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Joining Forces: Interagency Collaboration and "Smart Power"


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Has U.S. defense, diplomacy and development adopted a “smart power” approach? In this follow-up to a 2010 report, the Government Business Council (GBC) evaluates progress towards increased interagency collaboration and how budget pressures may change foreign policy. Moderator is GBC's Associate Director of Research Erin Dian Dumbacher and Speakers include Booz Allen senior associate's Cheryl Steele and Jonathan Allen. Download the full report here:

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Joining Forces: Interagency Collaboration and "Smart Power"

  1. 1. Joining ForcesInteragency Collaboration and “Smart Power” A Candid Survey of Federal Employees Sponsored by:
  2. 2. About The Research Intelligence Division Of Government Executive Media Group Dedicated to Advancing the Business of Government Through analysis, insight and analytical independence Extension of GEMG’s 40 Years of Editorial Standards & Ethical Values GBC studies influential decision-makers to produce intelligence-based analysis 2
  3. 3. Methodology and Scope• In October of 2010, the Government Business Council launched a survey to a sample of federal managers from the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development. The survey tested the behavior and attitudes of these managers on the concept of ―smart power‖ and the role of interagency collaboration in their agencies. The result of this research was ―Addressing Geopolitical Challenges: The Smart Power Approach‖, a GBC Insight Report.• In October of 2011, GBC launched a similar survey to another sample of federal managers, this time also incorporating responses from additional agencies and non-profit organizations.• Research sought to determine: – how federal agencies are currently addressing global challenges, whether they have adopted smart power approaches and how agencies might implement cooperative and interagency solutions; – the effect of interagency collaboration on the cost and overall success of achieving an agency’s mission.• GBC distributed the survey in two ways: by email to Government Executive’s subscribers; and through an open link on and via social media. The outreach targeted federal managers at the Departments of Defense, State and U.S. Agency for International Development, but also included other qualified federal managers.• The following report uses results from the 268 federal and non-profit employees who completed the 2011 survey. A full 1130 participants began the survey, and 296 completed the survey.• The report also incorporates data from both the 2010 and 2011 surveys when interesting trends or changes in outcome were apparent.
  4. 4. Respondent Profile 4
  5. 5. Respondent Areas of Employment Profile Federal employee 81% (Defense, State, AID) Federal employee (Other • In the 2011 survey, more than 80 Agencies) 19% percent of respondents are from the U.S. Department of Defense, NGO/Non-profits/Independent the U.S. Department of State, or 2% Contractors the U.S. Agency for International Development. • The remaining respondents include other federal agencies, Number of People Overseen military, independent contractors and other non-governmental Over 200 7% parties. Over half of the respondents surveyed oversee at least one person. 51 to 200 8% 21 to 50 8% 6 to 20 22%Percentage of respondents, n=268 1 to 5 20% 5
  6. 6. Respondent Profile: Departments and Agencies Represented*Agencies listed in order of frequency 6
  7. 7. Respondent Profile: Other Departments and Agencies Represented* Department of Homeland Security United States Government Accountability Office Department of Agriculture United States Postal Service Department of Veterans Affairs Department of Commerce General Services Administration Department of Education Department of Energy Department of Labor Department of Health and Human Services Executive Office of the President (including OMB) Department of the Interior National Science Foundation Department of Justice Nuclear Regulatory Commission Environmental Protection Agency Office of Personnel Management Department of Housing and Urban Development Small Business Administration Department of Transportation Department of Treasury National Aeronautics and Space Administration Social Security AdministrationAgencies listed in order of frequency 7
  8. 8. Survey Findings
  9. 9. Executive SummarySimilar Missions, Separate ApproachesThe federal agencies most involved in defense, diplomacy and development have overlapping missions. A full70 percent of defense managers and 92 percent of Department of State respondents believe ―protecting thesecurity of the United States abroad‖ to be a mission priority of their agency. Yet, 40 percent of StateDepartment managers report that collaboration with the Department of Defense has failed to meet theirexpectations.Help WantedDiplomacy, defense and development need not be the missions of only the Departments of Defense, Stateand the U.S. Agency for International Development; other federal agencies can also contribute. Forexample, 50 percent of managers say that the Department of Commerce has the potential to make additionalcontributions to U.S. interests abroad.Political and Cultural Challenges Impede CollaborationManagers are increasingly skeptical that collaboration will help them to achieve overall mission success.Sixty-two percent of managers in 2011 believe that interagency collaboration will help overall missionsuccess, compared to 83 percent in 2010. Agency politics and poor communication are the centralchallenges. Managers describe ―turf wars‖ that are detrimental to forming efficient working relationships.Budget Pressures to Increase Importance of CollaborationFederal managers are less optimistic about the potential cost-savings of interagency efforts, yet most agreethat budget pressures will increase the importance of interagency collaboration. A full quarter of federalmanagers in 2011 expect that collaboration will increase the costs of achieving their mission, while 65 percentof federal managers say that budget pressures will ―significantly‖ or ―somewhat‖ increase the importance ofinteragency collaboration at their agency. 9
