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YCAPS Launches Research Studies on Maritime Security Capacity-Building Best Practices

YCAPS has launched a new collaborative research effort with the support of the Japan International Transportand Tourism Instituute, USA (JITTI USA).   

Project Title: Best Practices for Maritime Security Capacity-Building Activities    

Indo-Pacific sealanes are the primary arteries that sustain the global economy. Most of the region’s nations rely on these sealanes in order to safely convey their imports and exports and,
therefore, to sustain their people’s well-being. Unfortunately, the safety and security of these sealanes are increasingly under threat from states and criminals who see vulnerabilities as opportunities for their own gain. Natural disasters and dangerous weather can also increase the vulnerability of sealanes.

The burden of protecting these sealanes from these threats lies primarily with the region’s
states and their maritime forces. However, state capacity varies tremendously throughout the region. As a result, states with greater resources, international organizations, and non-government organizations have engaged in activities designed to assist the less capable states develop their maritime security capacity. While hardware provision often makes headlines, much of the valuable capacity building takes the form of training and workshops in areas as
diverse as (but not limited to): international law; oil spill response; diving; forensics; and visit, board, search, and seizure techniques.

Some of these capacity-building activities are developed and executed by specialists with backgrounds in international assistance, adult education, and similar fields. However, others are delivered by practitioners who may be subject matter experts but lack training as educators, or who may be weak in contextualizing their knowledge for their audience. Therefore, the quality of instruction and the effectiveness of various activities varies greatly across
capacity-building interventions.

Not only does quality vary between activities, but there has also not been an effective effort to
transfer information between capacity-building actors in order to improve their efficiency and to deliver better outcomes. “Silos of excellence” exist within the larger organizations and cross-talk both within and between organizations can be thin. In some cases, sharing is inhibited by a sense of competition between agencies or even departments.

This project will address these problems by gathering, assessing, and documenting best practices for Indo-Pacific maritime security capacity-building across multiple organizations. The study will include both a desk study and a practical element. The desk study element will gather and synthesize information from published sources. These sources will include academic reviews, practical guides, government publications, and media reports. The practical element will include presenting findings derived from first-hand observations of capacity-building activities and interviews with the training managers. Both the events observed and the data gathered during the observations and interviews will be anonymized to minimize sensitivities. The project will serve as a practical and actionable guide to help those developing and delivering capability-building activities follow best practices.

YCAPS has assembled a robust team to handle this project. The team includes specialists in education policy, education assessment, international development, and maritime security.

Team Members
Dr. Annette Bradford, YCAPS Special Advisor for Education &Policy (Principal Investigator)John Bradford, YCAPS Executive Director
Dr. Scott Edwards, YCAPS Free & Open Indo-Pacific Fellow
Brian Waidelich, YCAPS President CAPT Asano Kiyoshi (JMSDF, retired), YCAPS Director for SDF Relations Dr. Michishita Narushige, YCAPS Director Ian Ralby, YCAPS Senior Research Fellow for Maritime Governance
Bryan Weatherup, YCAPS representative in the Philippines Constantine Panayiotou, Managing Director at South Pacific Strategic Partners
Dr. Kei Koga, Nanyang Technological UniversityAdditional individuals as necessary

Observation Opportunities
YCAPS is actively seeking opportunities to observe maritime security capacity-building activities curently being conducted in the Indo-Pacific region. Typical observation teams will be comprised of two members. Findings will be shared privately with event organizers and then anonymized prior to compilation of the final report. Thanks to the support from JITTI USA, YCAPS will cover all costs associated with the observers' travel and participation.