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Collaboration between the Canadian Forces and the Public in Operations

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Technical rept.

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In current operations, the Canadian Forces CF are expected to work more closely than in the past with a number of diverse civilian organizations, including Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs, International Organizations IOs, Other Governmental Departments OGDs, local populations, and the media. However, the CFs history of working with NGOs, for example, has been limited and may pose challenges to collaboration. The purpose of this study was twofold 1 to further understand the core issues that help or hinder civil-military collaboration involving the CF, NGOs, IOs, Afghan nationals, and the media and 2 to elicit from subject matter experts SMEs recommendations for potential training and education that may assist in making collaboration in theatre more effective for the diverse, multiple parties involved. SMEs representing diverse organizations and entities, both military CF and civilian NGOs, IOs, Afghan nationals, the media, were consulted to elicit first-hand accounts of collaboration efforts in the Afghanistan theatre of operations. Data were collected from Sep 27, 2010 to Jan 7, 2011 using a semi-structured protocol that guided discussions on five core themes negotiation, power, identity, stereotypesprejudice, and trust. Results indicate that the CF did not effectively acknowledge their counterparts expertise and experience, and that they should refrain from taking charge and telling others how to do their jobs. Civilian participants said that the CF engaged in open dialogue, and that CF leaders were good at engaging, but that they could engage more with civilians and civil organizations given the challenges faced by civilians in navigating the military system. Military and civilian participants said that one strategy to facilitate collaboration was to build positive relationships. Civilian SMEs thought that the military sometimes overstepped its jurisdiction and that roles and responsibilities needed to be clearly established.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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