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MAPSOP Report of the International Case-Study Roundtable on Strategic Lessons from Stabilisation in Afghanistan, Haiti and Solomon Islands

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  • 1. Report of the International Case-Study Roundtable on StrategicLessons from Stabilisation in Afghanistan, Haiti and Solomon Islands 10 December 2010, Canberra
  • 2. ExEcutivE DirEctor’s introDuction The Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence contributes to the Australian Government’s efforts to enhance international peace and security. It supports the development of national civil-military capabilities to prevent, prepare for, and respond more effectively to, conflicts and disasters overseas. The Centre’s responsibilities include, amongst others, advising Australian Government departments and agencies on civil-military issues relating to the development of integrated capabilities to achieve a coherent, whole-of-government strategy for peace and stabilisation operations and on the transition between the military and civilian phases of operations. In line with this focus, in December 2010 the Centre launched a major project called the Multiagency Peace and Stabilisation Operations Project (MAPSOP), initiated by a Case-Study Roundtable on Strategic Lessons from Stabilisation in Afghanistan, Haiti and Solomon Islands. The roundtable was held at the Australian Defence Force’s Royal Military College - Duntroon, in Canberra on 10 December 2010. The objectives of the roundtable discussion were to: • Share national experiences and strategic lessons on implementing a civil-military approach in three current peace and stabilisation operations; and • Exchange views on the key civil-military issues, challenges and best practices to emerge from current operations and highlight future priorities for improving national and international civil–military capabilities. The roundtable drew on the experience of international government and non-government actors, including representatives from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and Sweden. While the case studies represented very different geopolitical and contextual problems, a common thread emerged. This highlighted the need for continued national and international effort to understand stabilisation and its associated tasks more comprehensively, with a particular focus on how and why it differs fundamentally from traditional approaches to development and security. The Centre is pleased to continue to create networks internationally and domestically through forums such as this roundtable. As we are now talking more about conflict affected and fragile states, with different types of threats and non-state actors, it is becoming increasingly more important that we improve civil-military collaboration across the ‘Whole of Community’ spectrum. We also know that our governments will only develop robust policies if public servants take seriously the responsibility to provide them comprehensive and considered advice. It’s important to ensure that lessons learned are fed back into the decision making process, something that the Australian Federal Police’s International Deployment Group has been able to do very effectively based upon their ongoing commitment to the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. We also need to acknowledge new initiatives such as the Australian Civilian Corps, and ensure that our leaders support and resource such proposals at all levels across and all agencies. Many of the lessons learned that are currently shaping future peace and stabilisation policies are being based on what is now occurring in Afghanistan. Certainly many of these lessons are valid, but as we saw during this roundtable so are the lessons learned from other engagements in places such as Haiti and the Solomon Islands. These lessons should not be ignored and indeed should form the basis for developing more robust multiagency frameworks and capabilities. The Centre’s work on a conceptual framework for Strengthening Australia’s Conflict and Disaster Management Overseas was the foundation of our effort in this area. The MAPSOP now continues that work and will provide further opportunities to engage across the Australian Government and the international community on civil-military issues in peace and stabilisation operations. Michael G. Smith AO Executive Director Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence1 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 3. ExEcutivE suMMArY Stabilisation is a term that tends to be over-used and under-analysed. The complexity of today’s multidimensional crises has resulted in an evolution in the approach of intervention actors, and the international community as a whole, to the task of bringing peace and stability to nations in crisis. This evolution has reached the point where it is now the conventional wisdom that a comprehensive civil-military approach is required to address the various interconnected problems of conflict and instability. The ‘3Ds’ – diplomacy, defence and development – are much talked about in terms of a comprehensive or integrated approach, but there is arguably a fourth component, a fourth ‘D’ that represents the stabilisation task: a period of time and space in which international governments intervene in situations of fragility or conflict with a clear political purpose. This is fundamentally different to humanitarian and development work, and to traditional security operations and policy makers need to understand how and why stabilisation operations are unique. Stabilisation work very often involves relationships between people whose ethics and values are not the same, but which require cooperation to achieve goals. Finding a way to negotiate the challenges of working in and with vastly different cultures and polities requires pragmatism and a firm commitment to clear end goals. The international community’s experience across a range of systems of government has served to demonstrate the limitations of Western models in non-Western contexts. There are two important implications: often our own experts can’t help much and we need a much broader view. Local ownership is now clearly understood as a necessary pre-condition for the reduction and/ or withdrawal of