Working together for a more stable future

Written by Nick Forwood, Director, Government Frameworks, AECOM and Linda Aaslien Director, International Development, AECOM on 23 November 2015 in Sponsored Article
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Private sector providers can play an important role in realising the government’s One HMG Overseas approach to conflict stabilisation

In a world of uncertainty, the UK faces an ever widening spectrum of threats to its security. Central to protecting the country’s interests at home is tackling the causes of instability overseas. Embracing new ways of working and demonstrating progressive leadership can help address this challenge, and shape a more stable world. The government’s One HMG Overseas approach is working well and promotes greater collaboration between different departments, allowing expertise and resources to be harnessed so that complex international issues can be tackled in a way that was not previously possible.

After all, the UK’s economic and political influence reaches worldwide, and many government agencies across the world work hard to protect the country’s national interests. Building better integration between these departments through One HMG Overseas creates the opportunity to transform the UK’s approach to security and governance.

Developing a cross-government strategy is a radical and cost-effective way of addressing international instabilities at root cause before they become genuine risks in the UK. Imagine what could be achieved if a number of agencies were aligned to  share costs, procurement tasks and private sector relationships on major programmes of work? Not only would this make for a more streamlined and effective way of working, but it would also allow policy and implementation to address societal problems on a larger scale, faster, and with greater impact. Strategic thinking like this is crucial to creating the foundations for long-term growth and stability in countries that need it most.

Leveraging private sector expertise can aid the delivery of work overseas. Global companies bring vital expertise, as well as the required scale and innovation. AECOM has 60 years’ experience of delivering crisis response and stabilisation services. Recent stabilisation projects for the United States Agency for International Development include work to support stability in South Sudan by increasing local authorities’ capacity to mitigate conflict and promote peace through encouraging economic growth. Projects like this assist in the difficult transition from crisis to stability in affected nations but are also key to protecting the UK’s security.

By considering national security in a more strategic way, government is leading the development of innovative new ways of working that are at the forefront of international development worldwide. These important changes will undoubtedly bring better value for money to taxpayers, but they will also be a positive influence on stability in an ever changing and challenging global environment.

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