Integrating Civilian Agencies in Stability Operations

By Thomas S. Szayna; Derek Eaton et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
Identifying the Key Agencies: The Top-Down
Approach

Introduction

This chapter uses a “top-down” approach to identify the key U.S. government agencies that have capabilities useful for SSTR operations. Our purpose is to establish in an explicit fashion the most important agencies that need to be involved in the strategic-level planning and implementation process for SSTR operations. We focus on the actors that have the appropriate expertise, an externally focused capacity to act, and the developmental perspective that is essential in SSTR operations. Identifying the main actors allows for the formalization of their roles as lead agencies in specific domains as well as the agencies that will be supporting them. Our assumption is that when the potential role of an agency in SSTR operations is clear, the specific agency then can develop internally the capacity to participate in the planning and implementation process. Identification of the potential agency roles also meets one of the key practices for effective interagency collaboration, put forth by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).1

1 This is Key Practice 4: “Agree on Roles and Responsibilities.” GAO defines it in the following manner: “Collaborating agencies should work together to define and agree on their respective roles and responsibilities, including how the collaborative effort will be led. In doing so, agencies can clarify who will do what, organize their joint and individual efforts, and facilitate decision making. Committed leadership by those involved in the collaborative effort, from all levels of the organization, is also needed to overcome the many barriers to working across agency boundaries.” U.S. Government Accountability Office, Results-

-9-

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