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Australian Interagency Preparedness Framework

Client: Australian Civil-Military Centre

Background: Over the last 15 years, Australia’s experience in responding to complex disasters and conflicts overseas has developed significantly. In particular, experiences in recent humanitarian interventions in responding to Ebola in West Africa, and to rapid onset natural disasters in Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands have reinforced the value of a whole-of-government approach. These experiences, combined with observations arising from reviews and other fora, have also highlighted the need to improve and strengthen the whole-of-government approach.

Sustineo was engaged in 2015 to develop the Australian Interagency Preparedness Framework (AIPF). The aim of the AIPF was to identify ways to enhance preparedness and capacity building across agencies and strengthen the culture of collaboration between civilians, military and police (civ-mil-pol) stakeholders, to maximise capability and outcomes.

Approach: The Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) has defined Interagency Preparedness as building whole-of-government capacity through:

  • enhanced understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different organisations
  • building networks across civil, military and police organisations
  • institutionalising a culture of coordination across agencies prior to a crisis response.

In order to undertake this project, the Sustineo team used the following methodology:

  • literature review
  • stakeholder consultation (ACMC Executive)
  • mapping existing open (public) or interagency training opportunities

development of a conceptual model for interagency preparedness.

Outcome: The outcome of this project was a document providing an overview of interagency preparedness including environmental trends and pressures, principles and factors underpinning operational effectiveness (at the individual, organisational and sectoral level), factors enhancing interagency awareness and understanding and factors enhancing interagency training synergies.  The framework is encapsulated in a conceptual model of interagency preparedness which can be used by ACMC to build a web-based ‘portal’ to link to relevant resources including policies, guidelines, tools and a directory of courses and learning opportunities.