in Djibouti. DOD delivered         years 2008 through 2012 to help African nations respond to an influenza
1,400 books and 14 bookcases.                           pandemic.
                                                    Sources: GAO analysis of DOD and USAID data; DOD (photo).
                                                    a
                                                     All figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars. OHDACA figures represent obligations for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance
                                                    program, as distinguished from the broader OHDACA program.




                                                  Page 61                                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix IV: Humanitarian Assistance
Efforts in U.S. Central Command’s Area of
Responsibility
                Overview                                                         Select CENTCOM and USAID Projects
U.S. Central Command’s
(CENTCOM) area of
responsibility comprises 20
countries in three subregions:
(1) Central and South Asia; (2)
Southwest Asia, and (3) the
Arabian Peninsula. Over the past
several years, CENTCOM has
been engaged in combat efforts
in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other
challenges within CENTCOM’s
area of responsibility include
the lack of progress in achieving
comprehensive Middle East
peace, social, and economic
instability; expanding youth
populations; piracy; arms
smuggling; human trafficking;
narcotics; and weapons
proliferation. CENTCOM
has conducted humanitarian
assistance projects in the areas of
health, education, infrastructure,
and disaster preparation outside                              ,QWHUDFWLYLW\
                                                              LQVWUXFWLRQV
of Iraq and Afghanistan.                                       5ROORYHUWKH
                                                               LFRQWRYLHZ
                                                            SURMHFWLQIRUPDWLRQ


                                                       6RXUFH*$2DQDO\VLVRI;;;

                                                                                                               Fundinga
                                                           Spending on CENTCOM’s humanitarian assistance efforts has fluctuated
                                                           in recent years. Obligations for these efforts under CENTCOM’s
                                                           OHDACA program were about $15.3 million in fiscal year 2005. In fiscal
                                                           year 2007, funding peaked at about $16.7 million and then dropped to
U.S. and local officials cut the ribbon to the             approximately $4.1 million in fiscal year 2010. In addition, CENTCOM
Birdik Village School in Kyrgyzstan. U.S. military
personnel and Kyrgyz citizens worked together to
                                                           spent $342,870 on HCA projects outside of Iraq and Afghanistan during
renovate the school in 2009.                               the same time period.
                                                       Sources: GAO analysis of DOD and USAID data; DOD (photo).
                                                       a
                                                        All figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars. OHDACA figures represent obligations for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance
                                                       program, as distinguished from the broader OHDACA program. This figure includes one project performed in Afghanistan, which DOD
                                                       recorded at a cost of $27,000.




                                                     Page 62                                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix V: Humanitarian Assistance
Efforts in U.S. European Command’s Area
of Responsibility
               Overview                                                          Select EUCOM and USAID Projects
U.S. European Command
(EUCOM) is responsible for U.S.
military relations with the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) and 51 countries in
Europe, as well as parts of Asia
and the Middle East. Countries in
EUCOM’s area of responsibility
face challenges such as
transnational and indigenous
terrorism, ballistic missile threats,
and ensuring cybersecurity
among U.S. allies. EUCOM
has conducted humanitarian
assistance projects in the areas of
                                                          ,QWHUDFWLYLW\
health, education, infrastructure,                        LQVWUXFWLRQV
and disaster preparation.                                  5ROORYHUWKH
                                                           LFRQWRYLHZ
                                                        SURMHFWLQIRUPDWLRQ

                                                    6RXUFH*$2DQDO\VLVRI;;;
                                                                                                            Fundinga
                                                        Spending on EUCOM’s humanitarian assistance efforts has fluctuated
                                                        in recent years. Obligations for these efforts under EUCOM’s OHDACA
                                                        program were about $9.1 million in fiscal year 2005. In fiscal year 2008,
                                                        funding dropped to about $5.2 million and then increased to about $16.6
Hungarian and U.S. Army engineers work together
to replace the roof of the Zalahalap Elementary         million in fiscal year 2010. In addition, EUCOM spent about $4.3 million
School in the Hungarian village of Tapoica.             on HCA projects during the same time period.
                                                    Sources: GAO analysis of DOD and USAID data; DOD (photo).
                                                    a
                                                     All figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars. OHDACA figures represent obligations for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance
                                                    program, as distinguished from the broader OHDACA program.




