Becoming our own best ally planning socio cultural dynamics activities in africa
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Becoming Our Own Best Ally: Planning Socio-Cultural Dynamics Activities in Africa. Patuxent Defense Forum 22 April 2009 CAPT Wayne A. Bley, USN (RET) Nathalie J. Frensley, Ph.D. Organizing ourselves by learning about others?.

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Becoming Our Own Best Ally: Planning Socio-Cultural Dynamics Activities in Africa

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Becoming our own best ally planning socio cultural dynamics activities in africa

Becoming Our Own Best Ally:Planning Socio-Cultural Dynamics Activities in Africa

Patuxent Defense Forum

22 April 2009

CAPT Wayne A. Bley, USN (RET)

Nathalie J. Frensley, Ph.D.


Organizing ourselves by learning about others

Organizing ourselves by learning about others?

What are the consequences of providing information about the external environment to all stakeholders for inter-organizational cohesion and coordination?

How can socio-cultural analysis operations and data-provision facilitate a highly institutionalized, networked megacommunity from highly distrustful and organizationally dissimilar agencies, departments, and groups?


Africom s coordination problems

AFRICOM’s Coordination Problems

  • AFRICOM’s programmatic emphasis on conflict prevention and active security increases the number of stakeholders and increases the web of interactions required for them to cooperate and coordinate

  • AFRICOM, as a new organization, must face coordinating with other US agencies and NGOs that, as organizations have established cultures, procedures, and social networks.

  • AFRICOM suffers from a poverty of riches in that as a Department of Defense Command, it has access to organizational resources that other organizations simply do not have and are unlikely to have in the near term.

  • Nonetheless, AFRICOM’s own mission statement places constraints on its actions that should, under the right conditions, inspire assurances with other stakeholders that would facilitate interagency coordination in overall US engagement with Africa.


Becoming our own best ally planning socio cultural dynamics activities in africa

Ambassador Mary C. Yates, Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activities, U.S. Africa Command, July 15, 2008 testimony to Congress

  • First: "in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners." This emphasizes our role as the military component within the context of the broader U.S. government effort. We will conduct all of our activities as part of the interagency team. 

  • Secondly: "sustained security engagement." At USAFRICOM, we have committed ourselves to the delivery of effective security assistance programs and ensuring the programs achieve their desired effect in the long run.

  • And thirdly: "in support of U.S. foreign policy." Our efforts represent the security dimension of the foreign policy set forth by the Department of State. USAFRICOM does not make U.S. foreign policy. 


Problems with africom identified in the crs january 2009 and the gao february 2009 reports

Problems with AFRICOM Identified in the CRS January 2009 and the GAO February 2009 Reports


Problems with africom identified in the crs january 2009 and the gao february 2009 reports1

Problems with AFRICOM Identified in the CRS January 2009 and the GAO February 2009 Reports


Problems with africom identified in the crs january 2009 and the gao february 2009 reports2

Problems with AFRICOM Identified in the CRS January 2009 and the GAO February 2009 Reports


Becoming our own best ally planning socio cultural dynamics activities in africa

Traditional versus Institutional Approaches to Thinking about Organizations: Ignoring Coordination versus Pathways to Coordination

  • Organizational rationality and efficiency vs. Institutionalism

  • Utility maximization vs. Legitimacy (from shared cultural scripts)

  • Logic of consequences vs. Logic of appropriateness

  • Zero-sum firm maximization vs. Variable-sum system optimization


Africom s coordination reality

African Populace, Influential Actors, Groups, and Leaders

SCT

SCT

SCT

State

AFRICOM

SCDC

USAID

AFRICOM’s Coordination Reality


Effects of socio cultural knowledge as a shared organizational culture script

Effects of Socio-Cultural Knowledge as a Shared Organizational Culture Script


Becoming our own best ally planning socio cultural dynamics activities in africa

A MegaCommunity is a collaborative socio-cultural environment in which business, government, civil society and academia interact according to their common interests, while maintaining their unique priorities

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Civil Society

Government

  • Multi-sector

  • Engagement

  • Overlapping

  • Vital Interests

  • Convergence

  • Structure

  • Adaptability

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

SCDS

enabled

MegaCommunity

Academia

Business

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Populace

A MegaCommunity relies on the dynamic tension that exists among all three sectors – each

sector uses its levers of influence to interact with a different sector

Adapted from MEGACOMMUNITIES, Palgrave MacMillan, 2008, p 56


Becoming our own best ally planning socio cultural dynamics activities in africa

Today, government, business, and civil society are facing issues that are too large and complex for any one entity to solve alone

Issues are becoming more highly interconnected

Stakeholder networks are growing more complex

Interdependencies are adding a higher degree of uncertainty to decision making

“Old boundaries” are disappearing

Information flows are changing the rules of engagement

Events have the potential to escalate abruptly, unpredictably, and at a pace that exceeds our ability to respond

Climate Change

Public Health

Terrorism

Water Scarcity

Energy Sustainability

Pandemics

Natural Disaster

Obsolete Urban

Infrastructure

Aging Population

Security Vulnerability


Socio cultural dynamics system

Socio-Cultural Dynamics System

  • SCDS = a cross, inter and multi discipline capability with an emphasis on the applied research skills of the social and physical science disciplines while utilizing the theoretical models.  A partial list of potential applicabledisciplines in alphabetical order are: anthropology, comparative religions, economics, geography, geology, history, law, linguistics, marine biology, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology

  • SCD = socio-cultural dynamics is a problem set.  SCD exists everywhere there are people/organizations that are interacting 

  • SCT = socio-cultural teams.  This is a group of individuals from the socio-cultural disciplines who attempt to solve a socio-cultural problem - they address a specific dynamic or set of dynamics

  • SCDC = socio-cultural dynamics center


Megacommunity thinking convenes disparate actors towards addressing seemingly intractable problems

MegaCommunity thinking convenes disparate actors towards addressing seemingly intractable problems

For clarification, a MegaCommunity is not:

An advanced form of public-private partnerships

Another name for corporate social responsibility or philanthropy

Another international/intergovernmental forum (e.g., The World Economic Forum)

A large community of interest

A collection of like-minded actors

A MegaCommunity is:

A public sphere in which organizations and people deliberately join together around a compelling issue of mutual importance, following a set of practices and principles that will make it easier for them to achieve results

A larger ongoing community of interest, where governments, corporations, nonprofits, and others intersect over time. The participants remain interdependent because their common interest compels them to work together


Becoming our own best ally planning socio cultural dynamics activities in africa

A MegaCommunity is a collaborative socio-cultural environment in which business, government, civil society and academia interact according to their common interests, while maintaining their unique priorities

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Civil Society

Government

  • Multi-sector

  • Engagement

  • Overlapping

  • Vital Interests

  • Convergence

  • Structure

  • Adaptability

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

SCDS

enabled

MegaCommunity

Academia

Business

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Levers

of

Influence

Populace

A MegaCommunity relies on the dynamic tension that exists among all three sectors – each

sector uses its levers of influence to interact with a different sector

Adapted from MEGACOMMUNITIES, Palgrave MacMillan, 2008, p 56


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