Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI's interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world.

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Policy and Research Papers

Financing Security Sector Reform: A Review of Official Development Assistance Data

Major aid donors and international organizations have become increasingly more involved in efforts to reform the security and justice institutions in developing countries over the past 20 years. Emerging doctrines on security sector/system reform (SSR) have attempted to systematize these efforts. The goal of international support for SSR has been defined as helping countries
meet their security and justice challenges in a manner consistent with democratic governance. There have been difficulties, however, in putting these principles into action.

A lack of data is one of the main challenges for researchers and practitioners attempting to conduct comparisons and extract lessons to advance the debate over the suitability of the current SSR model. The existing data is not sufficient for making conclusions regarding the overall pattern of SSR expenditure — it needs to be supplemented with data that captures external assistance to projects and programs that are not accepted as developmental. The size of external support for SSR activities is an essential element in conducting policy evaluations, and the focus of the paper, which suggests that many agencies discuss the effectiveness of SSR programming without having a system for tracking SSR assistance.

The paper considers the data typically given to indicate that international support for SSR has increased, along with the context of the data collection, which often results in incomplete data. Data tracking of all SSR contributions is required in order to obtain a clearer picture of external support for SSR and evaluate policy effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability, thereby improving reform efforts across countries.

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Policing in Palestine: Analyzing the EU Police Reform Mission in the West Bank

International efforts for security sector reform (SSR) and state building more broadly, have faced major challenges in the Palestinian Territories. Donor countries struggled to overcome an unwillingness at home to use aid funding for police reform purposes, while managing Israeli obstructionism and security concerns, rivalries between Palestinian police generals and a lack of Palestinian preparedness for the technical and practical aspects of police reform. In this context, the European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EU COPPS) was established in 2005 as an EU Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) mission; the European Union Police Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS), the followup EU police mission, began in 2006. The role of EUPOL COPPS was to provide support to the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) for immediate operational priorities and longer-term transformational change. As efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught the international community, police reform is not as easy as the train-and-equip standard. Especially in postconflict environments, rebuilding the police should take into account the communities’ needs in order to build legitimacy for the institutions of government. This paper seeks to fill the gap of evaluation in the field of police reform efforts by answering the following questions: How should international actors think about police reform efforts in a subordinate, non-juridical and only partially empirical state, and what role do the monitoring and evaluation of police reform efforts play?

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The Politics of the "Unfinished Business": Bosnian Police Reform

Key Points:

  • Police reaction to recent protests in Bosnia has called attention to stalled police reform. This brief provides a historical overview detailing the evolution of police structures and the reform attempts and provides recommendations for long-term effective police reform.
  • After Bosnia’s 1992–1995 war, police reform became a crucial element of security sector reforms. The police were accused of human rights violations, a lack of proper training and over-militarization. There have been further allegations of criminality and corruption  within the force and a lack of cooperation between different police agencies, all resulting in an unsustainable policing environment.
  • Initial reforms to obtain state-wide standards through centralization were complicated by the politicization of the reforms and were perceived as an attempt to assimilate the divided state. The result is a fragmentation of police services and disagreement between the three main political blocs within the country.
  • Recommendations to improve the policing environment and build trust in the police services include curbing political interference in policing matters, increasing engagement with civil society and formalizing a system to enable reporting of public concerns and complaints.
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A Fine Balance: the EU and the Process of Normalizing Kosovo-Serbia Relations

The recent agreement between Kosovo and Serbia is a significant accomplishment for the European Union. Still, the agreement marks the beginning, rather than the end, of a long-term process of normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo. The maintenance of the EU’s “constructive ambiguity” approach to the question of Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo as an independent state is important for continued normalizing relations between the countries. The EU’s continuous and active involvement and interest in the region is of paramount importance for the full implementation of the agreement.

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Towards a Non-State Security Sector Reform Strategy

This paper outlines a comprehensive strategy for engaging non-state actors in security sector reform (SSR) by synthesizing the emerging literature on this approach and developing new conceptual tools to advance policy and practice. It explains when and why non-state security providers should be engaged in reform, outlines what such an approach would aim to achieve, provides tools with which to understand who such actors really are, then clarifies how international actors could pursue such a strategy. It then considers six outstanding challenges and uncertainties surrounding a non-state SSR strategy and, ultimately, argues that non-state engagement is a viable and attractive approach to SSR that merits further research and serious policy-making consideration.

For full access to the report Towards a Non-State Security Sector Reform Strategy, kindly follow the link.

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The Future of Security Sector Reform

This volume hopes to initiate a debate within the SSR community of policy and practice on the future of the concept, developing new ideas on the form and content of a second-generation model. If nothing else, it hopes to give shape to a new research agenda that can harness the many lessons learned from a decade of implementation to foster a more informed debate on the future of SSR.

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CIGI SSR Monitor. Haiti NO. 1

When the new constitution came into effect in 1987, the Haitian security and justice sector was weak and fractured. The army was intent on playing an internal policing role, the judicial system was corrupt and ineffective, and the local and national governance institutions were incapable of asserting democratic civilian control of the sector.

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CIGI SSr Monitor. Haiti No. 2

This edition a CIGI SSR Monitor dedicates particular attention to issues related to penal reform and the overarching issue of corruption in the security sector.

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CIGI SSR Monitor. Haiti No. 3

This issue of the CIGI Security Sector Reform Monitor: Haiti analyses the programming shift undertaken by MINUSTAH and some donors from a traditional DDR to
a violence reduction approach, underlining the problems of coordination and knowledge sharing that emerged.

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CIGI SSR Monitor. Haiti No. 4

This edition of the Security Sector Reform Monitor: Haiti, written before the January 12, 2010 earthquake, examines issues surrounding the renewal of the UN mission, the
recommendations on the security apparatus put forth by the two presidential commissions and existing security threats. While some priorities of the SSR process will
change dramatically in the wake of the earthquake—with a significant portion of the security infrastructure devastated and the police thrust into the role of relief facilitators—
many of the existing challenges will remain the same, only amplified.

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