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Interagency Trust in the Whole of Government Approach to Canadian Forces Operations: Subject Matter Expert Discussions

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In current operations e.g., Afghanistan and Haiti, the Canadian Forces CF are expected to work closely with a number of other government departments OGDs in order to achieve a full range of national objectives. The Whole of Government WoG approach aims to consolidate the Government of Canadas GoC strategic policy regarding international engagements. However, in practice, some WoG partners have limited experience working together and have different organizational cultures, which may hinder effective collaboration in practice. The purpose of this study was 1 to further understand the impact of interagency trust or interorganizational trust on collaboration efforts between civil and military actors in a WoG approach to operations, and 2 to generate recommendations for CF education and training regarding interagency collaboration. To this end, a number of subject matter experts SMEs were consulted to elicit their first-hand accounts of collaboration efforts in theatre, specifically highlighting those instances that signalled trust. Participant recollections revealed a number of organizational factors e.g., strategy, systems, structure, and staffing that may impede interorganizational trust in the WoG context. Civilian participants mentioned that they had to establish their credibility working in theatre by consistently delivering high quality input on a timely basis. Interpersonal trust was developed over time. Participants recommended that WoG education and training need to be fully integrated with the participation of both civilian and military agencies.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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