external assistance. It needs to be made a priority from the outset of a mission, and requires difficult questions to be asked about what that means for the civilian, police and military operational objectives and how they are to be achieved. Parallel early recovery and stabilisation planning and thinking must occur in the emergency phase to ensure a longer-term view prevents short-terms ‘fixes’ that might inhibit stabilisation (and later peacebuilding and development) efforts. A clear articulation of the strategic objective of a stabilisation effort is important both for the psyche of commitment and as a driver of planning. It sets the tone for a mission and assists in the dedication of capabilities and resources to the response ahead of time. It is imperative for external support actors and local actors to work together under one plan (and potentially several sub-plans tailored to geographic sub-regional requirements). Political efforts to establish effective relations between the government and its people must be supported by civilian and military actors working together to deliver a comprehensive and coherent range of activities across several mutually reinforcing lines of operations. Relying on a network of individuals to pull together a multiagency approach to policy and operations in crisis situations is considered inadequate in the longer-term. The institutionalisation of a systemic approach to multiagency collaboration across the range of stabilisation tasks (analysis, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, lessons learned) is vital to develop clear processes and mechanisms to support operational effectiveness. In a complex multidimensional conflict there are often many moving parts. It is important to identify someone who can ‘turn on the switch’ and perform as a focal point for a multiagency effort. Strong multiagency links across the entire security, development and peace building community, ranging from the most senior decision-making and advisory bodies down to the Non-Government Organisation level, have proven important to building effective capacity to apply a comprehensive and integrated national civil-military approach to peace and stabilisation operations.2 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 4. A joint multiagency civilian, police and military capability to deploy to affected areas to assess needs, engage other donors and the local government, and identify possible actions for external assistance is a critical capability. It is not possible to build peace or to stabilise a situation unless there is an accurate understanding of why conflict broke out in the first place. Conflict assessment built on broad based, multidisciplinary analysis is a necessary foundation for the development of comprehensive policies and strategies for peace and stabilisation operations. The inherently political nature of conflict necessitates the use of mediation as a tool to overcome legitimate political grievances. The involvement and support (or at least not active resistance) of regional neighbours in any mediation process is critical: and neighbours are often far better suited culturally to assist in resolving regional issues than distant powers. The mobilisation of diplomatic efforts to manage crises and disasters is critical to effective responses. This can also ensure there are no gaps within national efforts, and between national and international efforts. This report provides a summary of a case-study roundtable held in Canberra in December 2010. It includes an introduction to the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence’s Multiagency Peace and Stabilisation Operations Project (MAPSOP), of which this roundtable was the first activity (Section 1), a narrative overview of the key themes, lessons, issues and ideas discussed at the roundtable (Section 2) and a catalogue, in dot point format, of the primary lessons identified during the roundtable (Section 3) under the categories of: • Strategic and Political Considerations; • Implementing a Coherent Civil-Military Approach; • Operational Considerations; • Evaluation and Review; and • Future Priorities/Areas of Focus. The case-study roundtable provided a benchmark of international thought and opinion on civil-military interaction in peace and stabilisation operations and this report serves to frame and inform the Centre’s subsequent MAPSOP activities. The roundtable was held under the Chatham House rule: comments and references in this report are not attributed.3 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 5. sEction 1: tHE MuLtiAGEncY PEAcE AnD stABiLisAtion oPErAtions ProJEct Overview. One of the key issues undermining effectiveness in peace and stability operations is a lack of coherence and cooperation between civilian and military activities and actors. In addition, connectivity and responsiveness between the strategic and operational divide is often sub-optimal, with the policy environment too far removed from operational realities. Improving connectivity and coherence between national policy and strategy development and on-the-ground situational realities, and between strategic and operational actors in peace and stabilisation operations contexts, is the primary goal of the Multiagency Peace and Stabilisation Operations Project (MAPSOP). Lessons learned from case studies such as Afghanistan, Haiti and the Solomon Islands highlight the reality that nations are often required to make a strategic decision to deploy capabilities without the necessary strategic or operational analysis to inform and develop a comprehensive and integrated civil-military response. There has been an historic tendency to respond with a ‘security first’ approach, with civilian responses lagging significantly behind. The consideration and development of integrated multiagency assessment, planning and responses for peace and stabilisation contingencies outside of a crisis context is important to provide a solid foundation from which better and more integrated responses can be formulated under the time and operational pressures of crises. Practicing multiagency collaboration as a deliberate process provides the opportunity to strengthen existing, or create new, collaborative frameworks and mechanisms that make the necessary and sensible connections across the ‘whole of community’ spectrum of actors and actions. A key question for the MAPSOP is how to develop the required connectivity and coherence within the Australian system, and between Australian and international actors, in a manner that supports effective and timely strategic decision-making and enhances civil-military capability. Further, it is to consider how to benefit from, and contribute effectively to, international developments and progress in multiagency approaches to complex peace and stabilisation operations. Concept: MAPSOP engages a core group of Australian Government policy and operational actors to form a community of practice for peace and stabilisation operations and connects Australian efforts to the international community of practice. This ensures that lessons learned in the international community are able to benefit the ongoing development of Australia’s integrated civil-military capabilities for peace and stabilisation operations and similarly that Australia’s evolving multiagency approach can be effectively shared with the international community. Drawing on existing international and national assessment and planning tools and best practices, and with the benefit of the lessons learned in the international community, the Australian community of practice will work together under the MAPSOP to apply a multiagency approach to: conflict analysis and assessment; multiagency strategy development and planning; operational implementation; and monitoring and evaluation, in a peace and stabilisation operations scenario-based series of activities.4 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 6. Australian Government actors will consider how a multiagency approach can enhance individual agency processes, and vice versa, and help guide the development of Australian multiagency frameworks and mechanisms. This work will provide a more robust insight into Australia’s experiences in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Bougainville, and Solomon Islands and can usefully inform future thinking about peace and stabilisation operations. MAPSOP Outcomes: • A stronger ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole of Community’ approach to policy, planning and implementation for peace and stabilisation operations by enhancing multiagency collaboration and interaction between key policy and operational actors. • The development of a cadre of personnel within relevant agencies who have a robust understanding of the nature of modern peace and stabilisation operations and the range of tools, options and capabilities that can most effectively be applied in the process of developing and implementing multiagency responses. • Development of a more formalised collaborative multiagency framework at the working level for peace and stabilisation operations scenarios. • Greater awareness within agencies of their counterpart agencies’ perspectives, processes and priorities, as well as their individual and collective capabilities, roles and responsibilities in peace and stabilisation operations. • A stronger capacity within the Australian policy and operational community to understand and work effectively with the interdependencies that exist across the entire peace and stabilisation spectrum of activities. • New or enhanced processes, mechanisms and frameworks for horizontal communication and collaboration across agency and community boundaries. • Identification of ways to manage the seams between agency efforts outside of a crisis situation so that when the next operation looms there is a strong collaborative framework to inform high level policy making and options development.5 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 7. sEction 2: strAtEGic LEssons FroM intErnAtionAL stABiLisAtion EFForts in AFGHAnistAn, soLoMon isLAnDs AnD HAiti The case studies presented at the roundtable provide valuable lessons that can be used to shape future decisions being made by Australian and other national policy makers. It is clear that there are numerous common themes that link the lessons learned across many international organisational and geopolitical contexts. Leadership and unity of effort (strategic direction) present significant challenges in peace and stabilisation operations, especially where local governance capacity differs markedly across a national or regional effort and where the security situation is fluid and dynamic. Transitioning from significant external support to increasing (eventually complete) local authority and control requires careful planning, a large degree of flexibility and considerable capacity for effective mentoring, ensuring institutional and societal support and empowerment. For full effectiveness, external and local actors must work together under one plan (and potentially several sub-plans tailored to geographic sub-regional requirements). Political efforts to establish effective relations between the government and its people must be supported by civilian and military actors working together to deliver a comprehensive and coherent range of activities across several mutually reinforcing lines of operations. In stabilisation and peacebuilding there is generally a wider mission: to facilitate good governance and longer term economic recovery of the affected state. This work is best undertaken in a partnership arrangement or framework which outlines the key areas where host nation and external actors will work together to achieve agreed goals. A joint multiagency civilian and military capability to deploy to affected areas to assess needs, engage other donors and the local government, and identify possible actions for external assistance is a critical capability. Joint civil-military assessment teams should be well-prepared and trained to accurately interpret the needs of the society in crisis and provide an effective policy foundation for decision-making. Throughout a crisis response and on-going stabilisation operations regular interdepartmental meetings assist liaison and communication between government departments and other operational actors. National after-action reviews provide a useful mechanism to assess the effectiveness of coordination across government, the policy basis of decision-making, the effectiveness of communication between the working level and senior management (between the