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.


With support from INL, SCG is building the capacity of Sahelian police and gendarmerie to adopt inclusive community-oriented policing. As a crime reduction mechanism, this project is designed to promote transparent, accountable, and equitable service provision and increase trust between law enforcement organizations and the communities they serve. In partnership with local civil society organizations in-country, SCG is institutionalizing capacity building methods and training procedures. Activities include forums for stakeholder buy-in, pilot training initiatives, strategic communications, and feedback mechanisms to generate a shared vision of community-oriented policing among national police, gendarmerie, and community stakeholders to sustain essential criminal justice sector reform in the Sahel.


SCG is a non-profit dedicated to enhancing the ability of the United States and its partners to build strategic security sector capacity both at home and abroad. SCG assists donor and recipient governments to assess institutional capacity, identify gaps, develop and implement solutions, and improve the sustainability and impact of reform.  

SCG’s Security Sector Reform Program aims to build human and institutional capacity for effective and accountable security sector forces and institutions. SCG’s work is conducted through:

• Sharing security sector best practices through national and regional SSR platforms

• Producing assessments of security sector capacity, identifying gaps, and developing strategic policy and programmatic recommendations;

• Training and educating donors to design and implement SSR programs and local stakeholders to design, implement, and advocate for reform within their governments; and

• Advising governments and donor organizations to conceptualize SSR programs and build capacity to implement them.

SCG’s experts empower partners to build security sector capacity around the world.

SCG’s experts empower partners to build security sector capacity around the world.