Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Case Studies

Managing the transition from police support to a sector-wide approach in Sierra Leone


Following agreement in 2005, DFID was faced with the challenge of successfully managing the transition in Sierra Leone from a programme of support primarily focused on the police to a broader approach engaging other government departments, the judiciary, and non-state actors in the informal justice sector. This significant challenge was not managed particularly well, which impacted negatively on progress made in sensitising the police to the change in approach to justice sector development.

Entry point

The entry point should have been the finalisation of the Justice Sector Development Programme documentation itself (the planning for a system-wide reform programme). Those engaged in the established Commonwealth Safety and Security Programme (CSSP — the programme focused on police reform) should have been tasked with developing an exit strategy complementary to the inception phase of the Justice Sector Development Programme. While the latter programme produced a
“migration document” to manage the transition from their perspective, none was forthcoming from the CSSP management. The Sierra Leone Police were thus only provided with limited support to assist them in the change of thinking required for a sector-wide approach.

Lessons learned

Effective management of change is vital within donor agencies — The challenges outlined occurred during DFID’s devolution process from London to Freetown. Given large staff turnover and the challenges of office transition, a short-term approach to programmatic transition occurred. Before embarking on any change to the status quo, it is important to identify the risks such a change poses, as well as mitigating measures to reduce the impacts of spoilers. That did not occur in this instance, though the error was rectified upon devolution through ensuring that both the security and justice programmes were brought under the authority of one programme manager.

The importance of effective communication — In any environment unused to enacting change, effective communication to all stakeholders at each stage of the change process is critical. Broadening any programme from a focus on one institution to an entire sector is bound to entail shifts in approach, and there will be some perceived winners and losers. Informing all stakeholders of the need for this change — and of their role in relation to it — at an early stage is vital, if local ownership is to occur and other donors are to be able to factor the step change into their own programmatic processes.


The failure to address the difficulties of transition led to significant differences within DFID and within the international community more broadly as to the role of the police in Sierra Leone. Entrenched positions developed as to whether the police should be viewed as having primary responsibility for security, or whether they should be embraced as part of the justice community. The answer is both, but a weak migration plan between two discrete programmes encouraged these conceptual differences to take root.

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Expenditure management reviews of the security system in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone


In 2003, the government of Afghanistan requested support from the World Bank and DFID to conduct a review of public finance in the security system. The review followed concerns of the minister of finance that the entire security system was rapidly becoming fiscally unsustainable, mainly due to large off-budget transfers that had direct impact on government on-budget spending. In 2006, DFID commissioned a similar review of public expenditures in Sierra Leone to gauge the overall effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the security system. The main objectives of both reviews from a public financial management (PFM) and development perspective were to:

• Gain as complete an understanding as possible of the current level and structure of security expenditures, recent trends, and likely future expenditure requirements based on current plans.
• Assess the extent to which the strategies that are used are coherent and the government institutions guide public expenditure allocations.
• Review processes for determining funding levels, expenditure allocations, budget execution and post-execution functions, and assess the extent to which they follow sound PFM principles.
• Describe the institutional framework for the security system and ascertain the extent to which it embeds or is conducive to sound PFM.

Entry point

In both cases the reviews were conducted with and for national authorities in order to strengthen national analytical capacities in policy making, planning and budgeting. The reviews were able to consolidate lessons learned across a wide range of stakeholders, and the various findings strengthened reform-related decision making with regard to institutional mandates, staffing and policy management issues. In Afghanistan, the review allowed the ministry of finance to engage in discussions with
the National Security Council, as well as international partners funding the military and police reform programmes. In the case of Sierra Leone, the review has provided a platform for costing the entire five-year security sector reform programme.

Lessons learned

PFM principles are applicable — The reviews have demonstrated that standard PFM reviews can be applied to the security system just as they can to any other sector, such as education and health.

PFM reviews are valuable to assess sustainability — The reviews have allowed national governments and their international supporters to rapidly assess the extent to which national authorities will be able to take control of functions that are currently funded externally, off-budget or through grants.

Support for SSR should be consistent with PFM principles — Continued off-budget financing of security sector reform programmes undermines national ownership, co-ordination, and potentially long-term fiscal discipline.


The failure to address the difficulties of transition led to significant differences within DFID and within the international community more broadly as to the role of the police in Sierra Leone. Entrenched positions developed as to whether the police should be viewed as having primary responsibility for security, or whether they should be embraced as part of the justice community. The answer is both, but a weak migration plan between two discrete programmes encouraged these conceptual differences to take root.

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Integrating SSR into development frameworks: Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone


Security system reform issues have been integrated into national development frameworks in Burundi, Sierra Leone and Uganda. In Uganda, armed violence and insecurity — particularly in the north and northeast — were identified as primary contributors to structural poverty and inequality. The result was that the Ugandan Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) (2004-08) highlighted existing commitments to regional agreements on security promotion, including small arms control. In Burundi, the government’s 2005 Strategic Framework to Combat Poverty (CSLP) was a deliberate effort to promote post-conflict recovery and was based on a multi-stakeholder and multi-sector dialogue of 145 community-based and non-governmental organisations. In Sierra Leone, the recently agreed PRSP (2005-07) shifted planning and programming from direct post-conflict concerns to a more development-oriented agenda designed to promote inclusive civil society participation.

Entry point

In all three cases, the real and perceived threat of escalating armed violence in the so-called postconflict period, and earlier positive experience with small arms control, catalysed a commitment to investing in accountable and responsible security sectors. In Uganda for example, the PEAP was purposefully designed to increase awareness of the costs of armed violence, but awareness also of the positive dividends of military and police reform in relation to the enhanced safety of communities. The Burundi CSLP addresses the need for a permanent ceasefi re with all remaining armed groups, the demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, the professionalisation of the security forces, and civilian disarmament. The PRSP in Sierra Leone sought to build on previous successes in relation to DDR and small arms control, and to defi ne the appropriate size, shape and structure of a reformed security sector.

Lessons learned

Ensure a multi-stakeholder and multi-sector dialogue — The PRSP, PEAP and CSLP were forged after extensive and inclusive dialogue processes that emphasised the inclusion of SSR priorities in development frameworks. For example, the PEAP focuses specifically on enhancing the justice, law and order sector to improve the security of persons and property, law enforcement, and access to justice. Moreover, it emphasises disarmament and arms control as major contributors to security promotion
and development.

Use an international agency to co-ordinate a multi-stakeholder and multi-sector dialogue —International agencies had the necessary distance from local politics, legitimacy in the eyes of the governments and populations, and resources to foster successful outcomes of the dialogue processes.

Seek to include SSR in development frameworks to enhance commitment — The PRSP, PEAP and CSLP each include concrete commitments and strategies for managing public expenditures to meet poverty reduction and SSR-enhancing goals. This is valued by donors, who provide direct budgetary support.


The introduction of SSR as a priority issue in national development frameworks raised its profile among partner governments and donors. It also provided an opportunity to stimulate a more inclusive public debate on security issues. While progress has been made in some areas, there is still much to be done. Including security issues in development frameworks is an important step, but government and donors then need to ensure that commitments are financed and implemented.

