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< Lessons Learned in Preventing and Responding to Mass Atrocities

Using Policy Knowledge in Government Efforts to Prevent Mass Atrocities



This component of the Lessons Learned project focused on developing recommendations for how the US government can more routinely and consistently make effective use of knowledge on mass atrocities and atrocity prevention strategies in its policy decision making. 

Virtually every report on US government efforts to prevent mass atrocities has called for greater investment in “lessons learned” or “after action” reporting efforts. Despite the apparent consensus that the United States should document lessons more systematically and use this knowledge to inform future mass atrocity prevention policy decisions, no study has analyzed why these problems endure and how they can be addressed most effectively.

Julia Fromholz, the Leonard and Sophie Davis Genocide Prevention Fellow in 2021-22, interviewed current and former US officials about obstacles to using knowledge on atrocity prevention and developed recommendations to improve use of policy-relevant knowledge.