MR. SRIKANTIAH: Good afternoon, everyone. I hope you had an enjoyable lunch, and I'd like to welcome you all to our third workshop under the theme "Evaluating Partnerships."
The title to this workshop is "Smart Power: Integrating and Evaluating Instruments of National Power," and we have three distinguished panelists to present this topic.
The first is Retired Rear Admiral Richard Jaskot, completed a 31�'year career, retiring from active roles in the Navy in 2006, and is currently a principle at Booz Allen Hamilton managing the firm's support to U.S. Africa Command and its senior leader over the firm's businesses with U.S. European Command, NATO, and to the global peace operation initiatives with a focus on Africa.
Our second speaker today is Cheryl Steele. She is a senior associate with Booz Allen Hamilton and co�'manager of the firm's Smart Power Executive Committee.
Ms. Steele was a former Foreign Service officer with the Department of State from 1996 to 2004, and has more than 13 years of professional experience in the areas of strategic planning, communications, foreign policy, the Middle East, and the inter�'agency process.
And our third speaker of the day is Rodney Bent. He is a Booz Allen Hamilton executive who works in the firm's diplomacy and international development business. Before joining Booz in 2009, Mr. Bent was acting CEO and deputy CEO at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, where he led the agency's efforts to streamline its internal processes and help set new standards of accountability and transparency.
Prior to his work at MCC, Mr. Bent was a professional staff member on the House Appropriations Committee and deputy associate director for the international affairs division at the Office of Management and Budget.
And before I give the floor to our panelists, I request that the audience hold their questions for a Q&A session after the presentation, and I guess I'll introduce our first speaker, then, retired Rear Admiral Richard Jaskot.
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ADMIRAL JASKOT: Thank you, Sanjay, and welcome, everyone, to our panel here, and we'll try and keep this short and concise so that we can get into the dialogue, which I think is something we're looking forward to having with you.
Smart power, obviously a term that people are hearing a lot more about. Secretary Clinton uses it in a lot of her speeches, as well as Secretary Gates and a number of other senior leaders across government.
And actually, if we could pull a fourth chair up here, I would love to have Senator Hagel here, because frankly, most of his discussion this morning, in my mind, was about smart power and the integration of capacity and capability across the government.
I think, when you listen to some of the things he was talking about, we'll get into a little bit more, but even the issues in the Gulf coast right now, if we had the processes and mechanisms in place to more quickly pull together the best and brightest across government, as well as private industry and other organizations in a quicker fashion, assigning authorities and responsibilities and being able to work together, hopefully we could have cut back some of the damage and the rest.
But right now, smart power and whole of government approaches is something that, as you'll see up here on the slide, just �'�' it seems like most think tanks are writing about and thinking about, as well as most departments and agencies in government and senior leaders.
You'll see General Petraeus' AFPAC strategy up there, and others like that, as people try to think through how is it and what is it and how do we make it work?
So what is it, really? I mean, I remember, a few years ago, my last position in the military before coming here, I was the commandant of the National War College over at NDU, and so we had the opportunity a lot of times to have forum and war games and discussion with senior leaders of government about some of these things.
And I remember that one of the big debates at the time everyone was arguing interagency operations, how do we get to more or better interagency operations, and the skeptics or the opponents to that whole thinking were always I don't understand where you see a problem.
The PCs and the DPCs work great. They go in, they make a decision, they assign it to someone, and it goes out.
But the proponents of more interagency and I think a greater look at the people were, well, that's great except for the members of the PC and the members of the DPCs are fed their information normally by somewhat of a stovepipe organization that has not necessarily been vetted or coordinated across agencies and departments.
And then after they come to a decision and it's put back down into the departments and agencies for execution, it goes back into those areas that is normally not as well coordinated as we'd like at times, and I think there are a growing number, given some of the papers written by many of the incoming government, about how we do that better.
How do we coordinate across agencies or departments?
How do we get to a point where what we're putting forward is the best that the United States can offer so that there is one face of the United States?