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Sierra Leone: Local Policing Partnership Boards


Local Policing Partnership Boards (LPPBs) were established in each police division by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) in 2002-2003 and were subsequently rolled out across the country. However, over recent years many of the LPPBs failed to thrive and in some cases their legitimacy was questioned due to poor representation of the communities they served. The SLP describe the LPPBs as “… part of the community policing strategy aimed at involving non-police stakeholders in security and crime prevention.”

To support and assist the police, the LPPBs draw on the participation of a range of locally based community service organisations, representatives of local business associations and, in some areas, representatives of traditional authorities.

Entry Point

The DFID funded Access to Security & Justice Programme (ASJP), works in support of a wide-ranging number of Government of Sierra Leone institutions, non-governmental organisations and community groups. Since its inception in 2011, ASJP acknowledged the importance of the LPPBs and has supported their further development. It’s first task was to more closely connect the LPPBs to other community groups involved with local security and justice provision, and to ensure better representivity, particularly of women, on the boards. Closer linkages were also developed with District Community Networks, many of whose activities were explicitly focused on juvenile justice, women’s rights, gender-based violence and child protection.

Lessons Identified

The LPPBs play an important role in a number of complimentary activities. They work closely with the SLP and local communities, whom they represent, to ensure more effective, appropriate and accountable delivery of policing services. They are also able to articulate local demand for specific security and justice services, whilst acting as a legitimate sounding board of local SLP performance. They also link into the national framework of discussions and consultation surrounding future legislation or guidance for the security and justice sector. Most importantly, their activities directly lead to improved relationships, understanding and trust between communities and local police.


ASJP support to the revival of the Local Police Partnership Boards and the work in publishing the LPPB guidelines booklet is acknowledged to have made a positive contribution to improved levels of community safety and security. Selected LPPBs are now able to develop preventive strategies and victim support initiatives in which the SLP and the various locally involved NGOs work together.  This has both improved individual levels of safety and security and perhaps as importantly, improved community safety and security perceptions. The local ownership, direction and empowerment of the LPPBs structures has been a vital ingredient of their success to date.

Selected Resources

case study

Gender and Security Sector Reform: Examples from the Ground

Selected Resources

Training Resource Package: Guide to Integrating Gender in SSR Training- DCAF

Video: Gender in SSR-Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi

The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.

The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:

• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender

For downloading individual examples and case studies in Integrating Gender into SSR Training on Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan, Rwand, Brazil, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, the United States, and the regions of West Africa and the Pacific, kindly follow the link. 

case study

The Integration of a Gender Perspective in the Sierra Leone Police

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

5. Personnel

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.

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Tool 1 : Political Leadership and National Ownership of Security Sector Reform Processes

Tool 1 of the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa by DCAF addresses political will and national ownership, fundamental requirements of SSR processes.

Without the strong political commitment of national authorities, SSR will fail, regardless of the material resources and technical expertise invested into it. SSR must be home-grown, designed to meet country-specific needs, and led by national stakeholders who take full responsibility for it. For SSR to produce sustainable results, it is also essential to ensure the active involvement of a critical mass of citizens - men and women - from all strata of society in the definition and implementation of a reform agenda that reflects a shared vision of security. Unless it relies on an inclusively defined and widely shared vision of security, SSR cannot succeed.

Acknowledging the challenges that may arise in the process of operationalising these principles, Tool 1 offers practical guidance on how to reinforce national ownership and leadership while defining an inclusive, national vision of security as a basis for a security sector reform. It provides an overview of potential entry points for SSR in the broader framework of national governance in a West African setting. It also suggests how to institutionalise the national leadership and coordination of an SSR process, including through strategic communication.

The Tool is primarily intended for policy and other strategic decision makers, government officials involved in security sector governance, national SSR advisers and practitioners. It will also provide members of parliament, other oversight institutions, civil society organisations and development partners with an overview of the responsibilities of the executive in SSR and how to uphold national ownership throughout the process.

For more information on the tool Political Leadership and National Ownership of Security Sector Reform Processes, kindly follow the link to the DCAF website.

Follow the links to access the other documents in the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa: 

Tool 2: Security Sector Reform Programming

Tool 4: Effective Management of External Support to Security Sector Reform

Tool 6: Civil Society Involvement in Security Sector Reform and Governance

The publication is also available in français and português.


Tool 2 : Security Sector Reform Programming

The conduct of an SSR process requires translating a political, national vision of security into an operational programme and defining the different concrete actions needed to generate the desired societal change and improve security for all. SSR programming provides tools both to determine the nature of the change sought in the functioning of the security sector and to plan implementation in a structured manner that is measurable over time.

Tool 2 of the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa addresses the successive programming steps that enable the development and rolling out of a context-relevant SSR programme. These steps range from an initial needs assessment to the setting up of coordination mechanisms aimed at ensuring overall coherence of national SSR efforts. The Tool offers practical advice for prioritising and sequencing reform actions, budgeting the programme and mobilising the resources necessary for its implementation, establishing viable and efficient management mechanisms, coordinating national and international actors involved in the implementation of the programme and developing a communication strategy to support transparency and sustain national ownership.

For more information on Tool 2 : Security Sector Reform Programming, kindly follow the link to the DCAF website.

Follow the links to access the other documents in the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa: 

Tool 1: Political Leadership and National Ownership of Security Sector Reform Processes

Tool 4: Effective Management of External Support to Security Sector Reform

Tool 6: Civil Society Involvement in Security Sector Reform and Governance

This publication is also available in français and português.


Ferramenta 1 : Liderança Política e Apropriação Nacional dos Processos da Reforma do Sector de Segurança

Esta ferramenta 1 « Liderança Política e Apropriação Nacional dos Processos da Reforma do Sector de Segurança », parte da « Caixa de Ferramentas para a Reforma e Governação do Sector de Segurança na África Ocidental », fornece orientações práticas para as autoridades nacionais da África Ocidental sobre como abordar a RSS de uma forma que demonstre liderança e garanta uma apropriação nacional inclusiva. Ressalva a importância da vontade política na formulação de políticas relacionadas com o sector de segurança, a necessidade de envolver actores não-estatais não só na fase inicial, mas também durante todo o processo de reforma, e a necessidade de articular a RSS com outras políticas e reformas à escala nacional. A ferramenta também se debruça sobre o papel desempenhado pela CEDEAO, que apoia os estados-membros na construção de processos de reforma endógenos. Aborda igualmente os desafios práticos que as autoridades nacionais poderão vir a enfrentar na concepção e implementação de processos de RSS, propondo também soluções para enfrentá-los.

A ferramenta pretende ser um recurso para os responsáveis pela tomada de decisões estratégicas, funcionários governamentais, consultores nacionais e outros profissionais de RSS. Também disponibilizará aos membros do parlamento, a outras instituições de supervisão, às organizações da sociedade civil (OSC) e aos parceiros de desenvolvimento uma visão geral das responsabilidades que o poder executivo tem na RSS e sobre como garantir a apropriação nacional ao longo do processo.

Para maiores informações sobre a Ferramenta 1 : Liderança Política e Apropriação Nacional dos Processos da Reforma do Sector de Segurança, siga o link para o website do DCAF.

