In Case of Emergency, Read This Blog

In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

New Report Shows How Innovative QHSR Outreach Worked, Offers Recommendations For Further Engagement With Public & Other Stakeholders

April 9th, 2010 · 1 Comment

The Department of Homeland Security’s most significant policy outreach to the public in its six-year history has been the National Dialogue on the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. The Dialogue was an innovative web-based outreach tool created by DHS and the National Academy of Public Administration(NAPA) last year to help solicit stakeholder input on the “Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR). (The QHSR is a congressionally-mandated process which helps guide the nation’s homeland security policies. The final QHSR report was released in February.)

Today, NAPA released its own report on the Dialogue process summarizing the feedback and offering lessons that can guide similar future efforts by DHS and other government entities. It’s an very good piece that should be reviewed not only by those in the homeland security business but anyone interested in opening government up to the public and other stakeholders. Many of the report’s recommendations are aimed at building upon the dialogue to expand outreach and engagement.

If you were one of 20,000 Americans who took part in any of the Dialogue’s three rounds, you will be interested to read in the report some of the ways that the stakeholder input impacted the development of the QHSR document. For example, in the first round, the QHSR study group panel reported:

• Users identified ambiguous terms in several vision statements and goals which they felt might cause confusion. Examples include “malicious actors” and “man made hazards,” both of which were included in Counterterrorism mission area statements.

• One of the most highly rated ideas was that DHS goals follow the “SMART” method of goal-setting: to ensure that goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time based.

• Users identified consistency gaps among mission areas. For example, some goals are naturally shared between the Counterterrorism and Disasters; yet some were listed under one area but not the other.

• Several users suggested that “mitigation” be added as a goal for Disasters.

• Users suggested that some Immigration goals did not seem to fit within the scope of the mission area.

These suggestions were integrated into the second round of the Dialogue and the following stakeholder ideas resulted:

• Counterterrorism generated ideas that ranged from broad, strategic suggestions—such as focusing on eliminating causes of terrorism, including finance—to more discrete, practical ones, such as using strapping machines to secure luggage.

• As for Immigration, participants discussed the necessity of including public education as a benefit of immigration to society. Many ideas also referenced worksite enforcement of immigration laws, some of which could have been due to the influx of users from communities that support immigration limits.

• The 287(g) program provided the most salient discussion for Borders.

• Disasters had the most focused group of participants; it had the fewest number of users contributing ideas to other areas and the highest number of users who only prioritized disasters. Given this dynamic, ideas were very detailed and well developed. They included suggestions to align funding with community-wide interoperable communications and institute a “national preparedness mindset” that would inculcate preparedness into American life. Discussion also centered on the need to define “resilience” and incorporate the concept into this mission area.

• Suggestions for Risk Assessment included a proposal to incorporate risk perception analysis into risk analysis, development of a taxonomy of strategic opportunities under the Risk Assessment, and widespread discussion of the need to increase intelligence and information sharing.

• Planning and Capabilities generated comments on ways to expand the exercise and include more stakeholders, improve internal human capital standards, and integrate funding into goals, objectives, and planning discussions.

It will be fascinating to see if and how the recommendations for increasing stakeholder engagement in homeland security and other governmental policy will be implemented. This report will definitely offer terrific guidance for those efforts.

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Technorati

Tags: Department of Homeland Security · Preparedness Reports

1 response so far ↓

Leave a Comment