How Successful Are U.S. Efforts to Build Capacity in Developing Countries?
A Framework to Assess the Global Train and Equip "1206" Program
Published Sep 14, 2011
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The U.S. government has long worked with allies and partners in a security cooperation context. Assessing the effect of such activities, and particularly how they contribute to U.S. objectives, is extremely important. The Global Train and Equip "1206" Program is a multiagency security cooperation program that would benefit from an improved framework for thinking about, planning for, and implementing security cooperation assessments. The program, established in Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, supports U.S.-led capacity-building activities focused on counterterrorism and stability operations with foreign military partners. The process to develop an assessment framework for the 1206 program began with a series of discussions with policymakers and subject-matter experts to identify current roles, data sources, and assessment processes. These discussions formed the basis for a survey of program stakeholders on the processes, responsibilities, assessment guidance, and skills needed to conduct assessments. An analysis of the survey results revealed the need for formal guidance on the assessment of 1206 projects, gaps in data collection and reporting, unclear roles, and inconsistent levels of communication across the program. However, it also showed that a two-track (short- and longer-term) approach to implementing an assessment framework, closing gaps, and improving coordination would be the best fit for the 1206 Program's structure.