Por favor, siga o link para ter acesso às outros documentos da Caixa de Ferramentas para a Reforma e Governação do Sector de Segurança na África Ocidental: 

Ferramenta 2 : Programação da Reforma do Sector de Segurança

Ferramenta 4 : Gestão Eficaz do Apoio Externo à Reforma do Sector de Segurança

Ferramenta 6 : Envolvimento da Sociedade Civil na Governação e Reforma do Sector de Segurança

Esta é a versão em Português da publicação. It is also available in English et disponible en français.



Gendered Transitional Justice

Using the Better Peace Tool’s four-part framework to realize inclusion ​in peace processes, ​this​ animation explores the various components of Transitional Justice and offers five practical steps to ensure a gender sensitive and inclusive process.

For full access to the video, Gendered Transitional Justice, kindly follow the link. 



Security sector transformation in Sierra Leone

This podcast is the audio version of a presentation by Brig (retd) Kellie Conteh on the transformation of the security sector in Sierra Leone. It outlines the participatory approach to reach an assessment of needs, and highlights the need to encompass the remit of intelligence. Head of ISSAT, Mark Downes, provides a summary at the end of the presentation.

The video version of this podcast is available here.


Policy and Research Papers

The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World

The governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland convened the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies to fulfill the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that all people should live in peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. The Pathfinders include member states, international organizations, and major partnerships and networks.

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.


Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone 1997–2007. Views from the Front Line

As a collection of separate papers, this volume is not aimed at being a coherent, polished version of the security transformation of Sierra Leone, but at providing an insight into the thoughts of those involved. In particular we have sought to showcase papers providing a ‘warts-and-all’ picture of the reform process that not everyone would agree with, but all have to acknowledge as being relevant. The original idea of these papers was to provide inputs into a broader piece of research reconstructing the narrative of the UK intervention, so many of them were not written with publication in mind. Rather, the authors sought to provide their own views of the process from their particular vantage point and to highlight different perceptions of the same processes.


Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997-2007

What lessons does the experience of transforming the security system in Sierra Leone have for security sector reform (SSR)? This report from the Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform and International Alert documents Sierra Leone’s security system transformation from 1997 to 2007. It chronicles the UK Government’s intervention, including its transition from direct implementer to adviser, and analyses key security issues that arose during the period.


Local Actors and Service Delivery in Fragile Situations

This report explores how to engage local actors in international development programming that aims to strengthen service delivery in fragile situations. Apart from a discussion of how policy-makers and practitioners should approach local actors and centrally governed institutions systemically, three case studies are presented. They explore different types of external support, and the effect it has had, exploring community policing in Sierra Leone, primary healthcare by village doctors in Bangladesh, and primary education provided by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), traditional voluntary organizations and madrasas – religious seminaries – in Pakistan.

The report puts forward two interrelated arguments. First, the quantity and quality of service provision in fragile situations cannot simply be equated with a set of centrally governed institutions. Service delivery in fragile situations is performed by a broad range of actors, including, but not limited to, NGOs, grass-roots organizations and community-based organizations, faith based organizations, traditional voluntary organizations, customary organizations (chiefs and tribal leaders), and religious leaders.

Second, no local service provider acts independent of the broader system of governance in which it operates. As a rule, local service providers are part of an extensive system of governance that incorporates a variety of centrally and locally embedded organizations and institutions. The systemic nature of how public services are delivered must be central to any development design and programming endeavor that seeks to enhance service delivery, including the varied nature of the actors that constitutes this system.

It is entirely feasible that local actors determine (or co-determine) how a particular service is provided, while some specific and indirect coordination and oversight functions are organized and/or developed by centrally governed institutions in the long-term. At the same time, the three cases show that the direct and indirect functions they should take on depend on the willingness, capacity and legitimacy to do so, which can only develop incrementally. In the long-term, this leads to a governance system that strengthens locally and centrally governed institutions simultaneously.


Security Sector Evolution: Understanding and influencing how security institutions change

The aim of this paper is to make a contribution to the under-theorised field of Security Sector Reform (SSR) studies (Egnell and Halden, 2009) and to support better design, implementation and review of SSR programmes. We borrow, from economics and strategic management, some perspectives on institutional change and we consider the implications of these insights for approaches to SSR.


No Ownership, No Commitment: A Guide to Local Ownership of Security Sector Reform

The principle of local ownership of SSR will have little import if it is treated simply as a romantic and woolly concept. In practical terms it means that the reform of security
policies, institutions and activities in a given country must be designed, managed and implemented by local actors rather than external actors.
The principle is misconstrued if it is understood to mean that there must be a high level of domestic support for donor activities. What is required is not local support for donor programmes and projects but rather donor support for programmes and projects initiated by local actors. The question for donor governments is not “how can we undertake SSR in partner countries?” but “how can we support local actors who want to undertake SSR in partner countries?”.
The principle does not preclude donors seeking to stimulate and encourage local interest in SSR. Nor does it preclude international actors putting pressure on governments whose security forces violate human rights. Nevertheless, the actual reform of the security sector must be shaped and driven by local actors.

To read the full publication, No Ownership, No Commitment: A Guide to Local Ownership of Security Sector Reform, please follow the link provided. 


Traditional Justice and Reconciliation after Violent Conflict Learning from African Experiences

The report is intended to serve both as a general knowledge resource and as a practitioner’s guide for national bodies seeking to employ traditional justice mechanisms as well as external agencies aiming to support such processes. It suggests that in some circumstances traditional mechanisms can effectively complement conventional judicial systems and represent a real potential for promoting justice, reconciliation and a culture of democracy.
In addition, even in situations where communities are more inclined to demand straightforward retribution against the perpetrators, traditional justice mechanisms may
still offer a way both of restoring a sense of accountability and of linking justice to democratic development.


Customary Justice and Legal Pluralism in Post-Conflict and Fragile Societies

While there has been a growing interest in customary justice systems among rule of law practitioners, it has remained very much at the margins of justice reform strategies. This session will challenge us to view customary justice and other forms of legal pluralism not as a side issue, but as a fundamental part of the justice landscapes in which we work. It will take a critical stance in reviewing the current range of overall policy approaches to legal pluralism and the preconceptions and assumptions that underlie those approaches. It will seek to identify and critically review how different approaches (rights-based, developmental, expanding access to justice, peace-building, state-building etc.,) tend to “frame the problem” when it comes to engagement with legal pluralism and will reflect specifically on how these approaches affect a range of key post conflict objectives. Finally it will consider the building blocks needed to define strategic objectives for engagement with legal pluralism.


Building Police Institutions in Fragile States - Case Studies from Africa

The police are one of the most critical institutions of the state. This is particularly true in nations emerging from conflict, which are characterized by insecurity and high levels of crime. Without security, governments cannot begin rebuilding their economies and improving the lives of their citizens. As a result, they will continue to struggle for legitimacy, and a return to conflict will remain an ever-present risk. For citizens, a police officer is the symbolic representation of state authority. Their view of the state and their acceptance of its authority are partially shaped by their interactions with the police.

