An emerging trend in public diplomacy and development?

A nation's soft power has in a recent blog posting in The Guardian (hat tip to USC's CPD) been suggested as a governmental tool and process to alleviate poverty while increasing governmental credibility

Is this a "blip on the screen" of trends in PD and international development, or an emerging trend? It's noteworthy that the blog is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, too, another major "influencer" and partner in governmental efforts to reduce poverty and disease.

-Debbie Trent