operational and strategic levels) and to identify results, best practices and lessons to make recommendations to improve future responses.6 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 8. The role of oversight bodies and mechanisms needs to be brought to the fore of the discussion and work on stabilisation. Oversight provides important external checks and balances which make decision makers accountable and ensure resources are used far more efficiently. In order to make oversight effective there needs to be recognition in bureaucracies that difficult news from the field - that approaches and programs are failing - is just as important as the good news stories. Deployed personnel must be encouraged and rewarded for their honesty in reporting, particularly where this demonstrates that efforts are failing to achieve their objectives. The ‘3Ds’ – diplomacy, defence and development – are much talked about in terms of a comprehensive or integrated approach to peace and stabilisation efforts. But there is arguably a fourth component that represents the stabilisation task: a period of time and space in which international governments intervene in situations of fragility or conflict with a political purpose. This is fundamentally different to humanitarian and development work, though stabilisation takes place in a manner that is complementary (and all may be occurring at the same time), and policy makers need to understand that stabilisation operations represent a different approach. The more key decision makers discuss it, the better they will become at doing it. Legislatures share a role in developing and managing policies and operations for stabilisation purposes. As an example, in the US experience in Colombia there has been a significant (positive) turn-around in the situation because of the role the US Congress has played. The involvement of Congress allowed a long term commitment of funding which makes an important difference to how policies can be implemented and resourced. Resources were successfully secured for Plan Columbia because consensus was reached about the strategic objectives and the level of commitment required to achieve them in both Houses. The voice of the local population is often dismissed, overlooked, or underrepresented in stabilisation efforts, as is often the voice of the host government. While lip service is frequently paid to the importance of local voices there is rarely a commensurate effort to understand how to take this forward meaningfully. First, there is a need to better understand how to capture and use knowledge about the local population, government and conditions in a stabilisation operation: how to tap into globally dispersed and locally based knowledge. Second, it is important to be alert to how learning can occur (and be implemented) on the ground, what can be done to benchmark situations and what indicators are important as measures of success in regards to the objectives. A larger issue is to develop the capacity (or willingness) to remove the ‘policy-maker’ hat and decide to make local ownership a priority in a stabilisation mission, placing the host nation at the centre of the effort. This requires taking seriously the phrase ‘locally driven’ by asking what local ownership would actually look like, what lines in the sand might have to be crossed? These are difficult but ultimately critical questions to address in the quest for ‘local ownership’ – a necessary pre-condition to the withdrawal of direct external support. Roundtable participants noted that good progress was being made in Southern Sudan because international actors and donors were listening to what the Sudanese want. In Afghanistan, the more successful Departments tend to be those managed and administered by the Afghans, which have received capacity support over several years and have established technocrats within them, and have an official who is responsible for international donor coordination. Similar lessons learned can be identified in other countries such as in post-tsunami Aceh where peace became possible when guerrillas left the jungles and headed to the coast to look for their families: they became more effectively engaged in decision-making about the peace process. The enormous scale of the tsunami disaster in Aceh provided the tragic backdrop for renewed political engagement between key guerilla leaders and the Indonesian political leadership which created favourable conditions for a peace agreement after 30 years of insurgency.7 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 9. Haiti is another important case study as it is a complex operation on a huge scale. The key challenges in Haiti stemmed from the need to grapple with a range of interdependent issues after the earthquake, mostly around the theme of civil-military interactions, especially with actors external to the UN mission. As well there were existing networks that could be tapped but which were also stressed because of the devastation, there was a massive influx of well meaning NGOs, many with no emergency management experience which was a strain on the system and priorities had to be established to determine what issues needed early attention. The Haiti example provides an important reminder that these responses are inherently difficult. But while the international community should continue to focus on what it can do better, it should also recognise that lessons have been learned. The decision by the international community to hold a donor’s meeting on 25 January 2010 (the Montreal Conference) and to underscore lessons from the past and abide by a set of agreed principles to lead stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Haiti was notable. The international response in Haiti was working reasonably well after only a few weeks. Though there were lost hours and huge challenges, there were elements of the international response that went surprisingly well and that demonstrate that the international community has successfully learnt and applied lessons from the past. There is a distinction between learning lessons and applying them: applying lessons is difficult. Having standing capacities and knowing contexts and counterparts is important. We may have this for Afghanistan, but consideration also needs to be given to contingencies in places