Education and Training Initiatives
Needed to Address Threats and Challenges to Homeland Security
By Paula D. Gordon, Ph. D.
August 14, 2002
Note: This article is also posted on the Web site of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism at http://www.mipt.org/pdf/education-traininginitiatives.pdf.
A wide range of initiatives involving education and training are needed in order to help build the capacity of the Federal government and the nation to address current threats and challenges to homeland security. A primary objective of these initiatives is to set up as speedily as possible a network of education and training resources that will help maximize homeland security-related efforts. Accomplishment of this objective would make these resources more readily available to government officials, managers and analysts, as well as others in key roles of public responsibility throughout the nation. As a result, these individuals would be better able to optimize their expertise and meet the challenges of their new and expanding roles.
In addition to University-based programs, the following institutions and organizations could play a role:
~ E-Gov and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School and its Washington-based and regionally-based network of education and training resources could be provide an array of new courses and programs in support of homeland security efforts.
~ The Government Online Learning Center launched July 23, 2002 by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management could be dedicated in part to addressing homeland security-related education and training needs ( www.golearn.gov ).
~ The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Management Training Institute could develop and expand access to classes and training programs focusing on homeland security efforts.
~ The Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCIS), a private sector organization, could be encouraged to expand and more widely publicize their current coordinating, informational, and training and educational efforts.
~ The Oklahoma City Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism could play an expanded role in education and training efforts.
~ The Federal Executive Institute could help by developing course offerings in support of homeland security efforts.
~ The U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Eastern and Western Training Centers could develop course offerings and training opportunities in support of homeland security efforts.
~ The National Academy of Public Administration could be enlisted to address some key areas of concern including the structure and function of homeland security efforts.
~ The President's Council on Productivity & Efficiency could focus attention on lessons learned from Y2K, including contingency planning and crisis planning efforts that have continuing applicability given the threats of cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare.
~ Training programs and institutes of the National Governors' Association, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties, the International City Management Association, the Council of State Governments, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, the National Council of State Legislators, Public Technology, Inc. and other national associations and organizations serving communities, regions, states, and the nation could expand their current efforts focusing on homeland security concerns.
A wide range of offerings could be sponsored by some of the following institutions and organizations:
~ Universities and colleges could be encouraged to sponsor courses, symposia, workshops, programs, and conferences on homeland security-related issues. The Anser Institute was instrumental in establishing a University-based certificate program soon after September 11, 2001.
~ Fannie Mae which had hosted nationally influential programs on threats and challenges posed by Y2K could play a similar role by hosting programs on homeland security-related issues, including cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare.
~ The Council for Excellence in Government could expand its series of programs and webcasts on issues relating to homeland security.
~ The General Accounting Office could sponsor a series of proactive and educational initiatives, including conferences, symposia, and workshops aimed at stimulating informed discussion and information-sharing concerning homeland security-related issues and concerns.
~ A wide range of foundations and institutions that have been focusing attention on homeland security concerns could play an expanded role in the future. These include, among others, the Anser Institute, Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute.
~ Other organizations that have been engaged in planning or in putting on timely conferences and workshops concerning issues relating to homeland security and national defense could make continuing contributions. These include the Armed Forces Journal, Aviation Week, E-Gov, the Reserve Officers Association, Potomac Forum, Ltd., and Federal Sources, Inc.
C-SPAN could play an active role in broadcasting these programs.
These initiatives could be designed to address the education, training, and information needs of individuals who fall into the following categories:
~ Persons in roles of public responsibility who are directly or indirectly involved in government efforts that address homeland security concerns.
~ Persons in roles of responsibility in private sector organizations who are being called upon (or who will be called upon) to address homeland security concerns.
~ Persons in non-governmental and non-profit organizations who are being called upon (or who will be called upon) to address homeland security concerns.
~ Individuals who wish to become better informed and to find ways of contributing their efforts to addressing home security threats and challenges.