I don't have to tell any of you, but I know from my own experiences, how often did you, you know, coordinating with a nation, a foreign nation that's a partner and you're trying to help with the capacity�'building program or a partnership program, and you happen to slip up and make the comment, this is what the United States would like of you as a partner.
And you know, I remember a chief of defense of Ghana laughing at me, Richard, Richard, you know, that's what the Department of Defense wants. If I go talk to the ambassador, I bet he'll tell me something different that the United States wants.
And so realistically, we have to get to the point where, hopefully, it is what the United States is putting forward in order to execute its national security strategy and partnerships globally.
Up here you'll see four of the bullets of ways different people have defined smart power and whole of government approaches, and if you look at the number three one, that was actually someone we were talking to when we were asking what they thought of smart power and the rest, and it turns out the individual was not necessarily a national security strategy type individual but more of a technical person who said, oh, yeah, that's where we can make all the electrical grids work better.
Well, that's great, and it's probably a piece of smart power, but we'd really like to get more to how do we integrate processes and execution.
So what we'd like to think here is that this diagram is supposed to show that smart power again is at this intersection.
We have laws out there. We've got lanes. We've got missions assigned to the various departments and agencies, and nobody says that it ought to be all agencies together, all departments together all the time.
But what we do need to get to is the point where we understand what's happening across departments, across agencies, at the boundaries of our main focus areas, at the boundaries of our main mission areas, and at the intersections.
How do we leverage the capacity and capability that exists in this nation to execute our strategies, and can we afford not to go there? A lot of people will talk about the difficulties of getting the cross cultural issues of departments and agencies and how the laws won't let you share the money, but I mean, we've got great examples, 1206/1207 monies, the whole IPO now about orphan children, that's in the book. We talk about seven agencies, $5 billion all working together and seeing successes.
It can be done. The problem is, right now, it's one�'offs, and what we really need is come together to a process to make this the way we do business.
So what I'd like to do now is turn it over to my colleague, Cheryl Steele, who will talk about smart power in action.
MS. STEELE: Thanks, Rich.
So we thought it would be useful, after sort of kicking off with an introduction of the smart power concept, to look at an example of smart power in action, and the case study that is up on the slide is that of the All Partners Access Network, or APAN.
APAN is first and foremost a collaboration tool and method for information sharing. It's something that actually came into reality and into fruition through work that Booz Allen was doing in collaboration with the U.S. Pacific Command.
PACOM, given the area of operations that it has responsibility for, sees a lot of incidences of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response requirements.
I think, you know, the tsunami, in particular, is one that we often think of, and part of what PACOM was recognizing was that it had a real capability gap when it came to humanitarian assistance/disaster response, and that was getting real�'time information on the ground about what were urgent and emerging situations that they would have the capacity to bring, you know, logistical lift and response to.
So APAN was sort of born out of that desire, and what it is, it's an open tool. It's available for anybody, whether in U.S. Government, civil society, anywhere in the world who has internet access to create a membership ID and log on.
The effectiveness of APAN in its operations with Pacific Command meant that it started sort of �'�' you know, good news sometimes also travels fast. You know, we often think about that about bad news, but in this case, good news traveled fast, and some other components of DOD started learning about APAN and thinking about how they might be able to use it to improve their ability to coordinate and collaborate across boundaries.
In December of 2009, U.S. Southern Command was another combatant command that sort of picked up this mantle of something that they wanted to drive forward. It ended up being especially timely with the events in Haiti in January of 2010.
When the earthquake struck Haiti, DOD turned to SOUTHCOM and gave them sort of the lead in terms of coordinating DOD humanitarian assistance/disaster response relief.
Within a day of their getting that designation, APAN was tailored to have a space for collaboration around Haiti, and on the slide, we note that, you know, within a week of that site being live, there were more than 1,000 different users. It uses things that we often see in a lot of social collaboration tools, wikis and blogs and forums. There has been some really neat and amazing case studies that have come out of APAN.
