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Photo: Massi Mangia

Smart Power: Making Australia’s Whole-of-Government Strategy work in Fragile States
and Situations


Drawing from a series of closed workshops and discussions with Australians in the relevant sectors (Government; Non-Government Organisations; Academia; Business), the final Kokoda Papers report proposed immediate to medium-term options for the Australian Government to pursue as part of its whole-of-government fragile states strategy.


As the Australian Government defined its future approach to operating in conflict- or crisis-affected states and situations in 2010, this research helped to clarify some of the essential ingredients for success: namely, improved engagement with the respective context, fast-paced strategic development, operational innovation, and further investment in fostering the right culture, leadership and professional development within the public sector.

There is no doubt that Australia must be smart in the way it marshals and deploys its limited civilian and military resources in fragile contexts. The participants made it clear that while most of the problems canvassed throughout the research covered old ground, there appeared to be genuine momentum to break out of the vicious circle to define what ‘smart power’ looks like in the Australian context, rather than simply restate the various dilemmas.



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