Omeland Security-The Secure Communities Program

Strategic Level Research/Policy Paper

The research/policy paper is a distillation of the readings, discussions, and individual reflections on a particular dimension of homeland security or defense support of civil authorities (DSCA). This graduate-level research paper will be 10-15 pages and will include a reference page (and appendices, if required by the subject matter). The reference page (and appendices, if any), do not count toward the 10-15-page requirement. Use appendices for any additional information you wish to include. Per APA, an Abstract is also required. Student topics for this paper are due no later than week 3 of the course. Be sure to include a thesis statement with your topic proposal.

The dynamics of homeland security strategy and the leadership challenges of various organizational cultures within DHS pose a wide range of opportunities and prospects that must be addressed for the organizations from the local to the federal level.

For this assignment, you will select and examine a topic that will help your state or the federal government address a strategic issue of particular importance. The topic must be related to homeland security or DSCA, and should be a?criticala? in the sense that it will require critical thinking on your part, be creative, and include actionable implementation recommendations supported by your strategic ideas. The paper will identify the issue, describe why it is important, and suggest what to do about it.

This assignment has three purposes. First, to complete the assignment, you will have to demonstrate a grasp of the core material in the course and the ability to apply that material through independent analysis. Second, the paper should be of sufficient quality that it could be provided to your state executives in direct support of expanding understanding about some element of homeland security. Third, the assignment gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to communicate, in writing, complex information accurately, succinctly, and persuasively.
Elements of a Strategic Level Research/Policy Paper

If you could change something related to homeland security in your profession, organization, or homeland security environment, what would it be? An answer to that question would make an interesting topic for a strategic level research/policy paper.

At a basic level, a strategy is a framework that guides decisions, actions, and the allocation of resources. It is a high level guidance about what an organization or nation should do to achieve its vision. It is a road map that outlines how to get from point A (where you are now) to point B (where you want to be). Strategic planners often employ the ends, ways, and means paradigm as discussed in your P ADM 401 course.

Often there will be a variety of information about the issue, but it may be contradictory, incomplete, or confusing. Your job is to collect, distill, and craft that information into a compelling analysis about what should be done and why. There are some basic elements that should be incorporated into the document:

* A succinct description of the problem, decision, or opportunity that demonstrates your understanding of the situation and the issues associated with it.
* Clear writing style that minimizes the use of technical jargon.
* A range of alternative strategies or courses of action for dealing with the situation.
* Recommendations, supported by evidence that can persuade a reasonable person.

In thinking about the topic you will present, it is useful to consider several questions. All of the questions do not need to be answered in your paper, but they can help you think through the feasibility of what you might suggest.

* Who are the principal actors involved in the situation? What do they want? What input is needed from them?
* What decisions need to be made to get the strategy adopted and implemented? What are the constraints, e.g., resources, timeline?
* What are the most likely unintended consequences of the proposed strategy? Who will win and who will lose if your strategy is adopted?
* What are the advantages and disadvantages of the strategic options available?
* Can the strategy be broken into several simpler strategies?
* What questions will your proposal raise?

There are several common problems people encounter in preparing a strategic level document:

* Focusing on the tactical level rather than the strategic level. This is the most common problem people encounter.
* Losing the attention of the reader. If you a?talk downa? to your audience, go over their heads technically, or use more words than you need to make a point, your paper will likely be disregarded. Know your intended reader(s).2
* Making recommendations and other statements that are far too general. The more specific your recommendations, the easier it is for an audience to see advantages and disadvantages.
* Losing sight of what you are trying to accomplish. This can result in superfluous or redundant material. All information included in the paper should contribute to the points you are trying to make.
* Unsupported assertions are often the way personal biases slip into the analysis. Your assertions should be supported by facts.
* Two final errors are to ignore commenting on alternative strategic approaches and to assume your preferred strategy has no negative consequences.

This is the information for what is expected. I chose to do the paper on the Secure Communities program. Some states have it and some dont. The paper needs to weigh the pros and cons of the program, how it could improve etc. The paper also requires a thesis and an abstract. Thank you