Performing operational assessments to create enduring national security outcomes

By Jared SagoffJuly 1, 2010

The Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (COE-DMHA) is a part of the United States Pacific Command (PACOM) and is the principal agency to promote disaster preparedness and resiliency in the Asia-Pacific region. Its vision is to prepare the region to respond to, collaborate on and manage natural and man-made disasters; be prepared to respond to plausible contingencies; and be willing to participate in a regional collaborative framework. In addition to its role in supporting issues in the Asia-Pacific region, the COE-DMHA also supports, as needed, Homeland Security interests in the continental United States.

The COE-DMHA is establishing a framework that will identify requirements for a theater’s "Enduring Outcomes" (EO) – protect the homeland, build partnerships, promote regional flora, foster resilient societies and defeat extreme ideologies.  COE-DMHA requires an operational assessment process that will provide an analytical means using empirical and intuitive evaluation from primary and secondary data sources to investigate the totality of an operation’s activities and events over time. In late FY 2009, the COE-DMHA contracted Argonne’s Decision and Information Sciences (DIS) Division to assist in the conceptual design and implementation of their Enduring Outcome framework. 

In the initial effort, Argonne conducted a survey of a variety of indicators that addressed a number of factors dealing with state stability and fragility and evaluated them from the perspective of how they could support the COE-DMHA enduring outcomes analysis efforts. The initial effort developed a concept on how the indicators could be organized into a structure that could support the COE-DMHA analysis framework. In follow-on work, Argonne’s DIS Division is working to populate the framework with indicators that relate to social resiliency and to extend the conceptual framework for how the indicators could be used to assess the status and direction of COE-DMHA plans.