Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
Publication Date: August 2010
Related Categories: Security and Justice
This study provides a quantitative and qualitative snapshot of security and justice civil society organisations (CSOs) and networks working in and across a number of key regions. The regions covered are: Central, East, Southern, West and the Horn of Africa; South and South East Asia; and the Middle East. For each region, it provides: an overview of security and justice issues; a ‘general health’ assessment of security and justice CSOs; an exploration of the linkages and coordination between security and justice CSOs; a list of key CSOs/networks; and a series of programming recommendations. The report is relevant for those supporting local capacity to engage in the reform of the security and justice sectors.
The report concludes by drawing together commonalities in the region-specific recommendations. There are three key lessons provided by the report.
Firstly, civil society engagement on issues of security and justice is inherently difficult in many countries due to the nature of their governing regimes, such as where the state has authoritarian tendencies or where military regimes preside. In some cases the political space for CSOs to engage is being increasingly suppressed. Consequently, the success of donor support for security and justice CSOs often depends on the political will of respective governments to enable CSOs to work freely.
Secondly, in many countries, an understanding of security and justice as conceptualised and defined by donors is lacking amongst civil society – and an understanding of these issues as conceptualised by civil society is often lacking among donors and governments. This holds true even in those countries where civil society as a whole is otherwise vibrant. Thus, there is a need to increase the basic level of understanding on security and justice matters (both within CSOs and governments), to broaden the strategic community (those working in think tanks or engaged in policy analysis), and to support the development of research capacity and expertise in security and justice.
Finally, joined up approaches to security and justice work are rare in almost all contexts and common/collaborative/networking fora do not exist. Therefore, donor approaches should encourage collaboration at the outset between security and justice CSOs and devise schemes that reward or encourage joined up working. More detailed assessments of needs, approaches and programming options at national and sub-regional levels are required. Such assessments could be led by security and justice CSOs and could provide a constructive and practical basis for collaboration amongst CSOs.
Included in the appendices is a link to an online database of security and justice CSOs and networks along with guidance on how to access it.