Third round of strategy dialogue for Homeland Security’s Quadrennial Review

Do you have opinions about the Transportation Security Administration? TSA’s boss, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of DHS, would like to hear from you. Or maybe immigration is your passion, or disaster recovery — she’s listening.

In its continuing robust Gov2.0 process with the public, Homeland Security this week launched its third and final online dialogue concerning long-term strategic plans. Rounds one and two, conducted earlier this summer, saw “tremendous participation” from the public, said Alan Cohn, deputy assistant secretary for policy at DHS.

An update about the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review came today in a bloggers round table, with Cohn fielding questions about content, timing, results, and the chances of continued transparency about goal-setting.

The site – http://www.homelandsecuritydialogue.org/dialogue3/ – incorporates user feedback and rating algorithms. You can read ideas others have presented, comment, vote, and add your own ideas. DHS will assess and incorporate the results from this third dialogue, which ends Oct. 4, into a report to be submitted to Congress on Dec. 31.

I asked Cohn about the kinds of responses he was looking for. Cohn said that the main goal of Round 3 is a “rich discussion of the mission elements, identifying key outcomes. Now that folks have seen the shaping of the vision, seen the distilling of the vision into goals and objectives, to comment on the overall strategic approach.”

Cohn hopes will sign in to the site and assess and comment on the strategies and goals. So the question to us is: “Which of the outcomes are truly key, crucial, outcomes in your opinion?”

Cohn said they need both experienced people (involved in dialogue one and two) as well as fresh eyes coming in for the first time. One thing I noted is how the themes from the first part are coming to fruition and being used as goals, objectives, strategies in part 3.

I’m working on a more detailed blog post about this, but in the meantime, I’d love your feedback on the web site and its Gov2.0 crowd-sourcing for ideas.

Archives of the first two dialogues are available at homelandsecuritydialogue.org/dialogue1 and homelandsecuritydialogue.org/dialogue2.

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Profile Photo Jim DeLaHunt

I participated in the first two rounds of the QHSR, but by the third round I’m disenchanted. I don’t see much evidence that ideas from the first two rounds were even heard, much less reflected in the subsequent round. You report that Alan Cohn says DHS wants “rich discussion”, “identifying key outcomes”, and “distilling visions into goals and objectives”. But the web site at http://www.homelandsecuritydialogue.org/dialogue3/ doesn’t provide a mechanism for doing any of this. There are only monolithic statements of “key goals, objectives and outcomes” with no provision for rating or highlighting individual elements, plus an “ideas” section which is generating input as wide-ranging and unconstrained as in the first round. I can’t imagine a DHS team working on one of these themes getting focussed, useful feedback from this structure.

Also, what’s up with “Homeland Security Planning and Capabilities” being a no-show this round?

I’d be interested to hear from people who believe that this dialogue will actually affect what DHS will do. Why do you believe that? What is the mechanism by which it makes a difference?

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