like North Korea, Sudan, and Central America. It is critical that decision-makers start establishing the critical cross national and cross organisational relationships (among interested third parties, international organisations and with important actors within a country itself where possible) vital to stabilisation efforts before a crisis occurs. With so many lessons identified from stabilisation efforts their capture, analysis and dissemination becomes an important issue in itself. Organisations that focus on lessons learned have an important role to play to ensure lessons are not merely identified, but also learned and applied. It is not possible to build peace unless there is an understanding of why war broke out in the first place. In many cases the heart of the problem lies at the political level rather than in the field. It may therefore be necessary to use mediation as a tool to overcome legitimate political grievances. The involvement and support (or at least not active resistance) of regional neighbours in any mediation process is critical: neighbours are often far better suited culturally to assist in resolving regional issues than distant powers. Emerging powers such as Brazil, China and India are demanding more political clout in this regard and traditional stabilisation actors need to consider what role emerging powers might play in these types of operations and how to open the door to effective engagement to encourage their support for international peace and stabilisation efforts. The different perspectives that emerging powers offer could provide useful ways to recast many of the problems of stabilisation, including by thinking more in terms of a partnership model with a host nation rather than a donor-recipient model. Strong multiagency links across the entire security, development and peace building community, ranging from the most senior decision-making and advisory bodies down to the Non-Government Organisation level, have proven important to building effective capacity to apply a comprehensive and integrated national civil-military approach to peace and stabilisation operations. These relationships and links should be both formal and informal and are vital to success in fragile and conflict affected states.8 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 10. sEction 3: suMMArY oF LEssons iDEntiFiED in tHE rounDtABLE Strategic and Political Considerations 1. Stabilisation objectives are most successful when they are grounded in a relevant historical and cultural context. For example, the Helmand end plan for development as an economic corridor is consistent with its historical function in that role. 2. Many political leadership initiatives and positions in insecure and weak states are inherently fragile. Setbacks are almost inevitable and planning must take this into account. 3. Stabilisation processes often involve relationships between people with different sets of ethics and values. Finding a way to negotiate the challenges of working in and with vastly different cultures and polities requires pragmatism and a firm commitment to clear end goals. 4. The international community’s experience across a range of systems of government has served to demonstrate the limitations of Western models in non-Western contexts. There are two important implications: often our own experts can’t help much and; we need to be open to a broader view, often that of local authorities. 5. Local ownership is a necessary pre-condition for the reduction and/or withdrawal of external assistance. It needs to be made a priority, and requires difficult questions to be asked about what that means for the operational objectives and how they are to be achieved. State building efforts are more successful, for example, when a (capable) local official in a department is responsible for international donor coordination. 6. The strategic concept for a stabilisation effort has to connect to and reflect operational realities in responsive and dynamic ways. Setting a course in capitals and ‘taking our hands off the wheels until it is blatantly obvious it has all gone horribly wrong’ is irresponsible and ineffective. Objectives, ideas and realities evolve and policy and operations must be responsive to both an improving understanding of the context and changing situations on the ground. 7. Relying on a network of individuals to pull together a multiagency approach to policy and operations in crisis situations is inadequate in the longer-term. The institutionalisation of a systemic approach to multiagency collaboration across the range of stabilisation tasks is vital to develop clear processes and mechanisms to support operational effectiveness. Of great value is political engagement and insistence at the political level on an integrated national and international policy approach.9 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 11. 8. People-to-people ties are an important driver of strategic interest and can play an important role in continuing domestic and international support to a stabilisation effort. 9. Existing internationally agreed principles provide an important framework for cohesive international responses. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development – Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC)’s ‘Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations’ provides an example of appropriate guidance that can assist alignment between the approaches of the range of actors in stabilisation and peace operations. 10. The mobilisation of diplomatic efforts to manage crises and disasters is critical to effective responses. This can ensure there are no gaps within national efforts, and between national and international efforts. 