Monday, February 25, 2013

Canada and the Underwear Gnomes

Canada is ranked 55th out of 90 plus countries on how transparent the government is.  Well, I now have some personal experience.  In my time researching the Canadian military effort in Afghanistan, I have had some good luck getting Access of Information (FOIA is the US version) process to get documents.  And heaps of good luck in talking to military people.  Civilians?  Another matter entirely.

Today, I just got back from the Privy Council Office a rejection of my application.  I sought the document that had been created to generate the lessons that the Canadian government learned from the Afghanistan experience.  I had learned that the government did engage in such an exercise, a pretty novel thing, and took it pretty seriously but then buried it.  My effort to dig it up failed--thus far.

And this is the basic problem.  If you are going to learn from experience via a lessons learned exercise, here are the steps:
1) Learn the lessons;
2) Share the lessons;
3) Apply the lessons.

Nope, not gonna work if you just do step 1 and forget the rest.  So, I think that the Underwear Gnomes have a better sense of policy-making than the Canadian government:

No comments: