I also asked Yen Ming-hong to compare the contemporary ICDF with the agencies that preceded it:
Although they are by no means mutually exclusive, the ICDF's audiences can be split into four groups, each with their own motivation for being targeted: publics of countries with ICDF missions, elites of formal diplomatic allies, wider international audiences, and Taiwan's domestic audience.
One of the best recent examples of the ICDF becoming more mainstream is its recent partnering with the US charity Food for the Poor in its relief efforts in Haiti.
Nevertheless, the ICDF's movement toward the people of the countries with ICDF missions is also exemplified in the organization's creation of Mobile Medical Missions (MMMs) in 2006.
Before 2006 the ICDF partnered with Taiwanese international charities and private nonprofit organizations such as the Tzu Chi Foundation and the Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps (TRMPC) to provide medical assistance.
As such, there is evidence to suggest that the ICDF is becoming more engaged with the publics of the countries where it works.
On the island state of Saint Lucia, I asked one of the ICDF's health educators about the direction that she had been given by either the ICDF or the Taiwan embassy in Castries regarding her role and objectives.
In El Salvador, I interviewed several volunteer ICDF Mandarin teachers to discover the extent of the ICDF's investment in the education of those who enrolled in language classes.
The ICDF discontinued all Mandarin teaching to foreign publics in 2013.
More specifically, the activities of the ICDF offer Taiwan a chance to assist various foreign government ministries where they cannot, or will not, make domestic social provisions, in the hope that it will improve public opinion toward the incumbent regime in the process.
YMH: What the governments of our allied countries ask of the Taiwan ICDF is really in the interests of the people, but it could be only representing a small group of the people.
The government of one of your allies asks the ICDF to undertake some projects, but the selectivity of the projects is only to areas that are political strongholds of the government.