Strategic Economic Needs and Security Exercise (SENSE)

  Click the image above for the SENSE video or watch the SENSE video trailer

One of the Institute’s core missions is strengthening capabilities of decision makers around the world to manage post-conflict transitions successfully.  The Strategic Economic Needs and Security Exercise (SENSE), originally developed by Dr. Richard H. White at the Institute for Defense Analyses is a computer-facilitated simulation that focuses on negotiations and decision-making in a post-conflict environment.

SENSE simulates the resource allocation challenges confronting national and international decision-makers.  Its sophisticated computer support provides participants with rapid feedback on the results of their time-sensitive decision-making in terms of political stability, social justice, and a foundation for economic progress.  But the primary activity in SENSE is negotiation between and among those participating in the simulation. 


For details on SENSE, click on the following links:

Overview & History | SENSE Experience | Structure & Roles | Objectives & Outcomes


SENSE Around the Globe

SENSE has been successfully employed (by USIP and/or IDA) in training programs with participants from Bosnia, Kosovo, the Republic of Georgia, Iraq, Poland, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and elsewhere, as well as with U.S. officials.  In the U.S., SENSE has been used by USIP and George Mason University with academic and USG audiences (including DoD [uniformed and civilian], DoJ, DoS, and USAID), as well as representatives of NGOs, the U.N. and other international organizations, Washington embassies, and the private sector.

The SENSE model is highly flexible, allowing organizers to adapt the simulation to a wide variety of real-world situations.

Since 2009, in partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), USIP has conducted simulations for interagency audiences in the DC area. Through this partnership with OSD, a new iteration of the simulation is currently under development to make SENSE more applicable to Afghanistan.

Learn more about Interagency SENSE events and the forthcoming new version

The capacity to run SENSE simulations by a group of local team members has been successfully transferred to Iraq and Poland.   


To view information on upcoming SENSE Simulations, see our Courses/Simulations section


See also our on-campus courses: