Security sector

National Security Office responsibilities and functions

It should first be noted that only ‘grey literature’ was identified for this helpdesk. Some information is included from government websites. Much of the material is commentary, included to give an idea of what is being said on this area. It must be taken into account that this information is conjecture. This rapid review found information on Canada, India, Iran, Israel, Kenya, ...» more

Safety, security and justice

The newly modernised Correctional Services of Solomon Islands

Safety, security and justice are priorities for poor people and are associated with development outcomes. What do we know about what has – or hasn't – worked in safety, security and justice programming, and where? This updated Topic Guide for policymakers and practitioners synthesises the evidence, challenges and approaches that emerge from the literature. ...» more

Lessons learned from security-related programming in stabilisation and conflict-affected contexts

The challenging environment that ongoing conflict presents means that evidence based analysis of security sector initiatives is hard to find (Ball and Walker, 2015, p. 3) and the evidence base uncovered by this rapid literature review is small. Interviews with experts suggest that there may be more documented cases and lessons which are not publicly available. Security ...» more

Whose security? Building inclusive and secure societies in an unequal and insecure world

Robin Luckham

This paper analyses the connection between security and development with the aim of clarifying the intricate issues involved in this interface. It argues that the nexus between security and development is historical, but also dependent on the rapidly changing world, evolving out of colonialism to facing the challenge of powerful market forces and technology for global profits. ...» more

Evidence synthesis: Security sector reform and organisational capacity building

Lisa Denney & Craig Valters

This synthesis examines the extent to which capacity building interventions in security sector reform have led to improved outcomes in accountability, responsiveness and capacity to deliver among security institutions and agencies in low- and middle-income countries. It further explores the factors enabling or hindering these improvements and the relationship between ...» more

Capacity building in the Ministry of Interior in fragile and post-conflict countries

This report reviews the literature engaging with a key issue, the reform of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in fragile and post-conflict countries. While MoI reform is crucial to the success of Security Sector Reform (SSR), as it enables management and oversight of the internal security forces, it has often been neglected by international actors and by the SSR literature. The ...» more

Multi-agency stabilisation operations

While there is as yet limited empirical evidence of what works best in multi-agency – or ‘whole-of-government’ – approaches to stabilisation, the literature does identify some lessons learned and principles of good practice. These include: Overcoming common challenges: establishing transparent processes to identify and manage tensions and trade-offs between neutral humanitarian ...» more

Policy approaches and lessons from working with non-state actors in security and justice

DFID has a rule of law policy approach. Programming decisions are made by a context-based, problem solving approach and therefore the policy does not identify overarching actors or themes for engagement. Is one of few donors to have published a briefing (DFID, 2004) entirely focussed on engaging with non-state security and justice actors. Engaging with non-state actors is also ...» more

Donor policy approaches to security and justice

This rapid policy mapping gives an overview of security and justice policies from the following donors and development agencies: DFID; European Commission; USAID; AFD; SIDA; World Bank; BMZ; and JICA. In terms of the differences and similarities to DFID’s approach, it finds that DFID is one of the only donors that conceptualises security and justice as a joint policy area, ...» more

Lessons from Female Engagement Teams

Evaluations of Female Engagement Teams (FETs) used by the military to engage with women in Afghanistan that are available indicate that: Female soldiers have had a deescalating effect as Afghan males generally accepted females being searched as long as it was done by other females. FETs have had positive engagement with both women and men and were viewed as a kind of ‘third ...» more

The UK Government’s Approach to Stabilisation (2014)

FCO, MOD, DFID and Stabilisation Unit

This document outlines the UK Government’s Approach to Stabilisation. It explains why and when Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) engages in Stabilisation and sets out how the stabilisation approach links to other tools and approaches which HMG uses in situations of violent conflict.This document supports the strategic and policy framework comprising HMG’s National Security ...» more

Community Security: A Vehicle for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding


It is now broadly recognised that in the long term there cannot be security without development, nor development without security. This briefing explains the concept and practice of ‘community security’, an innovative and effective approach that builds security from the bottom up by empowering communities, authorities and security providers to work together to find local ...» more

The Risks of African Military Capacity Building: Lessons from Rwanda

Danielle Beswick

Civil war and insecurity are widely seen as obstacles to development and threats to international stability, and donors are therefore keen to develop African capacities to manage conflict on the continent. Building the capacity of African militaries is hazardous, however, given their frequent roles in coups, support for authoritarian regimes, and violence against civilians.This ...» more

Links between women’s empowerment (or lack of) and outbreaks of violent conflict

A number of studies quantitatively find a strong correlation between levels of gender inequality and conflict. They find that gender inequality increases the likelihood that a state will have internal conflict and international disputes. There is substantial evidence that traditional patriarchal gender identities lead to militaristic and violent conflict approaches. Women ...» more

Women’s participation in peace and security: Normative ends, political means

Pilar Domingo, Tam O’Neil, Marta Foresti

This briefing draws on recent ODI research and evaluation to review opportunities to promote women’s political participation and leadership in transitional and post-conflict settings, assess current international efforts to do so, and provide recommendations for policy and programming in this area. Key findings: Post-conflict and transitional settings provide real opportunities ...» more

“We need a culture of truth”: the role of civil society organisations in transitional justice

Ouko Eunice, Cory Kuklick

The Refugee Law Project recently held a workshop with a number of civil society organisations (CSOs) and key stakeholders to discuss transitional justice and national reconciliation in Uganda. This report sheds light on the discussions held in that event. Many of the CSOs committed to working together in the future and acknowledged the power of numbers in regards to regional ...» more

Radicalisation and al-Shabaab recruitment in Somalia

Anneli Botha, Mahdi Abdile

This study is based on interviews with former al-Shabaab fighters. It identified a complex array of reasons for why they joined the organisation. Interviewers developed a profile of typical al-Shabaab recruits and identified factors facilitating their recruitment, including religious identity, socioeconomic circumstances (education, unemployment), political circumstances and ...» more

Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Guns

Small Arms Survey

The Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Guns considers the multiple roles of women in the context of armed violence, security, and the small arms agenda. It covers the topics of violence against women and girls, the recent convergence of the small arms agenda with that of women, peace, and security and the potential impact of the Arms Trade Treaty, among others. It also includes ...» more

Community Security handbook

Will Bennett

Saferworld has developed an approach that explains the principles underpinning Community Security interventions, and suggests practical implementation strategies that draw on our work and the work of a select number of agencies. The handbook is aimed at both policy makers and practitioners – particularly programme managers – and intends to help them work through the steps ...» more

Strategic communications and foreign fighters

Key Findings: There is limited coverage of strategic communications programmes specifically aiming to prevent the recruitment of citizens who travel to conflict zones to become foreign fighters. There is relatively more coverage of strategic communications with respect to broader counter-radicalisation or countering violent extremism (CVE) approaches, but there are few case ...» more