                                                  Page 63                                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix VI: Humanitarian Assistance
Efforts in U.S. Northern Command’s Area of
Responsibility
               Overview                                                     Select NORTHCOM and USAID Projects
U.S. Northern Command
(NORTHCOM) conducts
homeland defense, civil support,
and security cooperation to
defend and secure the United
States and its interests.
NORTHCOM is also responsible
for supporting U.S. civil authorities
and state national guard units
in responding to natural and
man-made disasters within the
United States. NORTHCOM’s
area of responsibility includes
the United States, Canada,
Mexico, and the Bahamas.
Challenges in NORTHCOM’s
area of responsibility include
transnational criminal
organizations responsible for
illicit trafficking of drugs, people,
money, and weapons. In addition,
NORTHCOM has conducted
humanitarian assistance projects
in Mexico and the Bahamas in
the areas of health, education,
infrastructure, and disaster                               ,QWHUDFWLYLW\
preparation.                                               LQVWUXFWLRQV
                                                            5ROORYHUWKH
                                                            LFRQWRYLHZ
                                                         SURMHFWLQIRUPDWLRQ


                                                    6RXUFH*$2DQDO\VLVRI;;;

                                                                                                            Fundinga
                                                        NORTHCOM’s humanitarian assistance program under OHDACA began
                                                        in fiscal year 2008. Obligations for these efforts under NORTHCOM’s
                                                        OHDACA program were $437,507 in fiscal year 2008 and more than $2.9
U.S. Northern Command donates school supplies
to a primary school in the Bahamas as part of a         million in fiscal year 2010. NORTHCOM does not conduct HCA projects
humanitarian assistance project.                        within its area of responsibility.
                                                    Sources: GAO analysis of DOD and USAID data; DOD (photo).
                                                    a
                                                     All figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars. OHDACA figures represent obligations for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance
                                                    program, as distinguished from the broader OHDACA program.




                                                  Page 64                                              GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix VII: Humanitarian Assistance
Efforts in U.S. Pacific Command’s Area of
Responsibility
               Overview                                                           Select PACOM and USAID Projectsa
U.S. Pacific Command
(PACOM) operates in 36
countries in the Asia Pacific
region, which encompasses
about 50 percent of the
world’s population. This
region faces several threats,
including those posed by North
Korea’s nuclear and missile
capabilities; transnational
violent extremist organizations;                                                                                                                                              +DZDLL
China’s significant military
modernization with unclear
intent; territorial disputes;
transnational criminal activity;
and humanitarian crises, such
as pandemics, famines, and
natural disasters. PACOM
has conducted humanitarian
assistance projects in the
areas of health, education,
infrastructure, and disaster
preparation.
                                                             ,QWHUDFWLYLW\
                                                             LQVWUXFWLRQV
                                                              5ROORYHUWKH
                                                              LFRQWRYLHZ
                                                           SURMHFWLQIRUPDWLRQ


                                                      6RXUFH*$2DQDO\VLVRI;;;

                                                                                                              Fundingb
                                                          Spending on PACOM’s humanitarian assistance efforts has increased
                                                          in recent years. Obligations for these efforts under PACOM’s OHDACA
                                                          program increased from about $17.3 million in fiscal year 2005 to about
                                                          $19.9 in fiscal year 2010. In addition, PACOM spent almost $22 million
                                                          on HCA projects during the same time period. PACOM is also receiving
With the help of local Cambodians, Navy                   a total of $7.5 million from USAID from fiscal years 2008 through
engineers work to complete a well-drilling
humanitarian and civic assistance project as part
                                                          2012 to help nations in the Asia-Pacific region respond to an influenza
of the Pacific Partnership 2010 exercise.                 pandemic.
                                                      Sources: GAO analysis of DOD and USAID data; DOD (photo).
                                                      a
                                                       This map does not include Antarctica, which is also included in Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.
                                                      b
                                                       All figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars. OHDACA figures represent obligations for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance
                                                      program, as distinguished from the broader OHDACA program.




                                                    Page 65                                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix VIII: Humanitarian Assistance
Efforts in U.S. Southern Command’s Area
of Responsibility
               Overview                                                     Select SOUTHCOM and USAID Projects
U.S. Southern Command
(SOUTHCOM) operates in
Central America, the Caribbean,
and South America. These
regions face challenges such as
poverty, illicit trafficking, natural
disasters; and violent extremist
organizations. SOUTHCOM
officials stated that its role in
humanitarian assistance has
greatly expanded over the
past 5 years, in part because
of increased awareness of
the command’s program.
SOUTHCOM has conducted
humanitarian assistance
projects in the areas of health,
education, infrastructure, and
disaster preparation.




                                                           ,QWHUDFWLYLW\
                                                           LQVWUXFWLRQV
                                                            5ROORYHUWKH
                                                            LFRQWRYLHZ
                                                         SURMHFWLQIRUPDWLRQ


                                                    6RXUFH*$2DQDO\VLVRI;;;

                                                                                                            Fundinga
                                                        Obligations for humanitarian assistance efforts under SOUTHCOM’s
                                                        OHDACA program have fluctuated from about $3.5 million in fiscal year
Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS             2005 to a height of about $21.4 million in fiscal year 2009. In fiscal year
Comfort is pushed from the pier by tugboats
after completing nearly a week of medical aid           2010, the most recent year for which data are available, SOUTHCOM
in Trinidad and Tobago as part of the 4-month           obligated about $17.5 million for its OHDACA humanitarian assistance
humanitarian deployment to Latin America and
the Caribbean, providing medical treatment to a
                                                        efforts. In addition, SOUTHCOM spent almost $32.5 million on HCA
dozen countries.                                        projects during the same time period.
                                                    Sources: GAO analysis of DOD and USAID data; DOD (photo).
                                                    a
                                                     All figures are in constant fiscal year 2011 dollars. OHDACA figures represent obligations for the OHDACA humanitarian assistance
                                                    program, as distinguished from the broader OHDACA program.