In one situation, there was a NGO that was looking to try and bring into Haiti some debris�'clearing machinery, but they were having real trouble getting a sense of what the requirements were in terms of how to get that equipment in country.
They posted a query via APAN, and they were able to get a response of guidance from Department of State and other U.S. Government agencies about what the requirements were, what they needed to do. That thread was then found by another user a week later. They were able to use the same information to get their equipment and supplies moved.
There was another case where a group was looking �'�' in urgent need for tents. Where they were at, their location, they didn't have any. They posted a request, does anyone know, are there any tents around here that we would be able to get used? Somebody saw that, responded that USAID was in the process of getting 250 tents moved in, and so connections were made.
A third example, and one I found just particularly amazing, was a hospital that was completely undamaged by the earthquake posted that it was up, running, fully operational, and only had six beds of these 72 different beds in use.
Within a week of their posting, they had 250 patients that had been transferred to their facility and were receiving care. I think what's interesting about the APAN example is that it really does talk to this ability of smart power not being about anybody changing what their core mission is.
It's not about sort of going �'�' going outside of what an organization is designed to do or what it does best, but it's about looking for ways to find points of collaboration and coordination to sort of help everybody do better collectively.
And I think, with that, it's sort of a good transition point to turn to Rodney, who sort of, I think, gets the most challenging component of this, which is, so we talk about smart power, we understand it as a concept and sort of what some of the benefits of it are, but in the context of this particular conference, what does that mean when it comes to the question of evaluation and evaluating smart power.
MR. BENT: Thanks. We've spent a little bit of time this morning, I think, talking about evaluation, and several of the workshops I was in were going over how to do evaluations, all the questions that come up if you've been an implementer or a manager.
I actually want to change a little bit the points that I wrote last night, because it seems to me one of the key components is management's use of evaluation, and part of what I think I've seen is that smart power is the effective use of information both so that you know what you're doing, with what impact, meaning evaluations, GPRA, the transparency points that are put up there, the who, what, why, when, where, but more importantly, it's what managers do with that, how is it integrated, and I spent a large part of my previous criminal past at OMB doing the meshing up of budget, policy, management, and resources.
You can't do that in a vacuum. You really have to have the on�'the�'ground reality. And what I've seen and what I tried to do differently at the Millennium Challenge Corporation was to integrate. In other words, what's working, why is it working, what is it really doing in terms of inputs, outputs, outcomes, and what's wrong with all of that. People talk about, I think, in the MCC workshop this morning, the counter�'factual, the null hypothesis.
These are all good things, but don't make the mistake of assuming that a succession of successful projects means a successful program or that you're getting the outcome that you want. What I think has to happen is that integration, and frankly a very candid and real sense, of what do you want to achieve, what are you really trying to do?
When I first started working at OMB a long, long, long time ago, the international affairs budget, function 150, was about 16�'17 billion dollars. It's many multiples of that now. What I see happening coming down the road is that it's going to be a much, much tougher fiscal environment.
How do you get resources? You have to persuade the American people, most particularly the House and Senate appropriation committee, that you know what you're doing with the resources, that you have a plan, that you know what's going to happen, that you know what your outcomes are going to be, and here are the intermediate inputs or intermediate outcomes, outputs that will get you there.
What that means to me in a smart power context is you know what you're doing and you know what others are doing. People have talked about a whole of government approach, but I think what we're really after is a whole of world approach.
When I was in Iraq, if you didn't know what the Defense Department was doing, that was a problem. If you didn't know what the Polish division was doing, or the Spanish division, or some of the others, that was a major problem. If you didn't know what the Iraqis were doing or how they were responding, more of a major problem.
I sometimes came back feeling that smart power was sort of the antithesis of what had been going on before, and in some ways, yes, it is about partnerships, it is about accountability, it is about transparency.
I think the challenge that you all face is how do you create the systems, the protocols, the bureaucratic governing incentives that will allow you to actually use what you know and to apply it and to get your managers, meaning deputy assistant secretaries, the assistant secretaries, or assistant administrators and above, to actually use what you know in a constructive sense.
