NLS: A Reflection Support System for Increased Inter-Regional Security

NLS: A Reflection Support System for Increased Inter-Regional Security

V. Asproth (Informatics, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden), K. Ekker (Nord Trondelag University College, Steinkjer, Norway), S. C. Holmberg (Informatics, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden), and A. Håkansson (Informatics, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/ijitsa.2014070104
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Cooperation across national borders is of paramount importance for the security in border close regions. Timely and adequate training, reflection, and preparation are core tools for facilitating and stimulating such interregional cooperation. Hence, NetAgora, a service oriented web portal for security cooperation, was designed. In NetAgora there is first a service package with accident- and emergency scenarios. Here multi-actors can train their cooperation and decision making skills. The R-statistics open source package is applied for recording and analyzing data from those training occasions. In subsequent debriefing sessions this is used for post-learning. Further, from anticipatory modeling and simulation it is found that rescue operations are delayed and misguided due to shortcomings in the communication between security command and communication centers. Hence, the NetAgora Learning System is designed and prototyped in order to overcome that problem. It will facilitate and stimulate reflection in action and double loop learning and aims at improving communication patterns by anticipatory pre-learning.
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2. Research Methodology

Our methodological approach, as successively developed and refined in a series of projects (Asproth et al. 2010) has taken its inspiration from Community Operational Research as the concept was first defined by Rosenhead (1986) and further developed by Midgley (2000). The specific challenges and problems with OR in modern community applications has been discussed by Holmberg (2001c). However, with help of Keys (1991) we have on this point already drawn the conclusion that the solution is to be found in systems thinking and systemic methodologies. Further, we have found Leleur's (2005) observation that the highly theoretical thinking of Habermas and Luhmann can be applied in a pragmatic way in working with complex international projects, very promising (Asproth et al.).

The consequencis of all this are depicted by the three dimensional coordinate system in Figure 1. First, the symbol in the origo of the figure indicates that systemic models and methods (Ackoff, 1981; Checkland, 1999) are used in order to integrate user preferences, problem restrictions, and solution resources into concrete intervention and change activities. With this approach the users or problem owners become active cooperation partners in the research and development. They are no longer mere clients. This also means that we are approaching Banathy's (1996) ideal of a third generation design methodology.

Figure 1.

Integrating three different perspectives with help of systemic intervention


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