Policy Briefs | 02 November 2010

A digital DFAT: joining the 21st century

Ediplomacy is no longer a boutique extra. Serious foreign ministries are embracing it to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. Australia’s own Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a lot of catching up to do. It also has a lot to gain.  

  • Fergus Hanson

Ediplomacy is no longer a boutique extra. Serious foreign ministries are embracing it to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. Australia’s own Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a lot of catching up to do. It also has a lot to gain.  

  • Fergus Hanson
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Key Findings

  • A root and branch ediplomacy overhaul is needed if DFAT is to stay relevant and keep pace with other benchmark foreign ministries.
  • Perhaps as a result of sustained under-resourcing, DFAT has only more recently moved beyond the use of simple website technology.
  • While there is a tendency to associate ediplomacy with social networking platforms these form only one (limited) aspect of ediplomacy.

Executive Summary

This policy brief looks at the latest ediplomacy innovations being pioneered by the US, UK and Canadian foreign ministries, drawing on meetings with their ediplomacy units.