The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a federally funded research and development center that consults exclusively for the United States Department of Defense on issues including assistance on military management to partner states. The purpose in this project is to help IDA improve its track record with its interventions through improving selection criteria, so that it can intervene where it is of strategic importance and the intervention is likely to produce a favorable outcome. We will work to produce a report on previous literature, indicators, and lessons to learn. If possible we will suggest revisions to the Pittsburgh framework, a document outlining criteria for when to conduct such interventions, which was created last year by a conference of federally funded research and development center employees but never implemented.

The Capstone team sought to consider how should IDA select countries to engage with. The team tentatively defined success to mean that IDA’s advice to this country was taken, implemented and sustained, and the country’s defense officials establish a positive relationship with IDA. They sought to investigate what factors are relevant to success? What profile, based on these factors, will most likely lead to a successful engagement?

To approach these questions, the team explored how multilateral organizations select countries for economic intervention, conduct interviews with people across a range of organizations on their experiences with various involvements (including those conducted by IDA), examine potentially useful rankings and indicators, and critically assess the Pittsburgh framework, the closest IDA has come to creating their own system.