Evaluating and Measuring the Impact of Citizen Diplomacy

As more Americans study abroad, become internationally mobile in their jobs, or engage in volunteering activities overseas, it is important to understand the impact of such activity on their home and host institutions, the wider communities, and public diplomacy activities at large. People-to-people contact is becoming one of the key elements of diplomacy, and citizen diplomats increasingly complement the traditional forms of political diplomacy.

This report provides an overview of the current landscape of evaluating citizen diplomacy programs, taking a look at the methodology and findings of evaluations of an array of such initiatives in the United States. The goal of the report is to take stock of what has been learned through these evaluations, and also to identify next steps and recommendations for future studies of citizen diplomacy programs.

The report includes an extensive review of 12 evaluations and studies of the following types of citizen diplomacy programs: high school exchanges, international volunteering, postsecondary exchange and study abroad, and professional and leadership exchange programs.