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Reminder: Sunday Night Deadline For Suggesting/Rating Initial Round Of Ideas For Online DHS Quadrennial Review Dialogue (A.K.A. Homeland Security Meets “American Idol”)

August 7th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Just a reminder that you have until the end of Sunday to participate in the initial round of the “Dialogue on the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.” As discussed in a post earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now conducting the “Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR),” which will help guide the nation’s policies over the next four years.

The “Dialogue”, which launched on Monday, is an interactive online process being conducted with the National Academy of Public Administration. It gives Americans an opportunity to comment on, rate and suggest their own ideas in all aspects of homeland security. You can go to to take part.

I have been following the activity on the site throughout the week and have been particularly interested by the terrific ideas being sent in by individuals. And, I have posted several of my own. Under each idea (besides your own), you are able to give a rating of 1-5 stars which are then averaged out. So far, none of my submissions have received more than an average of 2.7 starts — so much for the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’!

In the Blogger Roundtable on Monday, DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy David Heyman suggested that the star rating system was “” and the public would find it easy to use. I agree. However, I would add that there is also an “American Idol” element as well.

You put your idea up there on the online stage, and America gets to vote on it. While there’s no Simon Cowell and you cannot be sent home for a bad idea, I can empathize with countless “American Idol” contestants who put their heart and soul out there and do not get the reaction they had hoped. Nonetheless, I will be posting a couple more ideas this weekend. I urge anyone interested in homeland security — or interesting government 2.0 experiments — to visit the Dialogue site and maybe rate or offer your own suggestions for the nation. Obviously, officials are not going to go strictly by the rating system but it does offer more helpful data points and provides a good way for stakeholders, including the public, from around the U.S. to weigh in.

The Quadrennial Dialogue actually consists of three separate dialogues. The initial one runs until Sunday. The second (August 31-September 6) will integrate the initial feedback and present additional content from QHSR study group. The third (September 28-October 4) will seek “a final review of the mission goals, objectives and outcomes”. There are six overall subject QHSR Dialogue areas — Counterterrorism and Domestic Security Management; Securing Our Borders; Smart and Tough Enforcement of Immigration Laws; and Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters; Homeland Security National Risk Assessment; and Homeland Security Planning and Capabilities.

One unexpected outgrowth of the online Dialogue is that it has provoked dialogue offline as participants read each others comments. I received an email today from Lee Foster who works with the Citizen Corps in Columbus, Ohio regarding my suggestion that the public be given more opportunities to do emergency drilling. Lee said he had been trying to accomplish that goal in the Columbus area and wanted to know if I had any ideas for doing so. I expect that the Quadrennial Review is the forum where we will be addressing that question (if, of course, my rating on that idea rises higher than a 2.7!)

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Tags: Department of Homeland Security · Preparedness 2.0

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 DHS “Very Happy” With Public Involvement So Far In Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (#QHSR) Dialogues; But Is Hoping For “A Whole Lot More” Citizen Input Going Forward // Sep 1, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    [...] The first Dialogue took place in early August. The current one runs through September 6th. (The third will take place September 28th through October 4th). To participate, you can go to to weigh in on six topic areas – Counterterrorism and Domestic Security Management; Securing Our Borders; Smart and Tough Enforcement of Immigration Laws; Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters; Homeland Security National Risk Assessment; and Homeland Security Planning and Capabilities. The public input through the Dialogues complements the work of the Department’s QHSR study groups in each of the areas. [...]

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