11 research outputs found

    Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future: Modeling Social Unrest in Karachi, Pakistan

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    Social unrest represents a major challenge for policy makers around the globe, as it can quickly escalate from small scale disturbances to highly public protests, riots and even civil war. This research was motivated by a need to understand social instability and to unpack the comments made during a spring 2013 conference hosted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Center for Global Security and the U.S. Institute for Peace, where policymakers noted that models considering social instability are often not suitable for decision-making. This analysis shows that existing state level models of instability could be improved in spatial scale to the city level, even without significantly improved data access. Better data would make this analysis more complete and likely improve the quality of the model. Another challenge with incorporating modeling into decision-making is the need to understand uncertainty in a model. Policy makers are frequently tasked with making decisions without a clear outcome, so characterization of uncertainty is critical. This report describes the work and findings of the project. It took place in three phases: a literature review of social stability research, a “hindsight scan” that looked at historical data, and a “foresight scan” looking at future scenarios

    Management Principles for Nonproliferation Organizations

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    This paper identifies business models and six management principles that can be applied by a nonproliferation organization to maximize the value and effectiveness of its products. The organizations responsible for reducing the nuclear proliferation threat have experienced a substantial growth in responsibility and visibility since the September 11 attacks. Since then, the international community has witnessed revelations of clandestine nuclear facilities, nuclear black markets, periodic nuclear tests, and a resurgence of interest by countries worldwide in developing nuclear capabilities. The security environment will likely continue to evolve in unexpected ways since most of the proliferation threats with which the world will be forced to contend remain unforeseen. To better prepare for and respond to this evolving security environment, many nonproliferation organizations are interested in finding new or better ways to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations. Of course, all organizations, whether they are market driven or non-profit, must operate effectively and efficiently if they are to succeed. Indeed, as this study demonstrates, many of the management principles that this study recommends can help all organizations succeed. However, this study pays particular attention to nonproliferation organizations because of the mission they are responsible for fulfilling. Nonproliferation organizations, including nonproliferation programs that operate within a larger national security organization, are responsible for reducing the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. These organizations have an enduring mandate from the public and the international community not to fail in the completion of their mission for failure could have detrimental impacts on international security, public health and the environment. Moreover, the public expects nonproliferation organizations and programs to fulfill their mission, even when resources are limited. They are expected to anticipate and react quickly to prevent a potential threat while staying accountable to their public stakeholders, many of whom remain unaware of the very threats the organization is trying to address. When budgets are flush, it is easy to believe that money will solve all problems; but during times of economic hardship, managers must rely on creative and cost-effective management approaches to implement their missions. Fortunately, managers of nonproliferation organizations can draw on a wealth of research on organizational design and culture to help them identify the management strategies most appropriate for them. Such research can help nonproliferation managers think about their own organizational structures and cultures and adapt accepted management principles to their unique organizational mission. This analytical process is not straight forward, as some managers may find themselves taking risks that others might not take, such as making ostensibly risky investments for the common good, or supporting creative thinking to help mission accomplishment. Some management principles that are relatively straightforward for other organizations may be difficult to envision and implement in a nonproliferation organization. Therefore, the goal of this study is to help nonproliferation managers identify management principles that can be implemented in a nonproliferation organization and, in the process, help maximize the value of the organization's products and effectiveness of its mission

    What's in store: lessons from implementing CCS

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    Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) has been identified as a key technology for mitigating carbon emissions. However, CCS is still very much at a developmental stage and the full-scale projects required to test the technology have proven difficult to implement, with lack of societal acceptance considered a key contributing factor to this delay. This paper reports on a study that explored practices for effective communication, engagement strategies and activities in the context of five detailed CCS project case studies. The cases studied included Barendrecht, The Netherlands; Carson, USA; FutureGen, USA; ZeroGen, Australia; and the CO2CRC Otway project, Australia. Comparative analysis of these cases identified a series of factors including: the extent to which key government and project team members are aligned; deployment of communications experts as part of the project team from the outset; consideration of the social context; the degree of flexibility in the project; and competition involving community self-selection. The research team designated these " critical success factors" that, when present, seemed to enhance the effectiveness of best practices in engagement and contribute to successful project deployment in some cases. The paper proposes that project developers need to consider ways to maximise these critical factors as part of their project planning and implementation process. It also discusses best practices in stakeholder communication and engagement activities applicable to CCS projects