How many of you �'�' let's make this interactive. How many of you have gone to data.gov, which is the White House's website? It is, I think, fabulous in terms of what the Obama administration is trying to do. I think if you go there, you'll get a sense, in other programs and other areas, of the kind of transparency that people want to see.
I would very much hope that the State Department, AID, the Defense Department, MCC �'�' all the rest �'�' could do many of the same kinds of things. I hope I'm short of time because I'm going to stop.
QUESTION: Good afternoon. Jeremy Guess from Duran (phonetic) Corporation. I was wondering if you could discuss the role of private �'�' the private sector in this �'�' in this framework?
MS. STEELE: I think it's a couple of different components. I think, within the smart power construct, at least the way I think it's commonly being thought about, we sort of talk about the 4 D's, you know, diplomacy, development, defense, and then other diverse entities, which, you know, what a �'�' what a powerful phrase that is, but I think it's this �'�' this recognition that the private sector, and whether you mean in that sort of corporations, whether it's NGOs, whether it's, you know, civil society actors, is very much a player.
I think whether we're talking about situations �'�' I'm trying to think of a discrete example. When I was doing �'�' from a diplomacy seat, looking at bilateral relations with a country, I had a perspective that was informed by what was the reporting that was coming from the embassy in the field, what was the reporting that was coming through intelligence channels, what were the perspectives of the Assistant Secretary, the Secretary of State vis-a-vis that political and diplomatic relationship.
What I found particularly valuable was to also meet with the private sector, to meet with the corporations who were doing business in those �'�' in those countries, because they were seeing that relationship from an optic and a perspective that I wasn't.
And where I found some of our most effective coordination and partnership was when we were having an open dialogue, and I was sort of sharing what some of our challenges were as we were thinking about things, and hearing from them what they were seeing, because I think we all know that we as humans sort of take on a different role sometimes, depending on who we're talking to, what the circumstances are, and how our interaction is.
So if you take that from sort of the individual level of an individual interaction into how do we as organizations work more effectively, I think that's one component.
I think a second factor of this relates to Rodney's point about resources, you know, because on the one hand, while there has been this massive increase, if you're just looking at, you know, rolled up budget numbers, year on year, it's still not all that much when you think ratio�'wise compared to others, and also there's just this question in terms of rate of growth going forward.
And as we continue as a government to be in a more fiscally constrained environment, I think part of this is how do we leverage those resources of others to try and meet shared �'�' shared objectives.
ADMIRAL JASKOT: If I can add just one thing, to kind of jump right off where Cheryl left off, a quick example, I do our coordination with the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, and one of the things that's just a recent example is their energy liaison officer has gotten a program going where individuals who are CEOs of major oil corporations, when they happen to be in Europe, are coming through to sit down and have a chat with General Ward and the leadership of U.S. Africa Command.
And again, a company like Chevron or Exxon or any of those, AFRICOM is not going to do anything for them, necessarily, but they are willing to share information, and they understand about security in West Africa and what's going on.
They don't count on the U.S. Government, whether it's the embassy or the rest, only in order to make sure that their assets are secure and watching what's going on as far as stability in nations.
So I think another area where the private entity, whether it be nonprofits, NGOs, or corporations, can play is, again, in that information exchange and help in understanding the whole picture.
QUESTION: It sounds like a system that you're providing information, and I think what's been happening over the last few decades with the web and our electronic abilities is information overload.
Exactly how are you arriving at this? Like, you didn't mention filters or �'�' who sees what data, and how do they know what to use, and are you setting up some sort of target audiences.
Like, I get bombarded with so much information from so many groups, it's like how do you use it and how can you better function, and then, have you set that up to be evaluated so that we can figure out how to fine�'tune it better?
MR. BENT: There are any number of jokes about I had so much information I didn't know what to do. The Economist had an article �'�' or, rather, a cover piece a couple of weeks ago in which it was this deluge of information, and the guy is holding up an umbrella to stop it.
