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Case Studies

Overview Plan for Restoration of the Prison Civile de Port-au-Prince Haitian Prison Authority 1/27/2010* (Updated information 6/28/2012)

The purpose in January 2010 was to describe post-earthquake conditions at the Prison Civile de Port-au-Prince (PC), which was housing 4,367 prisoners at the time of a severe earthquake.  Prisoners rioted and breached the secure perimeter, escaping into the city at a time of crisis and disorder.  The facilities at the prison were so damaged that inmates could not be housed there until reconstruction occurred.  The central housing unit has been restored, and now houses 700 Haitian prisoners.  Humanitarian conditions are improved since the earthquake, but there are concerns for the sustainability of the changes.

Case Study


Leymah Gbowee (Liberia)- Engaging the Biggest Players, Security Sector Reform

At a meeting with the staff of the Institute for Inclusive Security in Cambridge, MA in April 2011, Leymah Gbowee discussed how she used her experiences as a leader of the peace movement in Liberia to enhance her current role as a leader of West African security sector reform movements. This work has lead to her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. To learn more about Leymah Gbowee and the Institute's work in Security Sector reform please visit www.inclusivesecurity.org.


This is My Land: Rwanda

Visit a village in Rwanda and hear from landowners telling their story. This video documents how their lives have changed since they received a title to their own plot of land a few years ago.


Linking change-makers in the Middle East with democratic reformers of post-communist Europe

Representatives of PASOS and the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) held a four-day training seminar in Egypt May 10-13 for Egyptian NGOs. The sessions were part of a program to link reformers in Central and Eastern Europe with Middle East organizations working on democratic reform. The training focused on security-sector reform and capacity-building for think tanks. The training was led by Sonja Stojanović, Filip Ejdus, and Marija Marović of BCSP. They drew on Serbia's transformation experience, encouraged the 15 participants to debate the issues facing post-revolutionary Egypt, and led interactive workshops. The seminar was part of the PASOS project "Linking change-makers in the Middle East & North Africa with democratic reformers of post-communist (Central and Eastern) Europe."


Achieving Sustainable Peace in a Fractured World

This conversation with global leaders focused on what kind of leadership is needed to build and achieve sustainable peace in today's fractured world. The discussion explores strategies, insights and anecdotes from the experience of international leaders and their decisive personal leadership.


Policy and Research Papers

Somalia 2012: Ending the Transition?

This is a critical time for Somalia. There are less than 90 days until the end of the transitional federal government’s mandate on 20 August 2012, and the stakes are high for the delivery of the key components of the political ‘roadmap’, not least a new constitution. At the same time, the five-year insurgency that has wracked the south and central regions has entered a new phase, with fighting now along numerous fronts as the African Union peacekeeping mission has expanded to include forces from Kenya, with more promised from Djibouti and Sierra Leone. Al-Shabaab, the Al-Qa’ida-linked conglomerate, appears to be on the back foot: it has been bruised by Somali Army and AMISOM offensives and is internally divided. But the complex, changeable dynamics of Somalia’s recent past suggest that it is too early to call time on this persistent opponent of the TFG.

In response to the changing dynamics within Somalia and the growing regional and international interest in the country’s future, RUSI and the Brenthurst Foundation convened a one-day roundtable discussion in London in November 2011 to discuss the key issues facing Somalia during this time of political transition. This report summarises the roundtable discussion. It also includes three important essays from leading Somalis and Somalia observers, each of which emphasise the centrality of Somalis in shaping their own political future, as well as the continued role of the regional and international community; together with a special focus on the situation of women in Somalia during this time of change.


Interagency Security Sector Assessment Framework: Guidance for the U.S. Government

The purpose of the ISSAF is to provide a common foundation for USG agencies to assess a country’s security and justice context and make strategic program recommendations.

Assessments should inform the strategic planning process and underlie program design.

