Title: Focus and Convergence through a Comprehensive Approach: but which among the many?
Institution: Swedish Defence Research Agency
Author: Hull, C
Publication date: 2011
Related Categories: Comprehensive/Integrated Approach
This paper relates to the wider debate around defining the Comprehensive Approach by providing an analysis of the various definitions and approaches. The various definitions of the Comprehensive Approach and implementation strategies are discussed. Importantly differences in approaches at national, inter-agency or intra-agency level are also described. The paper will be useful for both civilian and military stabilisation planners and those wishing to consider both the conceptual and operational challenges of the Comprehensive Approach.
There is no universal agreed definition of the Comprehensive Approach. Instead there are a range of interpretations; the common theme across interpretations is effectiveness is achieved through responsible management of the interdependencies between actors.
The structures co-ordinating the implementation of the Comprehensive Approach varies according to the nature of the system and the extent to which it is possible to co-ordinate effectively, distinctions therefore need to be made between:
• National Approaches, within a state or government
• Intra-agency Approaches, within an organisations
• Inter-agency Approaches, encompassing all actors engaged in an international peace or crisis-management operation
As well as the different level of approaches, the resources available and the extent to which the practitioner is in control of the system impact on how the Comprehensive Approach is understood and implemented.
The key lesson drawn from the paper is different approaches to the Comprehensive Approach exist because they fulfill different functions, resources and have varying goals. Because there is no universal agreed definition of the approach, an understanding of the differences in preparation, implementation and assessment is required. The author concludes it is therefore more useful to refer to Comprehensive Approaches rather than one universal Comprehensive Approach.