Sustainability by Design

Evaluate   |   Cultivate   |   Coalesce   |   Empower   |   Leverage

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E-CCEL - a 21st Century Security Assistance Framework

TCM defines sustainability in the security assistance context to be “consistent and demonstrated individual or organizational capacity and self-driven commitment to acquire, practice, adapt, and leverage knowledge, skills, or competencies.” Full sustainability can be considered achieved when all these conditions are present. With this goal in mind, TCM developed the E-CCEL© framework to serve as a roadmap for realizing transformational and sustainable security assistance outcomes. E-CCEL is premised on the “Competence Corollary” – the explicit and active recognition and integration of resident capabilities, practices, cultures, and expertise throughout the lifecycle of any assistance effort. It is supported through the application of a suite of professional competencies, “Bureaucraft,” that when combined prove critical to the realization of successful security assistance stakeholders and efforts.

Competence as a Baseline

The core of the E-CCEL model is the recognition and integration of resident capabilities, practices, cultures, and expertise, or “competencies” throughout the lifecycle of any assistance effort. Explicit articulation and reinforcement of existing competencies is crucial to avoid inadvertent donor-imposed expertise hierarchies or dependencies where assistance recipients’ question or are unable to recognize their self-sufficiency, aptitude, or expertise.


Evaluate - The TCM Difference

The “Evaluate” component of TCM’s framework occurs throughout the lifecycle of the sequence as opposed to traditional evaluation which tends to occur at the conclusion of activities. This ongoing evaluation methodology, combined with modern metrics, enable real-time adjustments to be made that prevent long-term complications, underlying systemic problems,  and other challenges to sustainment.


Cultivate Competence

In this phase, information is gathered, goals are contextualized, expectations are set, and awareness-raising and baseline engagement and preparatory activities are facilitated or conducted.


Coalesce Competence

In this phase, a representative group of stakeholders is identified and convened into meaningful bodies or acting entities that receive, coordinate, or participate in specialized or focused capacity building endeavors.


Empower Competence

In this phase, partners augment, create, or activate authorized and recognized, fiscally viable, mechanisms or vehicles that enable or drive the adoption and practice of new or enhanced processes or capabilities.


Leverage Competence

In this phase, a “Critical Mass” of stakeholders demonstrates the ability and intent to apply new or enhanced processes or capabilities in support of broader or previously unaffiliated teams, organizations, sectors, or efforts.


To support the E-CCEL framework, TCM offers a suite of professional proficiencies we call “Bureaucraft.” Defined as:





  1. A defined set of non-technical, professional competencies ancillary yet critical to the design, coordination, application, sustainment, and realization of security or any foreign assistance outcomes.

Bureaucraft represents the unique combination of organizational, interpersonal, and other professional “impact” skills that, when honed and focused, enable provisioners and recipients of assistance efforts to artfully navigate complex layers of bureaucracies to realize institutional and sustainable change.