Monday, August 10, 2009

First Phase of Dialogue Complete

Yesterday was the last day of the first phase of the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Dialogue; an effort to bring a wide variety of participants from outside of the government sector into the Quadrennial Review process. According to the Dialogue web site today over “10,000 people — stakeholders and partners — joined in this first ever outreach effort by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)”. From what I saw that number seems a little bit high, but I (like most of the participants) could only see the number of people that posted comments or the tallies of the people that voted on the various ‘ideas’ on the site. There was no way for the participants to gauge how many people actually viewed the site or registered with the Dialogue. What would be interesting to see is the publication of the registration information of the participants. No, not the individual registrations, but the number of people that registered on the site and their background as noted in the information they provided during the registration process. What would also be interesting is to see a listing of the ideas submitted during this phase of the Dialogue as well as the rating information provided by the participants. This could provide fodder for those of us in the blogosphere to continue to keep the dialogue in the public view while the DHS working groups are looking at the results of the dialogue and preparing things for the next phase of the Dialogue that will start at the end of this month. In any case, I am looking forward to August 31st when the Dialogue opens for the phase II discussion.

1 comment:

Laurie, University of Findlay said...

I am also looking forward to the second phase of the Dialogue. Some things that surprised me: #1, the website was evidently not sophisticated enough to accept a cut-and-paste from Word. I got an error response several times when I tried to post using this method. I assumed the site was overloaded at the time, but the response from site administrators indicted that the most common cause was trying to copy from Word, and suggested that I type the entire post. #2, I wish we could have had some input at an earlier stage - I'm not sure the mission areas reflect the depth of DHS' many functions. My dilemma of trying to find a mission area that fit my work in maritime security was frustrating. #3. I thought it amazing that no definitions were offered for key terms. "Operational" can one thing to a federal agency and quite another to local law enforcement. And in a profession where it's a fun ice breaker to ask people what they really mean by "homeland security," and the regulations we all live and die by are incomplete without definitions sections, I am deeply uneasy relying on what I THINK a term means. Definitions don't impede the conversation; they give us focus and clarity.

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