Discreet, not covert: Reflections on teaching intelligence analysis in a non-government setting

Troy Whitford, Henry Prunckun

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This paper discusses some of the challenges in teaching intelligence gathering and analysis to non-government organisations (NGOs). It used Gibb's reflective model to assess the teaching impact because the model allowed the workshop convenors a structure to form their thoughts and observations. The teaching reflections in this paper are based on an intelligence gathering workshop conducted in Sri Lanka to NGOs working in the South Asian region. The paper reports on several pedagogical and cultural challenges that were encountered in delivering the workshop. In chief, the participants were culturally South East Asian, and before this workshop they had no exposure to intelligence gathering techniques. However, once presented, the members of the workshop could see reason for using intelligence gathering techniques for their own planning and security measures. A notable pedagogical issue was the workshop participants' reluctance to use or trust police/intelligence and military terms and concepts. Subsequently, the workshop facilitators, who were not South East Asian, attempted to adopt a different lexicon more suited to social science, rather than a military or intelligence vocabulary. Using a social science lexicon also allowed for scaffolding existing knowledge possessed by participants to an intelligence analysis framework. Underlining this workshop experience is an assessment of the efficacy of teaching intelligence gathering and analysis skills to NGOs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-61
Number of pages14
JournalSalus Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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