Getting the Most out of Civilian Crisis Management Secondments – Findings and Recommendations for Experts and their Home Agencies

This Policy Brief is based on CMC´s latest report, which examines seconded experts’ perceptions and experiences of how their home agencies view civilian crisis management secondments, and whether they have been able to make use of knowledge gained during their secondment.

The full report is based on three separate studies conducted in 2021 and 2022. The studies map the experiences of experts from the administrative branches of the Ministry of Justice, Police, Finnish Border Guard, Finnish Immigration Service and Customs regarding their home agencies´ attitudes toward civilian crisis management deployments and the effects of secondments on career development as well as utilising new competencies gained during secondments. 

The report states that the motivations of experts for applying for civilian crisis management deployments are driven mostly by internal and personal factors, such as a desire to develop their own expertise, the relevance of the duties and a desire to work in new operational environments and cultures. The endorsement of line managers or home agencies for applying for deployments was regarded as the least important motivational factor. The report also states that the home agencies generally do not encourage or support personnel in applying for deployments and the home agencies are perceived as rather passive towards deployments. Line managers are also not showing interest in the new experiences and competences gained. Comprehensive planning for the utilisation of secondments in the home agencies is lacking. 

The author suggests that both the experts and the home agencies are losing potential and recommends improving interest in secondments and value the expertise gained. First, the organisational culture could be improved and modified for a more positive attitude towards civilian crisis management secondments by raising awareness of civilian crisis management and its benefits for both experts and home agencies. Second, streamlining and improving the planning of communications and repatriation practices could prevent the possible challenges the experts face when returning to their domestic duties. Third, it is crucial to harvest and document the expertise through evaluation discussions between the expert and their line manager as well as through ongoing contact with the expert during their deployment. 

Reference: Portaankorva, O. (2024). Getting the Most out of Civilian Crisis Management Secondments – Findings and Recommendations for Experts and their Home Agencies. Crisis Management Center Finland. 


PDF | 12 pages

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