Unfortunately, many Africans have entirely negative perceptions of the police. In many countries, the police are ineffective, unprofessional, corrupt, even predatory. Their primary interest is in protecting the government in power rather than serving the public. They are often sources of insecurity rather than providers of security—people to avoid, not to seek out, in the event of trouble. For other African citizens, particularly those living outside urban areas, the police are conspicuous by their absence. Many, perhaps the majority, of Africans rely on non-state security providers such as neighborhood watch groups and chiefdom police to keep them safe.

The aim of this report is to look at what the United States has been doing to help reform or transform the police in three African states: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan. It provides recommendations of what could be done better, or differently, based on an assumption that the federal budget for overseas policing will remain small. The findings are based on meetings with policymakers and other experts in Washington, D.C., as well as interviews with program implementers, government officials, police, and civil society representatives in all three countries.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Becoming and Remaining a ‘Force for Good’ – Reforming the Police in Post-conflict Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Police Force has its origins in the British colonial administration of the country. After Independence and with the consolidation of one-party rule the force slid into disrepute. The outbreak of civil conflict in 1991 largely decimated the force but the gradual restoration of peace provided an opportunity for police reform.

This research report covers the aspects of the political and institutional environment that helped engender change, as well as constraints faced by the reform agenda. It considers how the officers actually carried out the task at hand, and shares lessons as to what reform tactics worked and which were less successful.

While several challenges remain, the reform programme, centred around local needs policing has been largely successful, hinging on – among other factors – the appointment of a British Inspector General of Police, perceived to be neutral and above political machinations, supported by a core of reformminded officers; long-term external technical and financial assistance; and a conducive political environment for change.

To view this document, please follow this link.


Policing the Context: Principles and Guidance to Inform International Policing Assistance

This document draws lessons on what it means to uphold and promote core policing principles in our overseas assistance, providing a crucial insight into both ‘what works’ and the many challenges that we must navigate to achieve success. It is based on the collective UK international policing experience over recent years including Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and most recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Libya.


Sierra Leone - Justice Sector and the Rule of Law

The study’s objective is to identify opportunities and highlight challenges in the justice sector in Sierra Leone, in line with the Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project's overall objectives to monitor observance of acceptable standards and commitments relating to participatory democracy, transparent and accountable governance, human rights, the rule of law and public service delivery by African states.

This report assesses Sierra Leone’s compliance with international, regional and national laws and standards, respect for the rule of law, human rights and the administration of justice, the frameworks and capacity of the justice sector, accessibility of the justice system, independence and accountability of judges and lawyers. The report highlights the challenges, constraints and successes and makes recommendations for necessary reforms  to improve the functionality and effectiveness of the sector.


Community Policing in Sierra Leone – Local Policing Partnership Boards

What can we learn from how community policing has evolved in Sierra Leone? This report answers the question by presenting an in-depth analysis of Local Policing Partnership Boards (LPPBs), the main institutional response to community needs by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP).

A general understanding of how LPPBs operate is available, but there is a dearth of concrete and systematic analysis of how LPPBs in Sierra Leone’s 33 police divisions operate. The report is based on data collected in 17 of Sierra Leone’s police divisions and makes the following broad observations:

  • One of the key strengths of the LPPBs is that they are built around already existing actors of authority at the local level such as traditional leaders, quasi-vigilante groups and secret societies. This is also one of the reasons why it is difficult to ascertain if these actors would have played a central role in local order-making, regardless of whether LPPBs had been established or not. It is clear, however, that LPPBs have supported the (re)formalization of relations between the police (state) and local communities (population).
  • There is an important difference between the interplay of local authorities and community in rural and urban areas. Involvement of the community in rural areas tends to mean involvement of paramount and lesser chiefs. There is often a complete overlap between the chiefly hierarchy and LPPB members, and as such the latter act both as representatives of local authorities and as police proxies. In urban or densely populated areas the establishment of LPPBs has expanded the range of actors involved in defining and responding to local security, incorporating teachers, youth and women’s leaders, among others. As such, Sierra Leone’s LPPBs have in fact supported the democratization of security.
  • Because LPPBs are still evolving as a concept and as a set of practices, it should be considered carefully how and under what conditions they are formalized in legislation. It is essential that it is not done prematurely so that the LPPBs have the space to develop and respond flexibly to context.
  • The voluntary nature of LPPB membership is one of the cornerstones of the LPPBs. This status is central to maintaining the status of these boards as connected to, but not as formal components of the police. 
  • Whatever activities the police and LPPB leadership pursue in the future to strengthen LPPBs, their ‘in-between’ status should not be altered. LPPBs help an overstretched police force resolve cases at the local level, and as such, they act as a non-threatening, mediation-oriented police force multiplier. LPPBs should continue to be seen as part of the community in the broad sense of the term, while they remain in a position to liaise with the police when necessary. This is fundamental to the original vision of LPPBs and to the concept and practice of community policing in Sierra Leone.

Betwixt and between – chiefs and reform of Sierra Leone’s justice sector

This paper discusses the uneasy role of chiefs within three cycles of security and justice reform in Sierra Leone during the past decade. Interaction has been indirect, by default or marginal, and always hesitant. This has been the case, even though chiefs constitute the most important governing institution in Sierra Leone’s rural communities.


State-building through security sector reform: the UK intervention in Sierra Leone

UK support to the reconstruction of the Sierra Leonean state has been widely held up as an example of successful state-building with the development of basic capacity and trust in public institutions, particularly security. This article examines security sector reform (SSR) in Sierra Leone, how Sierra Leone affected SSR and what implications that has for international interventions. Despite being hailed as a success, the sustainability of a state-building effort driven by concepts of the liberal state, a polity form that never existed in Sierra Leone, is in question. Unrealistic expectations of progress driven by planning imperatives of development agencies remain a key issue and obstacle to sustainability.

Click here to access the paper.


Gender and SSR: Training Manual for Community Women in Sierra Leone

This Training Manual for Community Women in Sierra Leone aims to strengthen community women’s engagement and ability to influence national and community-level security decisions. Based on training workshops organised jointly by DCAF, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) in different regions of Sierra Leone, it is an essential resource for those working to promote community women’s participation in security sector governance in Sierra Leone and West Africa.

The training manual seeks to build understanding at the community level about the concepts of gender and security sector reform and governance; and to encourage community actors - especially community women - to participate more actively in peace and security discussions and decision-making in their communities.

The training manual is designed for trainers supporting, organising and implementing training activities on gender and security issues. It includes practical guidance and exercises as well as example session outlines and handout materials. We encourage those actors working on women, peace and security in Sierra Leone to use this manual. The training manual and its content may also be adapted for other geographical contexts.

Contact DCAF for further information.

You can access the document here.


The influence of research and local knowledge on British-led security sector reform policy in Sierra Leone

Research on security sector reform (SSR) has rapidly grown over the last years, and numerous academic books and articles, case studies, ‘lessons learned’, and recommendations now enrich this burgeoning literature. Nevertheless, very few studies have investigated whether and how policy practitioners have used such research to develop and implement SSR policies in fragile, conflict-affected countries.