11. A clear articulation of the strategic objective of a stabilisation effort is important both for the psyche of commitment and as a driver of planning. It sets the tone for a mission and assists in the dedication of capabilities and resources to the response ahead of time. 12. A clear understanding of why people started fighting in the first place should provide the foundation for strategies for peace or stabilisation operations. Regional neighbours are incredibly important. They have the capacity to support or undermine the effort in important ways. 13. Greater consideration needs to be given to asking developing countries to contribute their views and support. The perspectives of emerging powers should be represented in future international discussions about peace and stabilisation. The international community has gained experience working in diverse stabilisation contexts in recent years. There is a need for important on-going reflection on the lessons identified, including how to expand the engagement of partners from the global south in stabilisation operations’. Implementing a coherent civil-military approach 14. In a complex multidimensional conflict there are often many moving parts. It is important to identify someone to ‘turn on the switch’ and perform as a focal point for a multiagency effort. 15. National actors should develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that guide multiagency interaction and collaboration in support of a coherent national strategy. Secondments and training are a positive corollary to SOPs. 16. Having a clear political lead is critical to prevent things ‘falling through the cracks’ and maintaining the primacy of the political goal. Departments and Agencies are often ‘robbed’ to staff standing and/or adhoc interdepartmental task forces and committees but such groups have proven vital to the coherence of the multiagency effort. Operational Considerations 17. The location of the delivery of aid in stabilisation contexts can help to either support or undermine stabilisation goals: for example, in Haiti the aid effort began to deliver aid outside of the disaster zone in safe places outside of the city. This drew people away from the disaster zone, helped make room for the clean-up and possibly mitigated drivers of instability and crime in city centres. 18. Parallel early recovery and stabilisation planning and thinking must occur in the emergency phase to ensure a longer-term view prevents short-terms ‘fixes’ that can inhibit stabilisation (and later peacebuilding and development) efforts.10 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 12. 19. Interdepartmental strategic assessment teams have proven useful in informing and calibrating different elements of a national response and providing an accurate needs-based assessment of the requirement. 20. Embedding civilian policy and development officers within a military effort from the outset serves critical functions: civilians can act as the civilian interface with NGOs, the United Nations and the host nation civilian government; and they can begin planning for and supporting the soonest possible transition from a military to civilian lead, providing a clear objective for military and civilian planning purposes. 21. The use and recruitment of local staff and connecting to local capabilities as soon as possible assists in developing resilience and ensuring alignment with local goals, which is especially critical at points of transition. 22. Joint pre-deployment preparation of civilian, police and military actors is a major factor in their capacity to operate as an effective and integrated team in the field. 23. In chaotic and demanding conditions it is important to think about rational capabilities and to use what is available to deliver what’s needed. Sometimes this will result in second- or third-best options being deployed in the recognition that these are most often better than nothing at all. Creativity and flexibility are critical in stabilisation efforts. 24. Grass roots and local actors should be considered as a central point – especially those with key decision making capacity within society or government. 25. It is important to avoid duplication between international coordination mechanisms and those being established by the government of the affected country. Evaluation and Review 26. Systematic After Action Reviews after major catastrophic events should be conducted both internally and externally comprising independent actors from civil society, headquarters, the field and capitals. External perspectives provide insights that cannot be gained from internal reviews and are essential to understanding the effectiveness of a response using objective measures. 27. The role of oversight mechanisms and bodies is important in enhancing effectiveness and the efficient use of resources. The huge amount of money involved in stabilisation efforts requires consideration about the role of money in fueling instability, corruption and criminality. 28. Evaluation and reporting is slow to identify failing programs and projects and is too focused on trying to ‘fix’ fundamentally flawed problems rather than accept that something is not working and consider a new approach. 29. Personnel need to be encouraged to provide (and be rewarded for providing) honest assessments of the success of policies and programs, against a range of measures and metrics that are both strategically and locally relevant to the objectives.11 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 13. Future Priorities / Areas of Focus 30. Small internal wars seem to be on the increase. If this so, stabilisation work will be an enduring requirement into the foreseeable future. There is, therefore, a strong imperative to understand its nature, requirements and mechanisms better. 31. There is often a disconnect between operational and policy/strategic frameworks for stabilisation. The operational/ strategic divide is a challenge that requires further focus and attention. 32. Coordination and alignment between host nation, bilateral and international efforts in stabilisation is a weak point. Effort is required at the international level to enhance cooperative and collaborative frameworks and mechanisms to support stabilisation efforts and develop best practices. 33. Stabilisation is not merely the sum of diplomatic, defence and development efforts (the 3Ds): it represents a space and time period in which international organisations and governments are doing politically motivated work to achieve distinct objectives. Traditional development and humanitarian efforts should be complementary to stabilisation, but they are not the same. 34. There is a requirement to think again about the very complex relationship between ends, ways and means in stabilisation contexts.12 MuLtIAgenCy PeACe AnD StAbILISAtIon oPeRAtIonS PRojeCt RePoRt
  • 14. w w w.c i v m i l co e . gov. au