The Interorganizational Global Forum (IGF) is an important and ongoing feature of USIP's partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense. In partnership with the Joint Staff J-7, USIP brings together representatives from the U.S. Government (USG), international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, academia, think tanks, and the private sector to focus on a complex global challenge of key importance to U.S. and global peace and security.
The IGF builds on USIP’s Interorganizational Tabletop Exercise (ITX) project series, hosted in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Joint Staff J-7, which in the past examined complex crises in Somalia, the Philippines, the Lake Chad geographic area, and the Red Sea Region.
IGF 2020 examined global power competition in the context of state fragility in Venezuela. The event produced concrete recommendations for how the USG and its partners can manage threats to peace and stability emanating from Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela, while also identifying opportunities for collaboration on issues of shared concern. It also provided a conceptual framework for understanding the intersection of state fragility and global power competition that can be used in other country cases.
The 2019 ITX focused on cross-regional challenges in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula where ongoing conflict, transitions, peacekeeping operations, and humanitarian operations intersect. The interstate dynamics within the Horn and the Arabian Peninsula, the impact of each region on the other, as well as regional and great power engagement and competition informed the problem set examined in the exercise. Relevant participants from the interagency, IOs, and NGOs convened to discuss the seam issues and the implications of interactions between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.
The 2018 ITX focused on preventing and countering violent extremism in the southern Philippines. The siege of Marawi by ISIS-affiliated extremists in 2017 highlighted the long-standing tensions between the Muslim population and the Philippine government. The reconstruction of Marawi and implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law provided improved prospects for peacebuilding. At the end of the convening, demobilization of insurgents, risk tolerance, and reliable and flexible funding were identified as key issues requiring further work to improve the effectiveness of external assistance in this watershed moment.
The overarching theme of the 2017 ITX was “Transitioning from Fragility toward Stabilization and Sustainable Human Security in Somalia and the Region.” Representatives from the Department of State, Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, and a number of NGOs convened over four days to assess the impact of a potential AMISOM drawdown and eventual withdrawal from Somalia and to plan how best to ease the transition to Somali responsibility for security and governance. Recommendations from the exercise centered on how best to support the new Somali government’s priorities.
The 2016 ITX focused on countering violent extremism (CVE) in the Lake Chad Basin. During the ITX, relevant actors from the across the USG as well as representatives from a number of IOs and NGOs wrestled with the uncertainties and ambiguities of CVE to compare understanding, share initiatives, discuss progress and shortcomings and explore the interplay of different CVE efforts to devise practical strategies to work together more effectively. Issues, challenges, and opportunities identified by participants were briefed to senior leaders in the concluding session of the 2016 ITX. They, in turn, tasked participating organizations and others in the community of interest to delve more deeply into the issues raised and propose concrete recommendations to address problems or shortcomings in a second senior leaders’ meeting in early 2017. Three interorganizational working groups formed to look at challenges surrounding policy synchronization, analytical CVE frameworks, as well as gaps in current learning and knowledge sharing.
The 2014 ITX brought together participants from over 15 U.S. government agencies, departments, and bureaus as well as a number of NGOs and IOs to grapple with key interorganizational topics using South Sudan and Ethiopia as case studies.