National Security Planning Workshop (NSPW)
The NSPW is an innovative approach to national security planning developed by the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS). First conducted in Panama in 2004 for the in-coming Torrijos administration, CHSD has successfully held NSPWs in Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, and Peru. Participation in the National Security Planning Workshop is by invitation only.
CHDS' Customized ApproachThe NSPW is held at the request of a country's top leaders and each is carefully developed in close coordination with the US Country Team and key host nation officials, considering country-unique requirements. This coordination normally takes place during an on-site visit approximately six weeks prior to the proposed dates for the NSPW.
NSPW Structure and MethodologyNormally a 2½ day event focused on senior national leaders (ministers, members of the legislature, and military commanders/national police chiefs), the workshop is designed to yield a draft or outline of a national security and defense strategy development process.
Ideally, the workshop consists of:
Day 1: Evening ice-breaker social event, followed by a team building exercise.
Day 2 , and morning of Day 3: Short explanatory lectures (concepts and processes), followed by working group discussions facilitated by CHDS faculty. The group discussions apply the concepts to the country specific situation. Throughout the event the participants produce specific deliverables, such as:
• Strategic Leadership Appraisal (National Interests, Threats, Challenges, Opportunities, Risks, etc.).
• National Security Objectives
• Policies, capabilities and commitments necessary to achieve the delineated national security objectives (includes defining the role of the armed forces and national police).
• Required resources, with key measures of effectiveness.
• Recommended improvements for inter-agency coordination and international collaboration.
• Milestones to prepare a Draft National Security/Defense Strategy
Late morning of Day 3: Participants present the results of their discussions to senior national leadership (ideally the president or vice president). The workshop concludes with a closing ceremony and a luncheon. A media event can be included if the host nation desires.