Certificate programs could be developed with core course offerings that would address the education, training, and information needs of all of these categories of individuals. Such certificate program could include: a Public Sector Certificate Program, a Private Sector Certificate Program, a Non-Governmental and Non-Profit Organization Certificate Program, and a variety of certificate programs for citizens who wish to play a more informed role in homeland security efforts.
A wide range of course offerings and topics could be a part of homeland security-related education and training initiatives. Core courses might include overviews of the following areas of concern:
~ Overview of the nature and scope of the threats and challenges posed by terrorism and terrorist activities, including threats and challenges posed by cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare.
~ Overview of the multi-pronged approach needed to address homeland security and protection concerns involving the planning and implementation of prevention, preparedness, protection, mitigation, response, and short-term as well as long term recovery efforts.
~ Overview of the work of a wide variety of commissions and task groups on the general topics of terrorism, and homeland security and defense. (For an excellent virtual library of homeland security-related resources, see www.homelandsecurity.org.)
~ Proposed configurations of the efforts of the Office of Homeland Security, versions of the proposed Department of Homeland Security, and related-Federal and national efforts.
~ Overviews of how efforts to develop and coordinate Federal and national strategies are unfolding.
Specific courses that could be designed to address the learning needs of one or more of the intended categories of individuals to be served could include any or all of the following:
~ Initiatives for Prevention: Lessons Learned Pre-September 11 and Lessons Being Learned Since September 11
~ Initiatives for Protection: Lessons Learned Pre-September 11 and Lessons Being Learned Since September 11
~ Initiatives for Preparedness: Lessons Learned Pre-September 11 and Lessons Being Learned Since September 11
~ Initiatives for Response and Recovery: Lessons Learned Pre-September 11 and Lessons Being Learned Since September 11
~ Organizational Challenges and Options for National Homeland Security Efforts
~Contingency Planning Focusing on the Internal Needs of Public Sector Agencies (and similar courses geared to the needs of private sector organizations, and NGOs and non-profit organizations)
~ Infrastructure Concerns (Using as a springboard key studies on this topic, including the April 2001 U.S. General Accounting Office report on Critical Infrastructure Concerns)
~ Leadership and Management in Crises: Lessons and Legacies from Y2K and Other Pre-September 11-Related Efforts and Lessons Being Learned since September 11
~ Managing Up in Times of Crisis
~ Managing Organizational Change in a Turbulent Environment
~ Useful Organizational Management Tools and Skills in the Aftermath of September 11
~ Complex Societal and Organizational Problemsolving and Proactive Approaches (including lessons learned and lessons that could be learned from the way in which Y2K technology challenges have been addressed and other notable examples)
~ Cross Disciplinary Teams in Crisis Management and in Crisis Situations
~ Informal and Formal Action Groups and Task Groups
~ Informal and Formal Networking Skills
~ Using Knowledge Transfer, Innovation Diffusion, and Change Agentry Techniques to Promulgate the Adoption of Approaches, Policies, and Programs
~ Approaches to Decisionmaking, Including Using Issue Papers and Comparative Scenario Analysis to Help Inform and Drive Decisions and Action
~ Utilization of Virtual Tools to Maximize Learning, Communication, and Information Dissemination
~ Coordination and Facilitation of Interagency and Intra-agency Efforts
~ Public/Private Sector Task Group, Partnering, and Coordination Efforts
~ Organizational Communication in a Crisis
~ Organizing Public Information Efforts: Principles, Guidelines, and Lessons Learned
~ Initiatives for Public Preparedness
~ Public Sector Ethical Principles and Socially Responsible Business Ethics
~ Emergency Medical Management: Planning, Preparedness, and Response
~ Social Services Management: Planning, Preparedness, and Response
~ Policies, Program, Approaches, and Initiatives for Maximizing Economic Stability in Times of Crisis, Including Innovative Approaches to Diversification, Initiatives to Minimize Unemployment, Initiatives to Minimize Economic Hardship, etc.) (For an article that addresses this issue, see "Infrastructure Threats and Challenges Before and After September 11. 2001" at users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland.)
Implementing the initiatives proposed here could be instrumental, if not invaluable, in enabling the government and the nation to meet present threats and challenges to homeland security.