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Policy and Research Papers

Selected International Best Practices in Police Performance Measurement

This report examines some recent recommendations about how police performance should be measured, discusses considerations in designing performance measures, and presents some best practices from around the world. It concludes with a synthesis of the elements that the international best practices have in common.


The Impact of Reform on the Criminal Justice System in Mexico

This working paper paper studies the impact of judicial reform in Mexico. It does so using a survey about crime victimisation and perceptions of insecurity (Encuesta Nacional Sobre la Inseguridad, ENSI) from 2005, 2008, and 2009 in eleven Mexican cities, three of which implemented the reform in 2007 and 2008. It shows judicial reform reduces victimisation but also lowers perceptions of security. These results are robust when considering other subsamples that include only northern cities. In the northern cities, judicial reform is associated with lower trust and lower grades given to the local and preventive federal police. Judicial reform is associated with better grades for the agents of the Public Prosecution Office, although not in Juarez. Judicial reform is also associated with a decrease in bribery of the transit police in northern cities.

Using crime level data, we find a significant increase in crime reporting following judicial reform in Chihuahua but a decrease in Juarez. When considering the full sample, we also find that judicial reform is associated with an increase in the probability that the Public Prosecution Office will investigate reported crimes. Nonetheless, this result holds when only Juarez is considered as the treatment city for the different subsamples evaluated.

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Identifying and Mitigating Risks in Security Sector Assistance for Africa's Fragile States

This report explores the nature of the risks inherent in U.S. security sector assistance to the fragile states of Africa and how the United States might better anticipate and mitigate these risks. It examines these issues through a review of qualitative and quantitative literature from both the academic and policy fields and through interviews conducted throughout the agencies of the U.S. government. The quantitative literature suggests a stark dilemma for those responsible for U.S. security sector assistance to the AFRICOM area of responsibility: The countries that are most in need of assistance are usually the ones least able to make positive use of it. Case studies of security sector assistance in the fragile countries in Africa are used to trace multiple specific pathways by which such assistance can have negative second- and third-order effects. Finally, the report provides numerous recommendations about ways in which the United States can improve the processes by which it monitors and evaluates, plans, and implements security sector assistance in the fragile states of Africa and more generally.

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Defense Institution Building in Africa - An Assessment

This report assesses U.S. efforts in defense institution building (DIB) in Africa and suggests possible improvements to planning and execution. It first defines DIB and reviews some best practices from DIB and security sector reform experiences. It also highlights how DIB activities serve U.S. official strategic guidance for Africa. The report then examines how DIB is currently planned and executed in Africa and describes the range of programs that are available to U.S. planners for that purpose. It also provides a structured approach to aid in the prioritization of such programs. The report then analyzes DIB efforts in two African nations — Liberia and Libya. Finally, it examines how other institutions and countries undertake DIB by taking a closer look at the DIB activities of DoD's regional centers, as well as the relatively extensive experience of two key U.S. allies — the United Kingdom and France — in this domain.

Details and full report on Defense Institution Building in Africa: An Assessment


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


Developing an Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation Framework for U.S. Department of Defense Security Cooperation


The authors set out to answer to the following key research questions:

  1. What kinds of planning and assessment, monitoring, and evaluation (AME) processes and practices are being conducted inside and outside the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that are relevant to security cooperation? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  2. How can AME methods be applied, integrated, and implemented by major security cooperation organizations so that they conform as closely as possible to analytic best practices and existing DoD policies, plans, and processes?

At the end of the research paper, they lay out their key findings and a set of useful recommendations.

To read the full report please click on: Developing an Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation Framework for U.S. Department of Defense Security Cooperation


Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency in Somalia

This report analyzes the U.S. and allied campaign against the al Qa’ida– linked terrorist group al Shabaab in Somalia, examines what steps have been most successful against the group, and identifies potential recommendations. The analysis is based on an extensive review of qualitative and quantitative data available on al Shabaab, two trips to East Africa, two trips to U.S. Africa Command, and extensive conversations with regional experts. This study should be of interest to policymakers, academics, and general readers interested in terrorism and insurgency.For full access to Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency in Somalia, kindly follow the link.