Intelligence Collection Drill
- Deepen skills for relating to local players and practicing cross- cultural sensitivity;
- Learn techniques for information analysis;
- Increase security sensitivity;
- Addressing issues of leadership in decision-making processes and how that looks and feels in the field
As warm- up for this exercise, have participants brainstorm: “What are sources of information for our team in the field?” Help participants come up with a fairly comprehensive list. This is also a time to help participants notice the different ways that they would interpret the information from various spaces. (This is done to help participants pro-actively think about the intelligence collection.
Begin by getting a number of volunteers (no more than 1/4 of the group!) to fulfill some of the roles (below). Ask for volunteers before explaining the details of the roles and the scenario. Have one facilitator take those volunteers to a separate room to prepare them. These volunteers will be role-playing intelligence information sources (E.G. mothers, government officials, embassy officials).
With the rest of the participants, divide them further into groups of 6-8 people. Explain that they each are acting as teams- but cannot communicate with each other for this exercise.
Set the Scenario (Below)
Teams will get 45 minutes to investigate through various channels- newspaper, interviews- and then communicate back with their teams to write a report to field headquarters (hand out different “contact sheets” to the participants). In-line with security protocol, participants will only have meetings in pairs- never going alone to meet with someone. After collecting information, each team will submit a report to the field headquarters which will, in turn, be analyzed and a decision made about what to do. The report will need to contain information as well as an analysis of the data, reaching a conclusion/ proposal about what the fieldworkers think the organization should do. Answer any questions.
Remind them they have only 45 minutes to get as much information collected as they can and time to write the report. (The time pressure is used to keep the exercise moving at a more rapid, pressured pace.) “Begin!” After 30 minutes into the exercise, tell the participants they get more minutes (for a total of 65 minutes). Watch to make sure the volunteers are being utilized or at least stay engaged in the unfolding action.
Give time warnings, particularly 15 minutes, 10 minutes and 5 minutes before the reports are due. When time is up, collect the reports as much or as little as they are filled in (be strict about this). You can begin some debriefing of the groups immediately if time is available. Thank the volunteers. Give participants a break or go to lunch.
AFTERWARDS, HAVE A FACILITATOR GO OFF WITH THE REPORTS AND ONE MEMBER OF EACH TEAM (WHO IN THIS PLACE IS PLAYING A ROLE SIMILAR TO THE TEAM LEADERS – IF ACTUAL TEAM LEADERS ARE PRESENT, THEY SHOULD BE CHOSEN). THE TEAM LEADERS WILL BEGIN ANALYZING THE REPORT WRITING DATA TO DETERMINE IF AN ATTACK IS LIKELY AND IF SO WHERE AND WHAT SECURITY PROCEDURES SHOULD BE ENACTED TO HELP PROTECT THE SAFETY OF THE TEAMS. THE TEAM LEADERS ARE ASKED TO DO THE ANALYSIS BY THEMSELVES OVER LUNCH.
[IN GROUPS THAT OPERATE BY CONSENSUS OR DO NOT MAKE USE OF TEAM LEADERS, THE ENTIRE GROUP CAN BE PART OF CREATING THE DECISION.]
After lunch, the entire group gets back together to hear the team leaders’ results based on the information presented. Then begin larger debriefing and discussion. Since some participants will have found different results from the final analysis of the small group, during debriefing emphasize the issues of leadership (and how leaders may hold a big picture with more general analysis).
Have a second half of debriefing back in small groups about cross-cultural information and getting/ sharing information as well as information assessment. Include having participants think about the range of potential sources of information and how to approach those various sources.
Designed by Daniel Hunter and George Lakey