                                                  Page 66                                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix IX: Noninteractive Graphics and
              Appendix IX: Noninteractive Graphics and Text
              for Appendixes III-VIII



Text for Appendixes III-VIII

              Select AFRICOM and USAID Projects (see app. III)




              Page 67                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix IX: Noninteractive Graphics and Text
for Appendixes III-VIII




Select CENTCOM and USAID Projects (see app. IV)




Page 68                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix IX: Noninteractive Graphics and Text
for Appendixes III-VIII




Select EUCOM and USAID Projects (see app. V)




Page 69                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix IX: Noninteractive Graphics and Text
for Appendixes III-VIII




Select NORTHCOM and USAID Projects (see app. VI)




Page 70                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix IX: Noninteractive Graphics and Text
for Appendixes III-VIII




Select PACOM and USAID Projects (see app. VII)




Page 71                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix IX: Noninteractive Graphics and Text
for Appendixes III-VIII




Select SOUTHCOM and USAID Projects (see app. VIII)




Page 72                             GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix X: Comments from the Department
                          Appendix X: Comments from the Department
                          of Defense



of Defense

We received DOD’s
comments on January 23,
2012




                          Page 73                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix X: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 74                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix X: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 75                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix X: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 76                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix X: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 77                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix X: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 78                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix X: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 79                          GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix XI: Comments from the
             Appendix XI: Comments from the Department
             of State



Department of State




             Page 80                           GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix XI: Comments from the Department
of State




Page 81                           GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix XI: Comments from the Department
of State




Page 82                           GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix XII: Comments from the U.S.
              Appendix XII: Comments from the U.S. Agency
              for International Development



Agency for International Development




              Page 83                            GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix XII: Comments from the U.S. Agency
for International Development




Page 84                            GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix XII: Comments from the U.S. Agency
for International Development




Page 85                            GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Appendix XIII: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Appendix XIII: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  John H. Pendleton, (202) 512-3489 or pendletonj@gao.gov
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the contact named above, Assistant Directors Alissa Czyz,
Staff             Marie Mak, and James Michels; and Renee Brown, Justin Fisher, Lonnie
Acknowledgments   McAllister, Meghan Perez, Steven Putansu, Amie Steele, Cheryl
                  Weissman, Michael Willems, and Richard Winsor made major
                  contributions to this report.




(351534)
                  Page 86                                GAO-12-359 Humanitarian and Development Assistance
GAO’s Mission         The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation, and
                      investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its
                      constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and
                      accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO
                      examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and
                      policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance
                      to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions.
                      GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of
                      accountability, integrity, and reliability.

                      The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no
Obtaining Copies of   cost is through GAO’s website (www.gao.gov). Each weekday afternoon,
GAO Reports and       GAO posts on its website newly released reports, testimony, and
                      correspondence. To have GAO e-mail you a list of newly posted products,
Testimony             go to www.gao.gov and select “E-mail Updates.”

Order by Phone        The price of each GAO publication reflects GAO’s actual cost of
                      production and distribution and depends on the number of pages in the
                      publication and whether the publication is printed in color or black and
                      white. Pricing and ordering information is posted on GAO’s website,
                      http://www.gao.gov/ordering.htm.
                      Place orders by calling (202) 512-6000, toll free (866) 801-7077, or
                      TDD (202) 512-2537.
                      Orders may be paid for using American Express, Discover Card,
                      MasterCard, Visa, check, or money order. Call for additional information.
                      Connect with GAO on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.
Connect with GAO      Subscribe to our RSS Feeds or E-mail Updates. Listen to our Podcasts.
                      Visit GAO on the web at www.gao.gov.
                      Contact:
To Report Fraud,
Waste, and Abuse in   Website: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm
                      E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov
Federal Programs      Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470

                      Katherine Siggerud, Managing Director, siggerudk@gao.gov, (202) 512-
Congressional         4400, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room
Relations             7125, Washington, DC 20548

                      Chuck Young, Managing Director, youngc1@gao.gov, (202) 512-4800
Public Affairs        U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7149
                      Washington, DC 20548




                        Please Print on Recycled Paper.