A Lessons Framework for Civil-Military-Police Conflict and Disaster Management: An Australian Perspective

A Lessons Framework for Civil-Military-Police Conflict and Disaster Management: An Australian Perspective

Mellisa Bowers (Australian Civil-Military Centre, Australia) and Gwen Cherne (Australian Civil-Military Centre, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6453-1.ch008
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Abstract

International conflict and disaster response operations incorporate a diverse, multi-layered series of activities and actors working in the same space, and in contested environments. Differences in organizational culture, language, processes, and behavior can either inhibit or enhance understanding and cooperation. This chapter looks at how the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) has developed, facilitated, and tested education and training programs, preparedness exercises, and targeted research to enhance understanding and cooperation. These activities provide the foundation for a holistic civil-military-police lessons framework that is being developed. They provide Australian government agencies, military, police, and the aid community with a guide to successfully maintain and contribute their technical expertise and perspectives to respond to conflict and disaster management. Through the continued refinement of training programs, preparedness exercises, and targeted research, this framework looks not only at lessons collection but also at implementation of these lessons in future practice.
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The Requirement For Lessons Learned

‘Lessons learned’ refers to the act of learning from experience to improve performance and achieve success. Lessons cannot be learned successfully unless leadership is actively supportive and engaged in the process, stakeholders are involved in and have the opportunity to influence change, and all those involved are encouraged and willing to share information (North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], 2011). In a multiagency setting, such as in Australia, Canada or the United States, successful learning requires leadership commitment, sound plans that set clear priorities, and measurable goals. While it is relatively easy to point to mistakes in the past, validating those mistakes and ensuring that they do not happen again requires leadership, particularly in the field of conflict and peacebuilding where long-term commitments and plans are needed (Cordesman, 2004). Most practitioners and researchers also agree that there needs to be a concerted effort to forge collaborative partnerships and seek coordinated solutions that leverage expertise and capabilities across communities (Coning & Friis, 2011; Reitjens, van Fenema, & Essens, 2013; US Government Accountability Office, 2010).

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