. "4 Managing and Guiding the Program." Planning Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Draft U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Planning Climate and Global Change Research
also direct coordination of some individual components of the CCSP and CCTP.
Recommendation: The CCSP should assess the scientific implications of the technologies under consideration by the CCTP and develop realistic scenarios for climate and associated global changes with these technologies in mind. The program management chapter of the revised CCSP strategic plan should clearly describe mechanisms for coordinating and linking its activities with the technology development activities of the CCTP.
The management of an interagency program involving 13 agencies, each with a separate mission and history of independent efforts on issues of climate and global change, is a challenging task. The GCRP has been criticized in the past for being unable to do much beyond encouraging multi-agency cooperation and support because it lacked the authority to redirect long standing programs and mandates of individual agencies (NRC, 2001d). The new CCSP management structure announced by President Bush in February 2002 is designed to address this problem by providing a level of accountability and direction that was missing from the GCRP. In particular, the cabinet-level Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration is responsible for providing “recommendations concerning climate science and technology to the President, and if needed, recommend the movement of funding and programs across agency boundaries” (GCRP, 2003, p. 11). An Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Technology, composed of departmental and agency representatives at the deputy secretary level, reports to the cabinet-level committee and is responsible for making recommendations about the “funding level and focus” of the CCSP and the CCTP (CCSP, 2002, p. 162-163). The CCSP itself, an interagency group composed of representatives from all agencies that have a research mission in climate and global change, reports to the deputy-secretary level working group and is responsible for “effective management of the coordinated interagency research program” (CCSP, 2002, p. 163). Interagency committees of program managers for each major research element are responsible for interagency coordination and implementation at the program element level.
Responsibility for Managing the Program
The creation of the cabinet-level committee with the authority to shift resource among agencies to meet the goals of the CCSP (if necessary) is an improvement over past approaches to managing the GCRP. However, the interagency approach to managing the program at all levels, from the cabinet-level committee to the individual program element, may not be enough to ensure that agencies cooperate toward the common goals of the CCSP because no individual is clearly identified in the draft plan as having responsibility for managing the program as a whole. Of particular importance are those crosscutting program elements that involve multiple agencies. Chapter 15 of the draft plan on “Program Management and Review” does not describe the responsibilities and authorities of the CCSP leadership adequately.
Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should describe the management processes to be used to foster agency cooperation toward common CCSP goals. The revised plan also should clearly describe the responsibilities of the CCSP leadership.
Descriptions of Agency Responsibilities
The plan does not describe the specific responsibilities and authorities of contributing agencies, such as which entity will be responsible for implementing the work. Defining responsibilities is particularly important for new areas of research that have not been supported by the GCRP in the past, such as land-use and land-cover change and decision support. This also is important for crosscutting research elements, notably water cycle and ecosystems research, which are currently carried out within multiple agencies. The plan includes no clear delineation of which agency will do what, and in particular, which agency(ies) or program(s) will lead the proposed expansion of these crosscutting research areas.
Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should more clearly outline agency responsibilities for implementing the research.
Participation of Mission Agencies
Another management challenge for the CCSP is to foster the participation of mission-oriented agencies in the strategic planning process. The committee believes that mission oriented agencies—such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, water resources and land management agencies within Department of the Interior, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the extension and farm program agencies within U.S. Department of Agriculture—could make important contributions to identifying research needs, collaborating on research problems, and testing research and modeling results. Because these agencies apparently played little, if any, role in the creation of the current strategic plan, the plan overlooks resources that might be available to its ambitious agenda.
Recommendation: The CCSP should encourage participation of those agencies whose research or operational responsibilities would strengthen the ability of the program to deliver products that serve national needs.