On July 5-9, a Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) team facilitated a special staff team from the Guatemalan National Security Council in their evaluation of the country’s National Security Policy and the development of a model for monitoring the implementation of that policy.
As part of that process, the Guatemalan group identified performance metrics capable of allowing better political and financial transparency and accountability, and included consultations with key government actors and civil society. The Guatemalan Minister of Defense also asked CHDS to facilitate a workshop aimed at designing a National Defense Policy and to assist with the publishing of a second Guatemalan White Paper (Libro Blanco), recognized as an important tool for enhancing civil-military cooperation.
According to CHDS Associate Dean of Faculty Luis Bitencourt, one of the participants in the week-long effort, the joint evaluation was characterized “a remarkable power of convocation among all (Guatemalan) stakeholders: major players participated in all technical sessions and a nice crowd attended the public events” associated with it. The CHDS effort In Guatemala City was the latest in a series of efforts undertaken by the Center at the request of the Guatemalan government.
In February 2008, the Center conducted a National Security Planning Workshop for the Guatemalan government with the objective of implementing and systematizing the “Ley Marco del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad.” Subsequently, in March 2009, CHDS conducted a workshop for reviewing the implementation of the law and helping Guatemalans to design a model for the drafting of a National Security Policy.
Other members of the CHDS team participating in the week-long event were Professors Salvador Raza and Guillermo Pacheco.