Policy and Research Papers

United Nations: Strengthening security sector reform - Report of the Secretary-General

Building on the priorities of the "Action for Peacekeeping initiative" and "Our Common Agenda", this present report highlights lessons learned and recommendations in select areas of United Nations and international support for security sector reform.

To access the Secretary-General's report on Strengthening Security Sector Reform, kindly follow the link



The independent review of United Nations support to security sector reform in peace operations, 2014–2020 was commissioned as a concrete step towards implementing Security Council resolution 2553, which “Reiterates the importance of sharing experiences, best practices and lessons learned, knowledge and expertise on security sector reform among Members States, and regional and subregional organizations, expert institutions including academia and research organizations”.

The report offers an independent review of the extent to which the impressive development of Security Sector Reform (SSR) policy at the United Nations over the past 15 years has shaped SSR interventions supported by peacekeeping operations. 

The independent review team, of which DCAF's International Security Sector Advisory Team was part of, offers five strategic recommendations to improve the SSR practices of United Nations field missions. These are based on an extensive desk review of internal and publicly available documents describing United Nations support to SSR in United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ) and mission contexts; as well as over 131 interviews with senior leaders and key stakeholders across most peace operations currently implementing an SSR mandate, several United Nations entities at UNHQ level, critical multilateral and bilateral partners, as well as host country representatives. The recommendations are summarized in the figure below.

To access the independent review, kindly follow the link


The Contribution and Role of SSR in the Prevention of Violent Conflict - Azerbaijani translation

The prevention of violent conflict has traditionally been one of the core aims of SSR. While there are encouraging examples of the important contribution of SSR to preventing violent conflict, the experience of the broader international SSR community confirms that more must be done.

DCAF's UN-World Bank Prevention Report Input was developed as a contribution to the UN - World Bank Group study on the Prevention of Violent Conflict, drawing on examples from across DCAF as well as lessons from interventions further afield. 

Here is a translation in Azerbaijani of the preliminary report which was first presented at the UN General Assembly in September 2017, and was followed by a series of dissemination events worldwide. The full study was published in March 2018. For full access to Pathways for Peace : Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict, kindly follow the link.


At the Interface of Security And Development - Addressing Fragility Through Good Governance Of The Security Sector

The future of multilateralism and global governance rest on the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the twin Sustaining Peace resolutions. However, there are great challenges to their implementation and progress is slow. Hard-earned development gains are lost in contexts increasingly characterized by fragility, conflict, and violence. This policy brief calls for the Group of Twenty to curb the ensuing stalled development opportunities through governance-driven security sector engagement, in turn, strengthening coping capacities and reducing risk factors.

This policy brief has been produced by DCAF in light of the Think 20 (T20) which primary challenge is to add value to the G20 process. DCAF's recommendation to establish a SSG Forum has been included in the final package of recommendations for the G20 leaders' summit on 20-21 Nov, 2020.


Heart of Africa’s organised crime: Land, property and urbanisation

This policy brief examines Africa's most overlooked organised criminal activity.

Most analyses of organised crime in Africa focus on illegal trafficking of commodities such as drugs, arms and wildlife. However, there have been few studies of what may be the largest type of organised criminal activity in Africa: land allocation, real estate and property development, which includes infrastructure and the delivery of basic public services such as water and electricity, particularly in urban areas. All 10 of the world’s fastest-growing cities are in Africa and Africa’s urban population is projected to double by 2030–2035. By then, 50% of all Africans are likely to live in urban areas, mainly in informal settlements. This policy brief recommends steps that can make urban development less vulnerable to crime.

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