Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak

Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.757

CiteScore 2018: 1.19

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.442
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.613

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Updating the National Planning Scenarios: Using Wicked Problems and Capability-Based Planning Concepts for Homeland Security

Mary T. Tyszkiewicz PhD / Edward R. McCleskey / Russell Miller
Published Online: 2012-08-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1547-7355.1903


This research studies the National Planning Scenarios (NPS) as a set of tools to support federal, state, and local homeland security preparedness. The study examines how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can ensure that the NPS remain a relevant and flexible preparedness tool for federal, state, and local partners. The research suggests that the problem of developing a robust set of credible scenarios for homeland security planning may be an example of a planning dilemma known as a wicked problem. Such problems defy conventional, linear, analytic solutions. Horst Rittel and Melvin M. Webber described solving wicked problems in the 1970s as “…not objective and cannot be derived from following a formula … judgments are likely to vary widely and depend on the stakeholder’s independent values and goals.” The 15 NPS were created in 2003, in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The newly established DHS used the capabilities-based planning (CBP) concept on the NPS to provide an array of response challenges for federal, state, and local governments at all levels. CBP—effectively used by the Department of Defense (DoD) —is defined as planning, under uncertainty, that aims to provide capabilities suitable for a wide range of future challenges and circumstances while working within an economic framework. This research uses the wicked problem and CBP concepts to develop an updated set of scenarios that are a relevant and flexible tool for preparing for current and future situations. Combining lessons learned from those concepts, the authors recommend an iterative, flexible process to update the NPS and make them adaptable to the differing needs of federal, state, and local governments.

Keywords: homeland security planning; scenarios; wicked problems; capabilities-based planning; preparedness

About the article

Published Online: 2012-08-22

Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Volume 9, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1547-7355.1903.

Export Citation

©2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in