Drawing from interviews conducted with policy advisers and researchers who worked on SSR in Sierra Leone from 1998 to 2013, the article “The influence of research and local knowledge on British-led security sector reform policy in Sierra Leone”, recently published in Conflict, Security & Development, focuses on the ways in which research has influenced and interacted with British-led SSR policy in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone has often been considered as one of the first and successful examples of externally-led SSR. While most of the conditions that contributed to this success are unique and hardly replicable in other fragile, conflict-affected countries or in current, multilateral post-war recovery efforts, findings from the article highlight nonetheless several issues and themes pertaining to the use of research in SSR policy.



Improving Security and Justice Programming in Fragile Situations

This OECD Development Policy Paper by Erwin van Veen explores how international support for security and justice development programming needs to be designed in order to strengthen programmatic results and improve the effectiveness of peacebuilding and statebuilding strategies. Fragile environments can be tough and complex places in which to operate, and there is limited scope for external actors to drive reforms that fundamentally alter domestic power dynamics. Yet there is sufficient evidence to suggest that externally supported programmes can contribute to incremental change and lay the groundwork for a sustainable change process.

Based on a case study analysis of nine externally supported security and justice development programmes in Burundi, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, and Timor-Leste, the article stresses the need to consider four critical enablers that can improve the quality of international support. These enablers range from daily political engagement to an increased duration of the security and programmes to 6-10 years, along with the inclusion of longer-term results in the programme and ensuring that the implementation programme is adjustable.

To access the OECD paper by Erwin van Veen on Improving Security and Justice Programming in Fragile Situations, kindly follow the link.


Les armées africaines et le pouvoir politique au sud du Sahara

Dans un contexte post-indépendances, l’Afrique sub-saharienne a constitué un terrain propice aux coups d’Etat. Ce numéro des Champs de Mars, la revue académique de l'Institut de recherche stratégique de l'Ecole militaire (IRSEM), s'intéresse à la conception du pouvoir militaire dans ces pays, présentant les liens particuliers qu'il entretient avec le pouvoir politique. Les rapports entre légitimité de l'armée et celle du pouvoir politique sont donc mis en exergue. 


  • Introduction au thème : de l’institutionnalisation de l’armée dans l’appareil d’État (Axel Augé et Amandine Gnanguênon)
  • Le coup d’État de décembre 2008 et la transition controversée en Guinée (Dominique Bangoura)
  • La démilitarisation paradoxale du pouvoir politique au Burkina Faso (Léon Sampana)
  • D'une armée prédatrice à une force au service de l’ONU : l’exemple de la Sierra Leone (Aline Leboeuf)
  • Les institutions militaires sud-africaines et zairo-congolaises face aux processus démocratiques : éléments d’analyse politique et stratégique (Mathias Eric Owona Nguini)
  • Varia : Le rôle politique de l’armée dans les pays d’Afrique lusophone (Neia Fernandes Monteiro)
  • Post-face : du lien entre État, armée et société (Mathurin Houngnikpo)

Pour accéder au Champ de Mars sur les armées africaines et le pouvoir politique au sud du Sahara, veuillez suivre le lien.


Strategic Planning in Fragile and Conflict Contexts

The primary audience for this research paper is the strategic planner in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS), understood broadly as any actor involved in either the formulation of national priorities to mitigate or recover from conflict, or the design of international strategies to support such priorities. The paper explores the tensions and tradeoffs incurred throughout the planning process on a range of engagement principles, including national ownership, prioritization, and sequencing. It aims to serve two purposes: i) provide a broad concept of key elements of planning and ii) identify key recommendations for engagement as well as policy and capacity gaps in the international community’s support of strategic planning processes

The first section of the paper offers general considerations related to i) the tradeoffs and tensions inherent to strategic planning processes in FCAS, and ii) the challenges and opportunities that planners face, as a means to set the context and rationale for the guidance and recommendations presented throughout the paper. The second and third sections discuss the prerequisites for and the actual steps of the strategic planning process, with a focus on current practice and its range of tradeoffs and tensions, including challenges in formulating results for greater accountability and issues related, inter alia, to ownership, prioritization, and funding. The conclusion presents a summary of findings, along with key policy recommendations drawn from the analysis and the case studies, as well as suggested areas where further research could strengthen the international community’s capacities to support strategic planning processes.


Assessing the Impact of Orthodox Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone

Sierra leone orthodox

This paper by the Centre for Security Governance (CSG) is part of a multi year CSG research project titled "Exploring the transition from first to second generation SSR in conflict-affected societies". The project assesses and evaluates the impact of orthodox Security Sector Reform (SSR) programming in conflict-affected countries. Employing a common methodology, the project features original research on four case study countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste. Funding for this project was provided by the Folke Bernadotte Academy.

This paper examines the SSR processes that took place from 1997 onwards in Sierra Leone. It notes the different phases of SSR in the country: the process had, initially, a narrow focus that prevented the integration of influential actors, and evolved later into an ad-hoc process until a more structured and effective approach was devised and implemented after the end of the conflict in 2002. The paper then examines the considerable challenges that have faced and keep facing the project and examines its general record. While a study of a conventional approach to SSR, early efforts to develop innovative initiatives are highlighted.

To access the CSG Paper No. 11 - Assessing the Impact of Orthodox Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone, kindly follow the link.


DDR and SSR in War-to-Peace Transition

While disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) have become integral statebuilding tools in post-conflict states, the existing empirical literature examining their relationship has focused on supply-side considerations related to the programming of both processes. In practice, though, DDR and SSR are implemented in the wider context of war-to-peace transitions where the state is attempting to establish a monopoly over the use of force and legitimize itself in the eyes of domestic and international communities. This paper therefore assumes that to identify opportunities and constraints for establishing closer practical linkages between DDR and SSR it is important to take the local politics into consideration. It examines two past externally driven peacebuilding interventions in West Africa, namely Liberia and Sierra Leone, featuring cases in which the central state had essentially fragmented or collapsed. Through this comparative analysis, the paper aims to provide a stepping-stone for future studies examining demand-side considerations of DDR and SSR in post-conflict contexts.

To access the full report  DDR and SSR in War-to-Peace Transition, kindly click on the link.

This paper is part of DCAF's SSR Papers series. Click on the link for more DCAF publications on security sector reform.


DFID - Security and Justice Sector Reform Programming in Africa

This document is a review of security and justice sector reform (SJSR) programmes and lessons learned from 2001 to 2005 that were part of DFID's Africa Conflict Prevent Pool (ACPP). The programmes were reviewed based on the criteria of coherence, effectiveness, and impact.


The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change Our World

On 21 September 2017, the governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland launched the roadmap for peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The roadmap, which covers all of 2030 Agenda targets provides, for the first time, a shared vision for how SDG16+ can be delivered. The group will work with regional and international pathfinders to strengthen strategies for implementation, and will shape a global debate through ‘grand challenges’ on justice, inclusion, and violence prevention. 

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change Our World, kindly follow the link. 

For a summary, see the overview and presentation.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.


The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World

The governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland convened the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies to fulfill the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that all people should live in peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. The Pathfinders include member states, international organizations, and major partnerships and networks.

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.