  10. 10. Smart Power Smart Power Applicability to Challenges Remains Applicable to the Same Humanitarian 47% Challenges assistance/disaster relief 66% Stabilization/reconstructio 42% n 50% • While the central smart-power worthy challenges have not 41% changed significantly from Conflict prevention 44% 2010, a few areas have lost support in 2011. While 66 percent 23% Counter-illicit networks of managers surveyed in 2010 23% said that humanitarian assistance 17% and disaster relief can be helped Maritime security by smart power solutions, 47 11% percent of managers in 2011 say 31% the same. Security assistance 30% • Other areas such as maritime security and irregular warfare Asymmetric 29% have gained support. threats/complex… 32% 17% Irregular warfare 14%Percentage of respondents, n= 263 (2011) n=145 (2010) 10% None of the above 4% 2011 2010 10
  11. 11. Smart Power Only Ability of Federal Government to Somewhat Implement Smart Power Solutions Attainable for Federal Agencies -5% 2011 2010 • Similar to 2010, most managers in 2011 still believe smart power is 51% only somewhat able to be 46% implemented. • Forty-six percent of managers in 2011 believe that the federal +5% government is somewhat able to implement smart power solutions, compared to 51 percent in 2010. 17%18% 15% 15% 11% 12% 10% 5% Fully Mostly Somewhat Not implement I dont know implement implement implement smart power smart power smart power smart power solutionsPercentage of respondents, 2011: n= 266, 2010: n= 148 solutions solutions solutions 11
  12. 12. Federal Agencies “My agency has the tools and capabilities it needs to Continue to Have the adequately address geopolitical challenges” Tools to Address Geopolitical 68% Challenges 51% 2011 2010• Agencies are confident that they have the tools and capabilities 46% they need to address global challenges. A full 68 percent of managers ―strongly‖ or ―somewhat‖ agree that their agency has the tools and capabilities it needs to address geopolitical challenges. 22% 22%• While 15 percent of managers in 15% 16% 16% 2010 fully agreed that they have the capabilities to address 12% geopolitical challenges, 22 percent say the same in 2011. Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat Strongly disagree disagreePercentage of respondents, n=265 (2011), n=224 (2010) 12
  13. 13. Agencies Effectiveness of Collaboration by Organization Collaborate Most Effectively with Other Agencies Interagency 15% 59% 18% 8% partners • Federal agencies work most effectively with other agencies, compared to their work with the private sector and non- governmental organizations. More Private Sector 15% 50% 22% 14% than two-thirds (74 percent) of federal managers work at least somewhat effectively with interagency partners. • Almost half of federal managers’ NGOs 12% 42% 22% 25% agencies either do not work with NGOs (25 percent), or do not work with them effectively (22 Very effectively percent). Somewhat effectively Not effectively We do not work with partners on geopolitical challengesPercentage of respondents, n= 237 13
  14. 14. Interagency Effectiveness of Interagency Collaboration Has Collaboration over Past Two Years Made Small Strides 52% 2011 2010 37% 45% • Federal managers agree that interagency collaboration has improved since 2009. Thirty- seven percent of managers in 32% 2011 say that interagency 28% collaboration has grown ―somewhat‖ or ―significantly‖ more effective over the past two years, compared to 31 percent 11% 10% who said the same in 2010. 7% 7% • A full 45 percent of managers in 5% 3% 2011 believe that interagency collaboration remains about as effective, compared to 52 percent Significantly Somewhat About as Somewhat Significantly from 2010. more effective more effective effective less effective less effectivePercentage of respondents, (2011)n= 256 (2010)n=145 14
  15. 15. ―While increased interagency―Agencies do not give up collaboration would seem to haveresources to be more efficient with benefits in terms of bringing aother Agencies--DOJ is not DOD wider set of interests and skill setsis not State is not Treasury. to any given issue, it also createsAgencies do interagency transaction costs that can becollaboration when there is a significant, both in time andmutual interest in performing the resources. All of these factors canmission…[We need to] fashion an combine to increase costs andinteragency effort that has definite make government less rather thangoals for definite periods of time.‖ more nimble when dealing with complex geopolitical issues that often demand swift and decisive action.‖ 15