The ISSAF is divided into two parts:

1. A 10-step framework for analysis

2. Areas of inquiry with illustrative questions.

This document outlines key SSR concepts and a process for planning and conducting an interagency assessment. Supplementary assessment tools that focus on specific sub-sector institutions and topics (e.g., police, criminal justice, defense, maritime security sector reform, armed violence reduction, or gender) can be helpful in looking at particular subjects in greater detail. This broader assessment framework enables the assessment team to examine the linkages among various components of the security sector and to identify entry points for integrated programs.

The ISSAF is based on international best practices4 and incorporates existing methodologies for analyzing the security sector in states receiving international assistance. It builds on previous efforts to provide common frameworks through which USG agencies can leverage comparative strengths to implement a whole-of-government approach.


Mapping Study on Gender and Security Sector Reform Actors and Activities in Liberia

DCAF conducted a mapping study on Gender and Security Sector Reform Actors and Activities in Liberia from November 2010 to March 2011. The mapping study was undertaken by an independent consultant, Mr Cecil Griffiths from the Liberian National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA). This research was made possible thanks to the cooperation of most gender and SSR actors in Liberia including the Ministry of Gender and Development (MoGD), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the Civil Society Organization Working Group on Security Sector Reform.

This project aimed to complement existing information on gender and SSR issues in Liberia and to reinforce information-sharing and coordination between actors.

On 31 March 2011, LINLEA and DCAF organised a workshop in Monrovia to complete and validate the findings of the study. In addition to validating the findings of the study, the participants made key recommendations related to gender and training, policy development, programmes and activities. The report was launched in Monrovia on 23 September 2011.


Women's Education, Conflict and Stability

Women’s Education, Conflict and Stability: What international evidence exists on whether states where women are better educated are more stable and less affected by conflict? 
Helpdesk response
Key findings: There are very few studies which provide empirical support to the view that cultures where women are politically, socially and economically repressed are more prone to violent conflict and instability. Furthermore, evidence for a direct relationship between the level of educational attainment amongst women and girls and the degree of fragility or stability is scarce and no studies that establish direct causality specifically between secondary education for women and fragility were identified during the period of this review.

Notwithstanding, arguments in favour of increasing access to education for women and girls’ in fragile states can be made on the basis of:

  1. empirical evidence that suggests that there is a correlation between gender equality and conflict;
  2. rights-based imperatives; and
  3. evidence suggesting that increasing access to education for girls is fundamental to achieving broader developmental objectives such as those outlined in the MDGs.

Furthermore, the literature asserts that education which leads to gender empowerment is as worthwhile in fragile contexts as pursuing other stabilisation objectives such as security sector reform, institutional reform and macro economic development.

Full response: http://www.gsdrc.org/docs/open/HD674.pdf

Date query received by the Helpdesk: 09 April 2010 
Enquirer's contact details:


Draft Guidelines on Developing National Defence Policy and Doctrine Papers

The countries of the Americas have identified the development and sharing of national Defense White Papers as a useful confidence- and security-building measure for the promotion of security in the Hemisphere. This paper is intended to provide a brief outline of essential characteristics of Defense White Papers and to explain the rationale and the process for their development.  A listing of elements commonly contained in White Papers is also provided. 

It is important to note that there is no agreed standard format for White Papers in the Americas. This is perhaps a logical reflection of the differing historical, geographical, cultural, political and fiscal contexts in which the countries of the Americas define their security threats and defense objectives, capabilities and constraints.  However, there are elements which are common to many White Papers.  This paper focuses on basic principles and raises issues that Governments could usefully consider in the formulation of their own White Papers, based on the experience of OAS Member States which have already undertaken that process.


Engendering peacekeeping. The cases of Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo. A gender and security analysis from a Latin American perspective.

The publication is the result of extensive fieldwork carried out in both countries and the peace missions present there (MINUSTAH and MONUSCO), within the framework of RESDAL's gender and peace operations program, which receives the support of the Norwegian Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

This publication focuses upon the question of how peace operations can promote the development of a gender perspective within societies that find themselves in a state of conflict and transition, a question that has become an operational necessity for peace missions. The book presents, through Latin American eyes, the complex realities involved on the ground.