The real question is, how do you �'�' what information is relevant to you and how do you get it, and part of what I think is wrong with evaluations as practiced in the U.S. Government is that they're not relevant, and so therefore, people don't look for them; therefore, people don't use them.
Okay. If what you don't need is the 30�'page scholarly article in The Lancet about whatever it is you're interested in, how can you get a dashboard that will bring you what you think is relevant?
At the MCC, what we were trying to do is, okay, you're building roads and you're building ports. Who else does that? The World Bank. What kind of system do they use to evaluate it?
You're trying to synthesize down to the core issues of what you're after, and I think that will depend on the program and the agency and all the rest of it.
Evaluation for evaluation's sake is meaningless. It's only useful if you use it in some way, and I think what's important for program implementers and managers, okay, what do you want to hear? And then you go to the people who are doing the evaluations or the program implementers and you get the conversation going in a meaningful way.
ADMIRAL JASKOT: If I could add one thing to that, too, I think it sounds very often like it's just information exchange, and while that is a key critical node, I think the thing that sometimes gets glossed over is the fact that part of the issue of dealing with all of the information is you weren't prepared for it, it's reactionary, and what I think is missing in some of the whole planning and process, and I assure you after talking to the deputy commander at SOUTHCOM, General Keane (phonetic), he would have hoped that they had kind of exercised some of this ahead of time and maybe they would have been better prepared to do this.
I think a fact now, we all are so busy, I don't have time to train, I don't have time to exercise, but small, well thought out GAIN'ing, strategic thinking about what are the issues that are going to pop up for an issue, think about, okay, what is that going to cause? What are the cause and effect relationships?
How do I summarize in a GAIN? What is this information overflows going to be? How do I bin it so I can either put it in a dashboard or I can best use it or divide it out to the people who need it?
So I think we can't forget about �'�' and not only that, but coming out of GAIN'ing come some of your best measures, because now you've thought through what the issue is going to be, so now into your plan, and that's the other piece. This all has to be into the plan, and sometimes we �'�' we say we have a plan, we want a plan, but I don't really have time to plan, so we'll just get it generic.
In the military, the area that I grew up in, basically does planning maybe the other way, where we go to the nth degree, and in fact, my State Department colleagues, when we were working, was always about let's compare plans, and the problem sometime is, with the military, not only do I know if this happens on a contingency plan, I know where I'm getting the 10,000 people, I know how I'm getting them over to the area of operations, and I know where they're getting all the rucksacks to put on their backs.
Now, maybe the other agencies and a lot of these programs, we don't need that level of information, but we at least have to have a process to bin it and organize it and use it, and sometimes the only way or the best way to get that is to have thought about it ahead of time, GAIN'd it, planned it.
QUESTION: Thank you. I had a question. I'm thinking in terms of transitional periods of time for high conflict countries, and so if research is telling us that security is a major issue for success during the transitional periods and we know there is flexes, plusses up and down of what the security needs are during a transition time, I'm wondering what we're learning about the instruments and how they can help us �'�' maybe APAN or other instruments �'�' in planning for the flexibility of security needs during transitional times in high�'conflict zones. Thank you.
MR. BENT: Let me take a stab at it, because when I was at OMB, obviously we spent a lot of time trying to figure out, okay, what do you do in post�'Iraq, post�'Afghanistan, and then, when I went over there, I realized, exactly as Rich is saying, if you haven't planned it, if you haven't gone through it, if you haven't thought about it, then you're going to make every mistake in the book, and I think we made them.
I think one of the challenges is to be very realistic about what you hope to achieve, and you cannot substitute wishful thinking for the realities on the ground.
Senator Hagel, this morning, with his RAR, I think, probably hit it on the head. In that sense, where I take smart power is, okay, who is doing what? Is it either other countries within the region, other tribes within the area? What is it that you're working with? What can you reasonably expect? What can you influence?
And I think sometimes we go a little bit overboard, whether it's Icarus or hubris or any other parallel you want to come to, but you can't go in assuming that, gee, I want to �'�' I want a secure environment that will enable me to do the development programs that I know are necessary and kind of hope that's true when it's not.