  16. 16. DoD, State and AID Top 5 Mission Priorities by Agency Share Mission Overlapping Priorities Goals Department of Department of USAID Other Agencies Defense State n= 170 n=30 n= 13 n= 54 Protecting the Protecting the • Federal agencies have shared security of the security of the Provide Advance 70% 92% emergency food 95% counter- 55% mission priorities; managers United states United states aid abroad terrorism efforts identify aligning goals, particularly abroad abroad between the Departments of Reduce Protecting the Advance Form ties with Defense and State. DoD and counter- 59% foreign 92% widespread 90% security of the 52% USAID also have at least one poverty and United States terrorism efforts governments disease abroad abroad mission priority in common. Foster economic Support • Other agencies also have similar Protect U.S. Protect U.S. growth in international objectives to DoD, State and citizens 54% citizens 90% 90% 49% developing activities of overseas overseas USAID. Advancing counter- countries agencies terrorism efforts, for example, is Support Assist newly an objective of both DoD and Form ties with international formed Form ties with managers at the Department of 52% 87% 84% foreign 42% foreign military activities of democracies in governments Homeland Security. agencies governance Support natural Support conflict disaster Support natural resolution, Protect U.S. recover, relief disaster recover, 47% prevention and 87% 84% citizens 38% and risk relief and riskPercentage of respondents, n= 267 mitigation overseas reduction reduction abroad abroad abroad 16
  17. 17. Defense and Quality of Collaboration Between State Diplomacy Struggle and Defense to Work Together Defense collaboration with 6% 32% 29% 18% 15% the Department of State • While slightly more than half (54 percent) of State Department respondents say that their collaboration with the Department of Defense meets their expectations, another 40 percent report that it failed to meet their State collaboration with the 6% 20% 34% 40% expectations. A significant portion Department of Defense (39 percent) of DoD respondents indicated that collaboration with State failed to meet their expectations. Exceeded my expectations • Eighteen percent of Defense Met my expectations respondents and six percent of State respondents say that Failed to meet my expectations collaboration with one another would be beneficial. My agency has never collaborated with them, but would find it beneficial My agency has never collaborated with them, and would NOT find itPercentage of respondents, (DoD) n=215, (State) n=35 beneficial 17
  18. 18. Other Agencies Potential vs. Actual Have Potential to Contributions to Geopolitical Challenges Address Geopolitical 60% Challenges 53% 56% 51% 50% 49% 36% • Agencies outside of DoD, State and USAID have the potential to 27% 23% contribute to U.S. government 18% efforts to address geopolitical challenges. Federal managers believe many more agencies have the potential to contribute than are Intelligence Agriculture Commerce Homeland Security U.S. Trade Representat doing so currently. 48% • For example, only 18 percent of 44% 42% 42% managers believe that he 37% Department of Commerce is 27% currently contributing globally, yet 24% more than half (51 percent) see a 17% 15% greater role for Commerce in 9% international affairs. Energy Justice Treasury FTC EducationPercentage of respondents, (Potential) n= 257, (Actual) n=259 Potential Actual 18
  19. 19. Less Optimism for Collaboration’s Effect on Overall Mission Collaboration’s Role Success toward Mission -21% Success 2011 2010 • Managers are increasingly 83% skeptical that collaboration will help them achieve overall mission success. Sixty-two percent of 62% managers in 2011 believe that interagency collaboration will help overall mission success, compared to 83 percent in 2010. • In addition, more managers are wary of collaboration’s potential hazards. Fourteen percent of 16% managers in 2011 believe 14% 8% 9% interagency collaboration would 5% 3% make their overall mission less successful, an increase of eleven percent believed since 2010. No change More successful Less successful I dont knowPercentage of respondents, n= 268 19
  20. 20. Interagency Politics Challenges to Interagency Collaboration and Ineffective Communication Interagency politics 53% Pose Greatest Lack of clear interagency policy 51% Challenges • Politics and communication are Ineffective lines of communication 50% the central challenges to interagency collaboration. More Cultural resistance to collaboration 47% than half of federal managers identify interagency politics (53 Lack of dedicated funding/budget 41% percent) and lack of clear Lack of time to focus on collaboration 32% interagency policy (51 percent) as challenges to collaborating with Security concerns 29% colleagues outside their department. Not an agency priority 29% • Security and technology are not the central obstacles to Technical elements not compatible 26% collaboration. Only 22 percent of managers describe the clearance Unsure who to contact outside agency 25% process as a hurtle and 26 percent identify incompatible Security clearances not compatible 22% technologies. None of the above 10% Other 4%Percentage of respondents, n=262 20