Governance and Health in Post-Conflict Countries: The Ebola Outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone

The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa from 2014 to 2015 underscored the fragility of public health services in countries emerging from protracted conflict, as well as the link between governance and health. In both Sierra Leone and Liberia, war had seriously undermined the health sector. Ebola arrived as the large-scale postwar international presence was downsizing and the responsibility for healthcare was shifting to the governments. Both governments had developed comprehensive health policies and plans, including devolution of health service delivery, but these were not fully implemented in practice. As a result, they were unprepared to address the Ebola crisis. This report explores the response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and Liberia, respectively. 

For full access to the article on, Governance and Health in Post-Conflict Countries: The Ebola Outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone, please follow the link


Sustaining peace in practice: Liberia and Sierra Leone

This policy brief explores how the UN can ensure successful transitions and what sustaining peace means in practice. Liberia and Sierra Leone are undergoing important transitions. The countries provide important case studies on how the United Nations (UN) can ensure successful transitions, not only from peacekeeping to peacebuilding but also from conflict to building a sustainable peace. With the current UN focus on conflict prevention for sustaining peace, this policy brief provides practical recommendations on what this means in practice. The analysis is derived from field research carried out from 15–24 November 2017 in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

For full access to Sustaining peace in practice: Liberia and Sierra Leone, please kindly follow this link. 


Hybrid Security Governance Responses to Crises: The Case of the Ebola Response in Sierra Leone

This paper examines how hybrid security structures, enabled by international support, responded to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. The main objective of this article is to critically discuss the manifestation of hybrid security governance in practice, to consider the constraints and analyze the sustainability of internationally supported security governance interventions in post-conflict Sierra Leone. Specifically, the diverse networks and processes of the formal and informal security, policing and justice institutions are analyzed to generate an understanding of how their interwoven nature affects operational responses to national crises. Using secondary resources, the argument presented here finds that despite international intervention efforts, the hybrid security structures response to the Ebola outbreak show-cased the challenges of operationalizing hybridity due in part to international post-conflict reconstruction efforts prioritizing formal structures with too little support given to informal structures in the years before the Ebola crisis.

For full access to the paper, Hybrid Security Governance Responses to Crises: The Case of the Ebola Response in Sierra Leone, please follow the link. 


Monitoring and evaluation arrangements for the Sierra Leone Security Sector Reform Programme

This report assesses the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) arrangements put in place by the UK Government's Sierra Leone Security Sector Reform Programme, which ran from June 1999 until 31 March 2008. The research for this report was carried out between May and July 2008.

It is one of five case studies carried out as part of the Saferworld project, 'Evaluating for Security: Developing specific guidance on monitoring and evaluating Security Sector Reform interventions'.


The Transition to a Just Order – Establishing Local Ownership after Conflict: A Practitioners’ Guide

This handbook and its sister publication, the policy report The Transition to a Just Order: Establishing Local Ownership after Conflict, A Practitioner’s Guide, are based on the findings of a two year long study conducted jointly by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), in partnership with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA). The study offers a comprehensive analysis of the principle of local ownership, the key dilemmas involved in pursuing local ownership and the challenges and issues that arise when local ownership is being put into practice.

It takes a closer look at strategies and mechanisms for transition in four cases studies: Afghanistan, the Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo), Timor-Leste and West Africa (Liberia and Sierra Leone).
The cases have been selected to illustrate the varying degrees of international involvement in post-conflict justice and security sector reform. Kosovo and Timor-Leste represent scenarios where the international community has taken the lead in taking responsibility for law and order, while West Africa and especially Afghanistan are illustrative of postconflict environments where primacy has rested with local authorities. The study is based on field visits by the authors to all the case study countries with
the exception of Timor-Leste and numerous interviews with local stakeholders, practitioners, policy makers and established academics working on justice and security sector issues. The study has also benefited greatly from discussions which took place in a workshop held in Stockholm in May 2006 as well as a rigorous peer review process. The handbook uses the findings in the case studies and examples from these peacebuilding processes to highlight some of the key challenges.

To view this publication, follow this link.


Formulating Sierra Leone's Defence White Paper Process

This paper outlines the process of producing Sierra Leone’s 2002 defence white paper. Unique to this process was the document’s explicit aim of explaining to the general public both the progress and the shortcomings of security sector reform (SSR) in Sierra Leone’s defence system. The white paper was produced on the assumption that without making this information publicly available, opportunities to engage ordinary people in future reform initiatives would be limited. 

The paper also describes some of the challenges faced in the white paper’s production, including those from military counterparts in the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) and from international military and civilian advisers.

After a complex process of consultation and debate, the defence white paper is a strong statement of where Sierra Leone’s defence sector stands today and the direction it should take in the future. It is obvious that all this chapter’s recommendations will not necessarily be implemented in practice. It is also clear that while Sierra Leone has come a long way in building up a strong and democratically accountable defence system, there are still many challenges ahead.


The Security Sector and Poverty Reduction Strategies

Provision of security is both a core function of the state and a necessary condition for the delivery of other essential services and investments for poverty reduction. Improving the effectiveness and accountability of security provision is therefore becoming an increasingly important element of Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS) in countries emerging from conflict.

This note aims to clarify the challenges for integrating security sector priorities into PRSs by drawing on existing and emerging knowledge and practice in conflict-affected countries. Introduced in the late 1990s, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are standard tools for developing countries to articulate medium-term macroeconomic and social policies for growth and poverty reduction. Countries take the lead in setting a development plan, while the World Bank and other donors align their assistance programs with those national strategies.
This note focuses specifically on the World Bank’s role in supporting governments during the preparation of PRSs and discusses entry points for engagement in the security sector drawing from experience in a mix of conflictaffected countries. It is intended to serve as a resource for World Bank country teams and their national counterparts when designing PRS processes in countries where improved security has emerged as a national priority.

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National Security Strategies and Policies: A Note on Current Practices

A national security policy (NSP) is a government-wide analysis and description of the strategic level concerns a country faces; it addresses how the government plans to deals with these concerns. A national security strategy (NSS) is a government's overarching plan for ensuring the country's security in the form of guidance for implementing a country's national security policy. In several contexts, an initial national security strategy may play an important role in determining a comprehensive strategy for security sector reform. The NSS can be a tool for building legitimacy of security actors in the eyes of a population. This practice note discusses the challenges to reforming national security structures, as they relate to drafting appropriate national security strategies, and provides examples of ongoing efforts in Afghanistan, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


UNDP’s Engagement with the Media for Governance, Sustainable Development and Peace

This report features 13 case studies that together highlight the range and impact of UNDP’s engagement with the media for the purpose of achieving development outcomes. First, it seeks to demonstrate that, across development contexts, UNDP has increasingly identified media engagement as a priority for its policy and programmes. Second, the report seeks to outline UNDP’s comparative advantage and unique role in this area of work as well as to spark new approaches on media engagement and build new partnerships with media actors, the private sector, civil society and governments. Finally, by delving into the challenges and lessons learned across UNDP’s initiatives, the report seeks to contribute to broader debates among a range of stakeholders on how to design more effective and sustainable policies and programmes to support the roles of the media, which can better meet the needs and challenges of today’s complex media ecosystems.

To access the full report, UNDP’s Engagement with the Media for Governance, Sustainable Development and Peace, kindly follow the link. 


