No easy path to integrated MDA

Creating a tightly integrated maritime domain awareness (MDA) system is far from easy.
Here are five key challenges.

Complexity. MDA and port security projects involve numerous government and private-sector entities.
Public/private partnerships. A student at the Naval Postgraduate School wrote a thesis in 2007 that identified a lack of private stakeholder involvement in port security efforts.

Funding. Money for new initiatives is always an issue, but large collaborative projects such as MDA can require multiple agencies to contribute funding.

Executive sponsorship. MDA requires sufficient buy-in from executives to secure resources and get the project moving, said Zachary Tumin, executive director of the Leadership for a Networked World Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the author of a case study on the topic.

Governance. Highly collaborative projects require a governance structure that facilitates decision-making across jurisdictions, said Anthony Cresswell, interim director of the Center for Technology in Government.

About the Author

John Moore is a freelance writer based in Syracuse, N.Y.

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