  21. 21. Smart Power Future “The departure of smart power advocates such as current Secretary of State Clinton and Former Chairman of the Joint Uncertain after Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen will _____ efforts to implement Mullen and Clinton smart power solutions.” Leave Office Prevent Streamline Other 4% 2% • When asked to describe how the 3% departure of smart power Hasten advocates Secretary of State 5% Clinton and Former Chairman of Delay the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen may Propel 21% bear on smart power’s 5% implementation, 21 percent of managers say it will ―delay‖ efforts, while 19 percent say it will Divert ―not change‖ efforts. 5% • In comments, federal managers also suggested Clinton and Modify Not change Mullen’s departures would 7% 19% ―eliminate‖ or ―muddle‖ efforts to implement smart power solutions. To others, it ―depends on their Reinforce replacements.‖ 10% I dont knowPercentage of respondents, n= 268 19% 21
  22. 22. ―The cost of achieving the mission would be reduced if the―The costs will shift, depending on collaboration was actually done inhow much agencies goals are in an intelligent manner. Sadly, itsync. But increased collaboration rarely is. Entities are too focusedwill increase effectiveness, even if on fighting bureaucratic turf warsits not less costly.‖ at a detriment to efficiency and effectiveness.‖ 22
  23. 23. Agencies Are Less Collaboration’s Effect on Cost of Mission Optimistic about Cost- Saving Benefits of -10% 2011 2010 Interagency Collaboration 52% • While more than half of managers (52 percent) believed interagency collaboration would reduce the 42% +10% cost of achieving their mission in 2010, only 42 percent of managers say the same in 2011. • A full quarter of federal managers 25% in 2011 expect that collaboration 23% will increase the costs of 21% achieving their mission. 15% 12% 10% Reduce Cost Increase Cost No Change I dont KnowPercentage of respondents, n=268 23
  24. 24. Current Budget Budget Pressure’s Impact on Pressures Will Make Collaboration Interagency Significantly Collaboration More decrease importance Somewhat Important 7% decrease importance • Despite doubts about costs, the 9% budget environment will make interagency collaboration more important. A full 65 percent of Significantly federal managers say that budget increase pressures will ―significantly‖ or importance Have no ―somewhat‖ increase the 39% effect on importance of interagency importance collaboration at their agency. 19% • Sixteen percent of managers believe the opposite to be true— that budget pressures will decrease the importance of Somewhat collaboration. 65% increase importance 26%Percentage of respondents, n= 262 24
  25. 25. ContactErin Dian DumbacherAssociate Director of ResearchGovernment Business CouncilTel 202.266.7619edumbacher@govexec.com 25
  26. 26. Smart Power December 5, 2011This document is confidential and is intended solely for the use and information of the client to whom it is addressed..
  27. 27. Booz Allen is concentrating its efforts to support government andother entities in making Smart Power actionable and to overcomeobstacles to collaboration Today’s Environment Moving Forward Agencies believe that they possess the tools  Develop agency visibility into how the and capabilities needed to adequately address resources and capabilities of others can geopolitical challenges supplement or augment their mission Smart Power collaboration is perceived as  Help Departments and Agencies do more with having a cost in terms of achieving missions less while leveraging complimentary Not viewed as an everyday decision-making capabilities from other organizations model  Establish methods to measure impact of Lacks defined strategies or processes applying Smart Power solutions Reactive implementation  Illustrate strategic and operational frameworks Characterized by ad hoc decision making and capabilities that can unite actors in a common purpose 27
  28. 28. For those issues that require a Smart Power approach, MissionIntegration provides a means for government agencies to focus onfive critical areas Smart Power Mega- Community f BUSINESS 28
  29. 29. A Deeper Look—Managing and Budget Current Landscape Strategies Streamline resource allocation to reduce duplicative efforts Build understanding of how to bring in external-to- Limited funding government actors and develop mechanisms for resource- pooling Revisit budgetary processes within organizations to expand special authoritiesAuthority mandates hinder Explore creative engagement (public-private partnerships) resource sharing Clarify and properly align directives that delineate organizational authorities and permission to collaborate Integrate collaboration as part of upfront planning to build understanding of where resources of others can be used Explore longer term planning cycles to account for bothCollaboration Costs More upfront costs, and longer term savings Increase alignment between budget and impact, developing performance metrics that measure value 29
  30. 30. A Deeper Look—People and Culture Current Landscape Strategies Explore mechanisms to expand cross-agency interactions outside of urgent response situations Lack of Trust Develop organization-specific strategies and policies to improve proactive and integrated planning, training, exercises, and coordination Clarify and properly align directives that delineate Absence of Clear Policy organizational authorities and permission to collaborate Coordinate with other actors types for common missions Duplicative Action Develop mechanisms to share mission planning and priorities Incentivize collaboration and coordination as a part of individual performance Cultural Resistance Develop understanding across all levels of the organizations that collaboration and coordination is valued and ―a way of doing business‖ 30