UN Police, Justice and Corrections Programming in Sierra Leone - A Compact Case Study

Case studies on police, justice and corrections programming for nine UN complex operations and special political missions were developed by Stimson’s Future of Peace Operations Program at the request of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. They are descriptive rather than analytic documents that help to organize, by mission, the issues and activities that the main study, Understanding Impact of Police, Justice and Corrections in UN Peace Operations, treats functionally, across cases, and are summarized in the study’s annexes. 

To view the publication, please follow this link.


Bringing Regional Politics to the Study of Security Sector Reform: Army Reform in Sierra Leone and Iraq

This paper argues that the scholarship on security sector reform (SSR) tends to neglect regional politics in the formulation of its concepts and policies, and that this neglect deprives the study of SSR of a valuable analytical level. It therefore uses comparative historical analysis and the model of regional conflict formations (RCFs) to examine army reforms in Sierra Leone and Iraq from a regional angle, thereby illustrating the explanatory potential that regional politics could bring to the study of SSR and its implementation. The paper also distinguishes between convergent and divergent regional formations, whereby the relationship between SSR outcomes and regional politics is conceived of as constitutive, entangled, and holistic.

For full access to the paper Bringing Regional Politics to the Study of Security Sector Reform: Army Reform in Sierra Leone and Iraq, please follow the link. 


Insécurité Maritime dans le Golfe de Guinée : Vers une Stratégie Régionale Intégrée ?

L’insécurité maritime se confirme comme l’une des menaces persistantes à la stabilité des États riverains du golfe de Guinée. En dépit d’une prise de conscience croissante et de la volonté politique d’y faire face, l’augmentation rapide des actes de piraterie a pris de court plusieurs pays de la région. L’absence d’un dispositif commun, relativement complet, de surveillance et de lutte contre la piraterie, limite encore la portée des initiatives prises par certains États, et qui ne couvrent pas l’ensemble de la région du golfe de Guinée. Une stratégie à long terme passe par la mutualisation des moyens, et par la coopération entre les trois organisations régionales, la CEEAC, la CEDEAO et la Commission du golfe de Guinée, ainsi que par l’implication d’autres acteurs du secteur maritime concernés par la lutte contre la piraterie dans la région.

Veuillez suivre ce lien sur l'Insécurité Maritime dans le Golfe de Guinée :  Vers une Stratégie Régionale Intégrée afin de lire la publication.


Liberal Chiefs or Illiberal Development? The Challenge of Engaging Chiefs in DFID’s Security Sector Reform Programme in Sierra Leone

It is increasingly recognised that informal actors, including chiefs, are dominant providers of services and need to be factored into overwhelmingly state-focused programmes. This article looks at the ability of the UK’s Department for International Development to engage with the chieftaincy system in Sierra Leone through its security sector reform programme − a relationship which poses important political challenges.

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Localising Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone: What Does it Mean?

Contemporary peacebuilding processes increasingly propose and adopt local ownership as a fundamental prerequisite in sustainable peacebuilding. Local ownership presupposes the application of an organic and context-specific approach to peacebuilding. Localisation also assumes the active participation of local actors, including national governments, civil society groups, community organisations and the private sector, in achieving a common purpose in peacebuilding processes.

Following years under the trusteeship of the international community, including the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC), Sierra Leone’s post-conflict peacebuilding processes continue. Within this context, this paper examines how questions of local ownership have been understood and operationalised in Sierra Leone since the end of the civil war.

The first part of the paper explores the evolution of both the discourse and practice of local ownership in recent years.The second part of the paper pays particular attention to the implication of local ownership, and the relationship between international and domestic actors. The third part discusses the challenges of implementing locallyowned peace processes, particularly in countries like Sierra Leone where peace is still fragile. The last part of the paper argues that despite the challenges, local ownership remains essential to Sierra Leone’s achievement of sustainable peace.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


National Security Decision-Making Structures and Security Sector Reform

This report was prepared for the UK’s Security Sector Development Advisory Team in June 2005. Its aim is to act as a basis for discussion and to provide an opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of intelligence and security legislation in various countries. Drawing on the body of academic work in this field and the knowledge of RAND staff, this report: provides a definition of intelligence; describes in detail how intelligence is produced; examines the role of intelligence in security sector reform; highlights the importance of control and accountability in intelligence structures; examines how six countries have developed and implemented intelligence legislation and associated reforms; and, finally, draws out a number of key lessons to be considered in any future security sector reform activity encompassing intelligence structures. The report outlines the choices that need to be made when designing or implementing legislative oversight on intelligence and security services. The report will be of interest to policy makers in countries seeking to reform their security sectors and to practitioners in the international aid community seeking to support security sector reform.

View National Security Decision-Making Structures and Security Sector Reform


Transforming Internal Security in Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Police and broader Justice Sector Reform

It is a striking feature of current international interventions that state institutions, even if their monopoly over the means of violence has disappeared, if indeed it ever existed, receive by far the most attention – and money. Peacebuilding and state-building continue to be considered two sides of the same coin.

This report analyses how Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and broader justice sector reform has been integral to the process of the country’s state-building process since before conflict officially came to an end in January 2002. The report begins with a summary of the political and security context in which SLP reforms began and an overview of key aspects of the SSR process in Sierra Leone. It then analyses the reform effort specifically, under four broad headings. First, it provides an account of the institutional and political framework within which reforms took place. Second, it reviews a number of technical and operational initiatives undertaken to move reform forward. Third, it reviews institutional reforms to support rebuilding of the SLP. Finally, it addresses broader justice reform efforts that began with initiation of the Justice Sector Development Programme ( JSDP) in 2005 and designed to be continued in the Improved Access to Security and Justice Programme (IASJP), scheduled to begin in 2010.



Can Security Sector Reform Contribute to the Reduction of Gender-Based Violence?

The ambition of this thesis is to investigate the significance of gender issues for reforming the security sector. Further on it will be analyzed which gender-strategies are crucial for police reform and to which extent gender-sensitive police reform (GSPR) can contribute to a reduction of violence against women. The case study shall examine to which extent gender issues were integrated in GSPR in Sierra Leone. Based on these findings, this analysis will develop recommendations how gender can be integrated successfully into security sector reform. The theoretical part of this paper illustrates the concept of security sector reform and its meaning for peace-building and development. In addition, relevant dimensions and actors are introduced combined with the exemplification of influencing factors and potential obstacles. Afterwards the concept of gender is discussed, including its relevance for development cooperation as well as a description of gender-based violence and its consequences. The theoretical part concludes by merging these two concepts and illustrates the relevance and strategies of gender-sensitive police reform. The second part of this analysis focuses on gender and police reform in Sierra Leone. This chapter begins with a brief description of the civil war in Sierra Leone as well as the prevalence of gender-based violence. Afterwards the chapter analyses to which extent gender-sensitive strategies were integrated in police reform. The paper concludes with recommendations for further gender-sensitive strategies in the security sector and argues if effective police reform can reduce the emergence of gender-based violence.