ADMIRAL JASKOT: The other thing is that I think sometimes we want to have a fix. We want to know, okay, what's �'�' what's the tool that's going to help me know the security issue? The problem is, I mean, again, most recently, the last couple of years, I'm involved a lot with Africa, and a lot of people forget that's not a nation, it's 53 nations, but it's different for each one.
I'm going to get better security in one area because I've got �'�' I use an economic influence that will help that government stand up its own stability and increase its security. In another nation, training peace�'keeping troops may be the thing to do, but it's going to differ.
So I think, to a certain point, we've not �'�' jumping to the easy answer of, okay, here's the fix�'all tool, which is I think is something we as a firm are thinking about in smart power �'�' smart power isn't a thing that I can put in a box and say here you go, State Department, there's the smart power thing you need for the next century. It's not. It's a way to think about issues. It's a way to think through how do we get places.
MS. STEELE: I think the only thing that I would sort of add to that is this whole element about �'�' it was, again, a theme that the senator mentioned this morning about risk aversion and risk management, and I think particularly when it comes to transitioning states, failed and failing states, you know, there is a tremendous challenge there when it comes to organizations.
I'll speak of the institution that I know �'�' am most familiar with, which is State, which, you know, I think about the ambassadorial review boards when, God forbid, there's an incident overseas, and you know, the level of personal accountability for safety and security.
I remember there was a study that was done by CSIS, the Embassy of the Future, several years ago now that Mark Grossman (phonetic) helped lead, and part of the comments that he made at that time was that, if your culture is risk aversion and your effort is to have sort of a �'�' you know, if your objective is sort of zero fatality, zero risk to your staff, the ability of an institution to respond to and be sufficiently fluid in these types of environments is going to be inherently inhibited.
So I think there is this element of how do you move into a culture of risk management, what does that look like, how do you have a sort of a way of looking at that in such a way that responds to who the individual organization is, what their profile is? It's going to be different for �'�' for each organization, and to Rich's point, the inputs into that evaluation are going to shift dramatically based on where you're looking.
I think the only thing that I would sort of add to that is your ability to paint that picture is going to be much more fulsome to the extent that you're able to pull in multiple different partners, their experiences, and their viewpoints.
QUESTION: Lenora (phonetic) Fuller, State IG.
I was curious if you saw an intersection between smart power and the QDDR, intersection, linkage, whatever, your observations.
MS. STEELE: Most definitely. I mean, I think that, you know, at its �'�' at its core, the QDDR is all about sort of helping the department and USAID sort of think through what is their mission as they're looking forward.
I think, insofar as it's informed by things like the QDR, like the QWICKER (phonetic), like the QHSR, I think this element of trying to think longer term, you know, leverage some of the �'�' the lessons learned that can be applicable to the context of State and USAID �'�' I had a chance over the past several months �'�' I've worked quite closely with Dov Zakheim, who is a partner at Booz Allen, who has perhaps a one man walking encyclopedia of the QDR. And he is the first person to say that the quadrennial defense review is going to be of manageable utility in terms of trying to think of that in a State and USAID context.
But I think the driver there is really about that most important component, what's our mission? Who do we, as these two organizations, want to be? What's our strength? What are we bringing to the table?
And I think that as the QDDR comes public, that will then help some of the other partners in the process, such as partners at DOD, such as partners in the intelligence community, to start better understanding where is their swim lane, because it's great for us to sort of talk about organizational swim lanes and playing to our strengths.
But if we're not quite sure what one another's strengths are, that can be a bit more challenging.
ADMIRAL JASKOT: And the other side to what Rodney was talking about earlier, obviously a lot of the driver for this is resources, and if the �'�' if nothing else, if the QDDR can do for State and USAID what the QDR does for Defense in helping prioritize where resources ought to go, understanding your mission and what's the highest priorities and therefore should be getting the majority of the resources, I think that will help, and then dovetail to where Cheryl said, with its partners understanding where it wants to go.
