The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) began its reform process in 1997. As part of this process, the service developed a number of key policies that seek to promote gender equality and responsiveness. In 2011 the SLP undertook, for the first time, an assessment to measure its achievements to date in integrating gender issues in its reform process, and identify remaining gaps as well as good practices to inform the ongoing restructuring. This self-assessment process was undertaken by the SLP, using DCAF’s Gender Self-Assessment Guide. It was conducted from May to October 2011 by a 10-member working group within SLP, comprising personnel from different departments with varied ranks, expertise and length of service. The SLP working group was supported by an external local consultant, Dr. Aisha Fofana Ibrahim. The assessment focused on the following areas :
1. Performance effectiveness
2. Laws, policies and planning
3. Community relations
4. Accountability and oversight
6. Institutional culture
The SLP internal self-assessment report has formed the basis of a case study entitled “The Integration of a Gender Perspective in the Sierra Leone Police”, written by Dr. Ibrahim. This case study was commissioned by DCAF with the support and collaboration of the SLP. It is intended to be of use to stakeholders such as security sector institutions and oversight bodies, including parliament and civil society organisations, security sector reform practitioners and police services in other countries. It seeks to illustrate how gender perspectives have been integrated into the SLP, achievements, challenges and recommendations for becoming more inclusive and responsive to the needs of the entire population.