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Activity title

Operational Research and Analysis Orientation Course- Development of additional content

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System Analysis and Studies

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Awaiting Publication

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Case Studies, Education, Instruction, Operational Research and Analysis


NATO Research Task Group SAS-098 developed a set of instructional modules and supporting case studies to demonstrate the value of analysis in senior officer decision-making. Subsequently, this material was used to support the NATO SAS-103 technical course. Most of the material developed was focused on the use and impact of Operational Research and Analysis (OR&A) to inform decision-making in an operational environment. Specialist Team SAS-126 has developed further briefing / training material. The emphasis has been on recent real case studies which highlight the utility of OR&A in acquisition, force structure, force development and policy contexts. Collectively, the material provides an educational resource which nations and NATO organisations can use to educate military and civilian decision-makers and their staff.


The objectives of SAS-126 were to build upon the material developed in SAS-098 / SAS-103 to provide a comprehensive set of presentation resources, based on the recommendations of the previous task groups and on recent case studies, which: •Build an understanding of what OR&A is and what it can offer to Civilian and Military leaders in adefence environment. •Show how OR&A has helped decision makers in the past and how it can be utilized in the future. •Develop the confidence and trust of senior decision makers in integrating OR&A into their decisionmaking process.


The approach taken by the NATO SAS 126 Specialist Team was to: 1) Undertake a ‘gap analysis’ of the extant material to decide where nations and NATO organisations feel there is greatest need for additional educational material and/or update of existing material. This was initially conducted by each participating nation and NATO entity. The gap areas were then compiled and assessed to develop priority areas for case studies. 2) Identify OR&A case studies for the identified priority areas within NATO and the nations (government,industry and academia). 3) Review the format of the instructional material, drawing on feedback and lessons from NATO SAS-098 and SAS-103. 4) Develop National/NATO case studies that illustrate the correct use of OR&A methodologies 5) Conduct reviews, examining the impact of the work, the content and its transferability, i.e. ease to be briefed by someone else than the author and to be understood by an audience with no or limited OR&A knowledge. 6) Test the content developed: a meeting with Defence staff (civilian and military) was held prior to the Spring SAS Panel meeting in Brno, Czech Republic, in April 2017 during which most of the presentations were briefed by the reviewer rather than the author or their national SAS Panel representative. 7) Develop a plan for ongoing management, publication and distribution of the material.

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