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Police Reform: Lessons from donor programming on accountability, demilitarization and representativeness of police institutions

In a Security Sector Reform (SSR) context, police reform aims to transform the values, culture, policies and practices of police organizations so that police can perform their duties with respect human rights and the Rule of Law. Given the police’s direct interaction with the community and the powers typically conferred to them, it is vital to ensure that police officers adhere to high standards of professionalism and accountability in their work. A lack of effective democratic governance and accountability mechanisms over the police forces can have triggering effects on social unrest.
The wide protests across the US and Europe against excessive police use of force focused popular attention on running debates over policing and reform. The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened this focus further. As State of Emergency measures have been a critical part of the global response to the pandemic, the discretionary powers granted to law enforcement institutions to prevent public gatherings have enabled to abusive behaviours in certain cases.

The wide protests across the US and Europe against excessive police use of force focused popular attention on running debates over policing and reform. The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened this focus further. As State of Emergency measures have been a critical part of the global response to the pandemic, the discretionary powers granted to law enforcement institutions to prevent public gatherings have enabled to abusive behaviours in certain cases.

For more resources on Police Reform, visit out dedicated Thematic in Practice Page on Police Reform

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Post Covid-19 Access to Justice and SSG/R

This paper is separated into four sections.  First, it puts the criminal justice crisis on the radar by explaining the nature of the crisis that is looming. Second, it makes the argument that Covid-19 does not raise entirely new challenges, but rather highlights the importance of pre-existing ones. It follows that the solutions can also be found in existing practice and principles. This suggests that a complete overhaul of the system is not required, but rather a recalibration, and in fact revalidates the need for good access to justice programming against these challenges. The third section is the most detailed, discussing trends and issues affecting the criminal justice system due to Covid-19 and where relevant suggesting possible solutions. Last, it makes recommendations for donors as regards both immediate and medium-term interventions in support of the criminal justice system in developing countries as they grapple with the fall out of Covid-19 in their ability to provide access to justice.  

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Discussion Paper: Operationalizing Synergies between Disaster Risk Reduction and Security Sector Governance and Reform

This discussion paper produced by ISSAT summarizes areas highlighted during the Webinar “Operationalizing synergies between Disaster Risk Reduction and Security Sector Governance and Reform” hosted by ISSAT in May 2020.

DCAF-ISSAT began to explore the linkages between DRR and SSR in a blog post, which then was subsequently developed into a Thematic in Practice paper. To get first reactions from practitioners, this was discussed in a web-talk on “Operationalizing synergies between Disaster Risk Reduction and Security Sector Governance and Reform” in May 2020, bringing together SSR and DRR practitioners to identify areas and proposals presenting the biggest potential leveraging security actors’ potential for making societies resilient to disaster.

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Disaster Risk Reduction, Preparedness and Relief and the Security Sector

This note scopes the conceptual linkages between DRR and SSR, highlighting the importance of governance reform and accountability measures for deploying effective, efficient and accountable DRR measures.

The security sector plays a key role in planning for, managing and implementing resilience and disaster response measures. Due to their preparedness, capabilities and access to resources, internal and external defence forces, as well as, governance and judiciary institutions become primary service-providers during national disasters.

Furthermore, the processes of reform and economic and social development are often hijacked by national, regional or internal emergencies risking the sustainability of State-building, peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts.

Communities have always been affected by natural hazards, but the scale of those hazards have increased due to environmental changes, including climate change. Fragile contexts, in particular, could be easily threatened with natural or man-made risks. These contexts usually lack institutional resilience and capacity to respond relevantly and effectively. The growing need for building resilient societies has moved disaster risk reduction from being a narrow, technical field, to becoming a broader, global effort anchored in the 2030 Agenda, which promotes a people-centred approach to conflict prevention.

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Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

The Framework was adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, on March 18, 2015.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 outlines seven clear targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks: (i) Understanding disaster risk; (ii) Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk; (iii) Investing in disaster reduction for resilience and; (iv) Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to "Build Back Better" in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

To access the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, kindly follow the link. 

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