The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities of SSR 2013

On 2-3 October 2012, DCAF-ISSAT organised a High Level Panel (HLP) on Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa , in partnership with the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), the Governments of Burundi, Kenya, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Somalia and South Sudan, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN). It was attended by over two hundred SSR policy makers and practitioners.

This report seeks to take those discussions further, including more of the points raised by participants during the HLP, and adding in lessons from experience gathered from individual missions and related trainings. Three case studies featured in the HLP (Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan) and as such provide many of the examples, although the report also draws from examples beyond East Africa. An introductory section on SSR in each of these countries is provided in section one and full case studies are included in the annex.

This report, which keeps to the same thematic areas as those covered in the HLP, offers information on contemporary thinking in security and justice reform, and provides some recommendations and examples of good practice to those interested in or engaged in SSR.

Some videos interviews of the participants at the event are listed in the Related Resources column on the right of this webpage. A full list of available videos from this event are available under the documents tab on the HLP's Events page. Podcasts of all the sessions are available there also.


Evaluation de la phase II du Programme du Développement du Secteur de la Sécurité au Burundi

Le royaume des Pays-Bas a mandaté l’ISSAT afin de conduire une évaluation de la 2ième phase du programme DSS lancé en 2009 en soutien des deux principales institutions de sécurité de la république du Burundi, la FDN et la PNB. Reposant sur un Mémorandum d’Entente (MdE) signé par les deux pays pour une durée de huit ans, le programme s’échelonne sur 4 périodes d’environ deux ans chacune ; il porte sur trois axes clairement formalisés, appelés ici « piliers », le « MSP et la PNB », le « MDNAC et la FDN » et les « questions transversales », redéfini en axe « gouvernance » dès le début de la phase II.

Voir le mandat Burundi ici.

View the Burundi Mandate here.


Lessons Identified Form

This is the form to use when contributing a Lessons Identified Report.  Please read the instructions on the first page carefully.  Thank you for sharing your insights!


Observations of the Inter-American Commission on Human rights Upon conclusion of Its April 2007 Visit to Haiti

The objectives of the visit included receiving information on the present situation of human rights in Haiti, particularly in light of the first year in office of the Preval government; to conduct follow-up observations and discussions with Haitian authorities on the situation of the administration of justice; to specifically assess the situation of women and children, namely collect information on the forms of discrimination and violence against this group and the state response; and to engage in additional promotional activities on the Inter-American system of human rights.


Security Sector Reform

This paper provides Department of State, Department of Defense (DoD), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) practitioners with guidelines for for coordinating, planning, and implementing SSR programs with foreign partner nations.planning and implementing Security Sector Reform (SSR) programs with foreign partner nations. Its objective is also to provide guidance on how best to design, develop, and deliver foreign assistance such that it promotes effective, legitimate, transparent, and accountable security sector development in partner states.


Security Sector Reform and Governance Processes in West Africa: From Concepts to Reality

In light of the rapidly changing and evolving security situation in West Africa, this paper analyses ECOWAS policy documents relating to SSR and highlights the challenges of translating norms to practice. It assesses ECOWAS’s concrete support to SSR processes in the region, both as a partner and as a leading actor and outlines challenges to overcome and opportunities to be seized by ECOWAS in its role in supporting SSR. Finally, it puts forward recommendations to key stakeholders on how a Regional Framework for Security Sector Reform and Governance could serve as a platform for SSR support and a tool for conflict prevention and sustainable development.

The paper can also be downloaded in English, French or Portuguese at https://www.dcaf.ch/security-sector-reform-and-governance-processes-west-africa-concepts-reality


Human Rights

Human rights are key to stabilisation - both as a means and as an end in themselves. Although we need to promote universal adherence to human rights, we need to recognise that there can be different cultural and political approaches to dealing with human rights violations, especially during a fragile peace process. Human rights need to be embedded in planning and assessment for stabilisation; the selection of specific tools will depend on needs, opportunities and constraints in any particular context.