QUESTION: You know, there was that great quote today about failure being an orphan. Do you have examples of where two organizations shared outcome measures and both took accountability for the same measure, and how did that work? How did you get shared accountability for outcomes?
MS. STEELE: I don't sort of have an answer so much as it's something that Rodney and I, in particular, over the past couple of weeks have really been batting around.
How do you talk about evaluation and accountability in a smart power context, right, because you're really in a �'�' in a government partners perspective, you're thinking different organizations who are coming in with different OMB metrics that they're going to be measured against and that they need to report against.
How can you do that planning at the front end, sort of the up front, hey, this is what I'm doing, you know, and then how am I accounting back for it, and then I would sort of turn to Rodney from the perspective of the OMB, how do you make sure that you're not double counting on results?
I think that there are �'�' I think we see in public�'private partnerships, I think we see, you know �'�' earlier today, some of our colleagues were talking about the concept of mega communities.
You know, there is an ability to look at this as we don't all have to have, you know, the same objective, right? I think, to the extent that you sort of have this same normative outcome, like a shared view of what you �'�' what outcome you want to see, and appreciate that maybe the steps along that process might be owned in different ways by different parties, you can start seeing that accountability.
I think it also sort of talks to that element of understanding what different people are doing and what different people are bringing to the table.
But I think this question of, you know, everyone sort of wanting to take credit, on the one hand, and then everyone sort of wanting to run away from the failures, is just a huge, huge element that never completely goes away.
ADMIRAL JASKOT: I think one of the joys of public service are that you really have a whole series of different metrics from different organization, different risk thresholds.
The GAO, in looking at a program, will have a different view of what should have been done.
So the challenge �'�' and I think it, in a lot of cases, becomes frustrating, because people don't try to do it, is to have a realistic, candid discussion before things get really formed, in which you can say, look, here are the inputs, outputs, outcomes, and I don't mean dozens and dozens of measures. In fact, I think that goes back to the problem earlier. You have too many, they �'�' they suffocate you. Okay. What are the key ones? Where do you agree, and does it really matter who takes which amount of responsibility for success?
You're clearly going to have different measures, different metrics, and different risk thresholds, and so then the question is, can you fashion, in that context, a successful program? I think, yes, but it may mean that the dashboard that AID has will be different than the dashboard that the State Department might have for a given program.
State Department might care about the relationship or what it builds in terms of other external values, whereas AID might care about the development impact in the short run.
That doesn't mean that they're inconsistent. It just means they need to be reconciled and identified.
MR. SRIKANTIAH: Are there any other questions? We still have about four or five minutes. If not, I was going to �'�' oh, okay, we've got one more.
QUESTION: Thank you. I have a question on smart power and the whole of government sort of a combination. In your work on the smart power issues, have you run across an agency or an office or a small bureau, I don't know, a unit that has done a particularly good job at communicating all the way down to the lowest common denominator, to �'�' you know, to all the staff within the organization on what it really means that we want to achieve through whole of government approach, what does it mean to their day�'to�'day jobs, when it's going to come down to your work objectives.
ADMIRAL JASKOT: You mean, the mythical one man agency?
ADMIRAL JASKOT: I would answer the question this way. The smaller it is, obviously, the easier it is. You know, you're going to have more of a common culture. People are going to share information, whether it's standing in the hallways �'�' but the trouble is that �'�' look at our agencies. Look how big they are. Look how diverse they are.
The challenge is not, are there examples that you can find? There are plenty. I mean, look at the partnership that rates small government agencies, NRC �'�' MCC was one, one year, I think �'�' OPIC.
There are a couple where that really takes place. The challenge is not there. The challenges are in the large agencies like AID or the State Department or the Defense Department or DOE or HHS or USDA, and you can't treat them as a series of vulcanized little units.
I mean, part of the problem is, how do you break down the stovepipes in a way that really helps the managers at every level understand what other folks are doing, and not just within their agency but �'�' but hugely relevantly in other agencies, other countries, other parts, and that is, frankly, a much tougher knot.
