Understanding the contribution of defence to UK prosperity
Jul 14, 2021
The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) commissioned RAND Europe to examine different approaches to assessing UK Defence's contribution to national prosperity. The analysis it contains seeks to inform a better understanding of different methodologies that could help the MOD to quantify the value that defence brings to the nation (e.g. in terms of security, influence and prosperity).
Measuring Defence Output
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Despite the growing policy emphasis on understanding the value of UK defence, assessing the primary benefits of defence remains a challenge. Defence is inherently complex, and it remains difficult to prove that the non-occurrence of an event (e.g. a conflict) is directly related to the existence of defence capabilities and activities. Linked to these challenges, connecting defence activity and output to defence outcomes and benefits remains elusive.
This study has explored the potential of five methodologies (lines of enquiry — LOEs) to measure the contribution of defence to UK prosperity in terms of its primary benefits (i.e. protection from external threats). These are:
This study has identified a range of insights for the Ministry of Defence on how to apply and further develop these methodologies towards measuring the primary benefits of defence. This study has been exploratory, and it was expected that not all approaches would be viable.
Identification of candidate methods
Deep dive into potential approaches
Assessment framework for defence
Conclusions and implications for defence
A potential logic model for UK defence
The research described in this report was commissioned by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and conducted by RAND Europe.
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