From civil strife to peace building

From Civil Strife to Peace Buildingexamines peace-building efforts in the fragile West African states of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and C te d'Ivoire, with a focus on the role of the private sector in leading the reconstruction initiatives. Given that aid and debt relief, the traditional remedies for dependency and underdevelopment, have not been effective, the private sector is increasingly viewed as a major player in the revival of regional economies. Private sector support, however, requires government intervention to improve investment climates, curb corruption, strengthen the security sector, and reduce the cost of doing business. The contributors discuss ways in which West African governments can encourage the greater involvement of business in humanitarian support with incentives that demonstrate alignment with business objectives and profit margins, making humanitarian support simple and, more importantly, profitable and sustainable for both local and foreign investors. Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)


Rebuilding the Security Sector in Post-Conflict Societies

In Liberia and Sierra Leone, strategies to reform and reconstruct the security sector have centred on re-establishing the state's monopoly on the use of force. However, little attention is given to the array of non-state actors that often play a major role in how individuals and communities experience security. Rebuilding the Security Sector in Post-Conflict Societies: Perceptions from Urban Liberia and Sierra Leone seek to address this gap by applying a human security approach to security provision across these two contexts. A key point of departure is that in the long run there can be no alternative within post-conflict societies to a locally owned security sector. Operationalising the concept of local ownership means that internationally-supported security sector reform (SSR) activities need to reflect these local realities. As explored within this study, fostering synergies between state and non-state security actors may therefore offer an important avenue to support more sustainable, legitimate SSR efforts. Judy Smith-Höhn is a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa. Prior to her present position she was a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs in Hamburg, Germany and later a senior researcher at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town in South Africa. Her thematic emphases lie in the areas of violent conflict and its prevention, and security sector reform within a regional focus on Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She has published nationally and internationally on topics ranging from security sector reform and postconflict peacebuilding to democratic transformation in South Africa. She holds a PhD from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and a Diplom (masters degree) in Political Science from the University of Hamburg, Germany.


Reform And Reconstruction of the Security Sector

Security sector reform (SSR) is widely recognized as key to conflict prevention, peace-building, sustainable development, and democratization. SSR has gained most practical relevance in the context of post-conflict reconstruction of so-called "failed states'" and states emerging from violent internal or inter-state conflict. As this volume shows, almost all states need to reform their security sectors to a greater or lesser extent, according to the specific security, political and socio-economic contexts, as well as in response to the new security challenges resulting from globalization and post-9/11 developments. Alan Bryden is a researcher at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. Heiner Hnggi is assistant director of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.


Budgeting for the Military Sector in Africa

In this comprehensive study, 12 experts describe and analyse the military budgetary processes and degree of oversight and control in eight African countries-Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa-spanning the continent's sub-regions. Each country study addresses a wide range of questions, such as the roles of the finance and defence ministries, budget offices, audit departments and external actors in the military budgetary processes; the extent ofcompliance with standard public expenditure management procedures; and how well official military expenditure figures reflect the true economic resources devoted to military activities in these countries. The framework for the country studies is provided by a detailed model for good practice in budgeting for the military sector. The individual studies are tied together by a synthesis chapter, which provides a comparative analysis of the studies, classifies the eight countries according to theiradherence to the principles of public expenditure management and explains why individual countries find themselves with a certain classification. The book draws on the results of the country studies and their analysis by making concrete recommendations to the governments of African countries and the international community. While the military sector in many African states is believed to be favoured in terms of resource allocation and degree of political autonomy, it is not subject to the samerules and procedures as other sectors. Because of the unique role of the armed forces as the guarantor of national security, and their demand for a high degree of confidentiality in certain activities, the military sector receives a significant proportion of state resources and is not subject to public scrutiny. The book argues that while the military sector requires some confidentiality it should be subject to the same standard procedures and rules followed by other state sectors.

View the book here.


Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Dealing with Fighters in the Aftermath of War

This book provides a critical analysis of the changing discourse and practice of post-conflict security-promoting interventions since the Cold War, such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), and security-sector reform (SSR)

Although the international aid and security sectors exhibit an expanding appetite for peace-support operations in the 21st Century, the effectiveness of such interventions are largely untested. This book aims to fill this evidentiary gap and issues a challenge to 'conventional' approaches to security promotion as currently conceived by military and peace-keeping forces, drawing on cutting-edge statistical and qualitative findings from war-torn areas including Afghanistan, Timor Leste, Sudan, Uganda, Colombia and Haiti. By focusing on specific cases where the United Nations and others have sought to contain the (presumed) sources of post-conflict violence and insecurity, it lays out a new research agenda for measuring success or failure


Transitional Justice, Peace and Accountability

The book looks at the outreach and communication strategies employed by internationalised courts to try to understand the wider impact of international justice. This book critically examines the role of outreach within international justice focusing specifically on the role of outreach at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). It contributes to understanding of the relationship between international courts and the affected populations; an area currently underexplored and little understood. The assumption that justice brings peace underpins much of the thinking, and indeed action, of international justice, yet little is known if this is actually the case. Significant questions surrounding the link between peace and justice remain: do trials deter would-be war criminals; is justice possible for the most heinous crimes; can international justice replace local justice? This book explores these questions in relation to recent developments in international justice that have both informed and shaped the creation of the hybrid tribunal in Sierra Leone. Through empirical analysis, Transitional Justice, Peace and Accountability, answers these questions and provides an insight into individual and community perceptions of international justice. This book will be of much interest to students of transitional justice, war crimes, peace and conflict studies, human rights, international law, and IR in general.


Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice

In Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice, fourteen leading researchers study seventy countries that have suffered from autocratic rule, genocide, and protracted internal conflict.


Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone 1997–2007

Sierra Leone is often cited as the example of effective and sustainable security sector reform (SSR). In particular, the SSR process is characterised as an effective partnership between national stakeholders and the international community, notably the United Kingdom. However, this picture lacks the nuance and contextual detail necessary to deconstruct the SSR process in Sierra Leone and derive meaningful lessons learned. This publication will go a long way in adding subtlety and detail to our understanding of this important case. The work of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) places a strong premium on policy research grounded in concrete experience. This reflects the need to bridge evident gaps between SSR policy and practice through analysis that is closely linked to context specific political, security and socio-economic factors.

To access the full book, Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone 1997–2007, please follow the link provided. 


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Analyse comparative du DDR en Sierra Leone et en Côte d’Ivoire : dynamiques post-conflit et réconciliation


Ce Bulletin du centre Francopaix publié par la Chaire Raoul-Dandurand en études stratégiques et diplomatiques à l’Université du Québec à Montréal analyse le lien entre le processus DDR et les dynamiques post-conflit en Sierra Leone et en Côte d’Ivoire. La conduite des opérations DDR dans ces deux pays est liée au processus politique de sortie de crise, dont le caractère asymétrique peut menacer la paix et la sécurité. Il y a un besoin d’inclusivité pour la réussite du processus. Les résultats obtenus dans le cadre du processus DDR en Sierra Leone et en Cote d'Ivoire montrent des insuffisances en matière de capacités de réinsertion des ex-combattants dans le tissu socio-économique fragilisé par le conflit.

Pour accéder au rapport d’Analyse comparative du DDR en Sierra Leone et en Côte d’Ivoire : dynamiques post-conflit et réconciliation, veuillez cliquer sur le lien.

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