Security Sector Reform

About

SCG’s SSR Program works with security sector institutions and forces to enhance effectiveness and accountability by building human and institutional capacity.

SCG assists international donors to frame and prioritize foreign assistance to support SSR goals and recipient governments to strengthen, reform, or (re)construct their security sectors.

How We Do It

  • Developing “conceptual roadmaps” for security sector reform based on best practices;
  • Empowering “change agents” and connecting them with like-minded counterparts;
  • Assessing security sector capacity, identifying gaps, and developing solutions; and
  • Developing training and education tailored to enhance capacity for managing, implementing, and advocating for reform.

About

Strengthening Security Governance in North and Central Mali

Security force-community engagement in Mali is extremely fragile and, in some areas, non-existent. The general population and security forces remain highly suspicious of one another within their respective communities and operational environments. Armed conflict and consequent occupation of northern Mali in 2012 dramatically impacted social cohesion between different socio-political and ethnic groups, and citizens continue to hold strong feelings of abandonment as a result of the withdrawal of security forces and government institutions during the rebellion of 2012. Violence has now spread to Mali’s central Mopti and Segou regions, aggravating pre-existing conflict drivers, amplifying distrust, and stymying effective engagement between communities and security forces.

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INL Sahel Capacity Building Support

The complex security environment in the Sahel poses unique challenges that criminal justice sector actors are struggling to navigate. Although the threats confronting countries in the Sahel vary, their strategic, operational, and even tactical challenges share important commonalities. To support the region’s criminal justice sector actors mitigate threats arising from transnational organized crime, terrorist networks and armed conflict, the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has partnered with the Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) to launch a comprehensive capacity building program for five Sahelian countries—Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal.

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Community-Oriented Policing Strategies (COPS) in the Sahel

Across the Sahel, police, gendarmerie, and civilian law enforcement institutions, and the ministries that oversee them, are grappling with how to implement, reform, or otherwise strengthen community-oriented policing initiatives. Over time, conflict, corruption, a lack of transparency, and uneven service provision have eroded public trust. An endemic lack of public trust has in turn inhibited police and community collaboration, impeding efforts to build capable and accountable criminal justice sectors across the Sahel. Although the concept of community policing is not new to the region, its effective application remains a challenge. Nascent efforts on the part of the region’s civilian law enforcement institutions and a willingness on the part of civil society to engage with them suggest that community-oriented policing remains a viable approach for improving service provision and rebuilding trust across the Sahel.

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INL Law Enforcement Experts Program (LEEP)

Donors frequently rely on law enforcement experts to mentor, advise, and deliver technical assistance to foreign host nation partners who face serious hurdles developing their law enforcement capabilities, improving citizen security, and enhancing service provision in accordance with international standards and best practices. To meet the ever-growing demand for technical law enforcement expertise, Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) maintains an active Global Law Enforcement Experts Network to connect donors and experts. SCG also assists donors to complete the time-consuming process of recruiting and vetting qualified experts and deploying them around the world, often on short notice, for short-term technical assistance and long-term capacity building missions.

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Designing an Inclusive Strategic Approach for SSR/DDR in Libya

The emergence of unified, civilian-led security institutions in Libya continues to be stifled by serious political and security instability. The insecurity is fueled by the proliferation of non-state armed groups seeking to fill the post-2011 governance vacuum, which has created a complex mosaic of actors and institutions with varying security functions. Effective security sector reform (SSR) and eventual disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of Libya’s armed actors are critical for long-term stability and the development of effective governance institutions. Earlier SSR efforts were fragmented, hampered by political deadlock, the ongoing civil conflict, and the absence of inclusive forums for Libya’s many stakeholders. Both Government actors and citizens require support to develop the resources, skills, and mechanisms to shape the formulation of a strategic, inclusive, and sustainable action plan for future SSR/DDR.

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Effective, professional, and accountable security forces and institutions under appropriate oversight are less likely to operate with impunity, destabilize the security sector, and generate new and unforeseen security threats.