MR. BENT: And I think it comes down to, in my opinion, what Senator Hagel again said this morning. It's about leadership, okay? Smaller organizations are probably going to have an easier task, but again, it's got to start at the top.
It's got to �'�' leadership's truly committed to it and making it important to the organization, and then supporting those executives and middle managers that it is important enough to get down to the other levels.
It's a tough nut to crack, as we all know. Interestingly, when �'�' I teach some of this at the Baltic Defense College, and we were talking about whole of government approaches to the country of Georgia, and so we were saying, well, how hard is it for you to talk between your ministry of interior, ministry of defense?
She goes not a problem at all, because I went to school with them. I graduated with them. I've known them my whole life.
So again, it's �'�' some of it is familiarity, but if it's important to you, you'll find the ways to make it work.
MS. STEELE: I think I'd just conclude by saying I think that's �'�' what you've just framed is the fundamental question right now.
How do you take smart power as a concept and break that into something that individual organizations, individuals within organizations can operationalize? I think part of it is that �'�' that element of people as individuals within organizations sort of having those �'�' those moments of, you know, sort of clarity of, ah, you know, I can �'�' I can, as a person, reach across and try and, in my little basket of an issue, try and think in a broader context to work on things. At the same time, it has to be happening at a leadership perspective.
I think, ideally, you sort of see those two things happening simultaneously that then sort of have both a top�'down and a bottom�'up that sort of drive to this type of change, but you know, it is a tremendous, tremendous process. I mean, even the best and most well intentioned organizations always fall into the challenge of managing across stovepipes, you know, and private sector is not anymore immune from that than our government counterparts are, but I think thinking through these and recognizing that we're in an environment where the challenges are going to increasingly require that, you know, no one entity or no one organization can recreate the capabilities of everybody else internally, where resources just become tighter and more available, will mean that there will be some of these external factors that will help drive that element of change that needs to be part of the process.
QUESTION: We see a lot of initiatives that get a name, and the name becomes buzz, and then there's the backlash, and then it disappears. What are you doing to protect smart power �'�'
QUESTION: �'�' because the concept of understanding who your partners and collaborators and suppliers are and bringing them all together is well researched and documented, but yet, in government, as we mentioned, there's a culture of not invented here and a number of things.
How does this not become just another buzz word?
MS. STEELE: Excellent question. Were you at one of our briefings recently where one of our partners asked the same thing? I think that there is an element of �'�' it's not rocket science, right? This whole notion of information sharing, the whole notion of blending soft power and hard power is not a new concept.
I think where the factors are changing �'�' and Rich and I were talking to a group of cadets at Norwich University several months ago on this topic, and it really is around this resource component. I mean, the term doesn't matter. I mean, ultimately, it really doesn't matter.
It's there. It's a term of reference that is definitely gaining traction within this administration, which I think, you know, in particular, recognizing what they were going to be seeing from a budget picture, recognizing some of the scopes of the challenges that they needed to take on, whether it's hunger, whether it's climate change, whether it's the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I think all of those factors meant that this administration was particularly �'�' you know, got onto this concept of smart power and brought it to the table very early.
Will it still be called smart power six, eight, ten, twelve years ago? Probably not. But I think the concepts of what are sort of there are where things are going. I mean, whether it's �'�' you know, in so many different ways, we're seeing collaboration across borders and across boundaries. We're seeing people look for some of these creative solutions. I think it's sort of a direction. I think part of where we're at as a firm is, you know, we've seen this in a number of different ways.
As a technology firm, you know, knowledge management is one of the things that we've been looking at for a number of years. So for us, it's sort of a comfortable concept. The name is a little bit different. We used to call it internally this idea of mission integration, but the concept, I think, will have some legs.
MR. SRIKANTIAH: Well, I'd like to thank �'�' we're just out of time. I'd like to thank our panelists for an informative discussion on smart power, and I'd like to thank you for your questions, as well. We'll proceed to a coffee break next. Thanks.