Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

Security Governance Programme; Government Advisory Programme; Parliamentary Assistance Programme; Civil Society Programme; Defence Reform Programme; Police Reform Programme; Border Security Programme; Intelligence Accountability Programme; Gender and Security Programme

The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) was established by the Swiss government in October 2000. The Centre assists its Member States, partners and the international community at large in their efforts towards good governance and reform of the security sector by way of: - Supporting the development, promotion, harmonisation and implementation of relevant norms, standards, rules and procedures at the international, regional, national and sub-national level; - Systematically collecting, analysing, documenting, networking, debating and disseminating policy-relevant knowledge and expertise in the area of SSG/SSR; - Offering upon request, either independently or together with competent partners, integrated and tailor-made practical assistance programmes on the ground in most areas of SSG and SSR. DCAF consistently promotes the integration of a gender dimension into the SSG/SSR agenda. DCAF is an international foundation with 50 Member States (including the canton of Geneva). Their representatives compose the Foundation Council. The Centre's primary consultative body, the International Advisory Board, is composed of experts from the various fields in which the Centre is active. DCAF's main divisions are Research and Operations which work together to develop and implement DCAF's programmes.

  • Civil Society
  • Corrections
  • DDR
  • Defence Institutions
  • Financial Transparency and Accountability
  • Gender
  • Human Rights
  • Judicial and Legal Reform
  • Law Enforcement Institutions
  • Media
  • Political Parties
  • Security Sector Governance

Security Sector Governance

DCAF's intergovernmental characteristics as well as its neutrality and impartiality provide a unique vehicle to promote coherent, coordinated and locally owned security sector reform within a framework of democratic security sector governance. DCAF combines policy research and operational capacities so is ideally placed to assist bi- and multilateral actors through practical guidance and implementation of such support in a range of different contexts.
Between 1 million to 50 million CHF per annum
  • Capacity and development training
  • Direct project implementation
  • Policy advice
  • Research and policy development
Description of activities
In 2008, DCAF continued its contributions to a number of capacity development and training initiatives, including the following: • DCAF ISSAT worked together with UNDPKO to develop training and sensitisation courses for UN management and field personnel; • Supported parliamentary oversight capacity building programme in Cambodia; • Continued to support democratic oversight capacity building in Ukraine in cooperation with the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform; • Supported the establishment of a study group on good security sector governance in Thailand; • DCAF jointly organised first national conference on SSR in Morocco. Furthermore, a dedicated sub-division was established in 2008 to support capacity building and enhance the effectiveness of SSR programming within the international community. The International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) has created training modules addressing the main principles of SSR as well as programme design, management, coordination and financing, assessments, monitoring and evaluation.
DCAF's practical work assistance has included the following initiatives: • Elements of the Gender and SSR Toolkit have been translated into Dari, Albanian, and the entire Toolkit will be translated into French, Spanish, Arabic and Bahasa Indonesian in 2009; • Supported the development of security sector reform and governance strategies in Afghanistan; • Supported the implementation of the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe as well as training and institutional development for Southeast European police managers; • Facilitated the development of an SSR agenda in Nepal and designed a 2-year SSR programme proposal focussed on improving parliamentary oversight and supporting the drafting of security sector-related elements of the Constitution.
DCAF also provides support through advisory programmes for interested parties, most commonly to governments, parliaments, military authorities, and international organisations. Examples from 2008 include the following: • DCAF assisted security sector development in the Palestinian Territories by offering its advisory services to the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council; • DCAF also advised the Afghan Ministries of Defence, Internal Affairs and Parliament on defence reform and parliamentary oversight of the armed forces, law enforcement and intelligence services; • In the Philippines, DCAF provided strategic advice on the oversight of armed forces and intelligence services the role of civil society in SSR and gender-sensitive SSR in the format of the Study Group on Security Sector Reform.
DCAF conducts research to identify the central challenges in democratic governance of the security sector, and to collect those practices best suited to meet these challenge. The following projects are representative of DCAF's research and policy development projects: • Work in collaboration with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the United Nations Development Programme, seeks to explore ways and means of developing a system-wide United Nations Security Sector Reform (SSR) concept or policy framework; • Published an edited volume that is the first comprehensive study on security sector governance in the West African sub-region; • Support the development of an international Code of Conduct for PMSCs in support of the Swiss Initiative on the regulation of private military and security companies; • Launched a “Gender & Security Sector Reform Toolkit” designed to provide policymakers and practitioners with a practical introduction to why gender issues are important in SSR and what can be done to integrate them; • Developed a “Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel” jointly with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights; • Supported the ECOWAS commission in drafting a concept of security sector governance within the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework.

Defence Institutions

DCAF's intergovernmental characteristics as well as its neutrality and impartiality provide a unique vehicle to promote coherent, coordinated and locally owned security sector reform within a framework of democratic security sector governance. DCAF combines policy research and operational capacities so is ideally placed to assist bi- and multilateral actors through practical guidance and implementation of such support in a range of different contexts.
Between 1 million to 50 million CHF per annum
  • Capacity and development training
  • Policy advice
  • Research and policy development
Description of activities
DCAF provides training and capacity building support to a wide range of audiences from within and beyond state institutions.
DCAF has supported governments, local stakeholders and multilateral organisations in developing approaches to SSR and related issues of defence institution building: • DCAF has worked closely with the Ministries of Defence of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, whose personnel managers were all active members of DCAF's Working Group on Demobilisation and Reintegration which has become the Defense Conversion Initiative; • At the request of the Parliament of Montenegro, DCAF prepared written commentaries on the Proposal of the Law on the Military of Montenegro and the Draft Law on Defence of Montenegro; • DCAF has been involved in developing programming and products to promote and implement the Partnership Action Plan on Defence Institution Building (PAP-DIB) which aims to reinforce partner-country efforts to initiate and sustain the reform and restructuring of defence institutions, enabling countries to meet their democratic reform needs; • DCAF’s Legal-Political Assistance Group (LPAG) is a non-permanent body of renowned experts on legal and law-making matters who may on request constructively assist parliamentarians with the theoretical and practical aspects of legislative activity. • The Security Strategy Advisory Project (SSAP) assists the governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Serbia in dealing with the strategic challenges of their respective security sector reforms, including, but not limited to the review of their security and defence strategies and the provision of advice on the restructuring of security sector institutions.
DCAF researches and documents challenges and examples of best practice in defence institution building across a range of contexts: • Supports the Institute for Comparative Law of Serbia in producing an expert overview of defence legislation in Serbia; • Handbook on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Armed Forces Personnel presents an overview of legislation, policies and mechanisms within the OSCE region, outlining models or ‘best practices’ of how military structures can successfully integrate human rights and fundamental freedoms; • DCAF is cooperating with Transparency International UK DAC initiative, on the development of an Integrity Building Handbook for Defence Personnel; • DCAF, together with a number of donor countries, has convened a series of tailor-made workshops entitled "Lessons Learned from the Establishment of Border Security Systems", offering an inside look at how states develop their own systems of border security and what lessons they learned in the process.

Gender

DCAF's intergovernmental characteristics as well as its neutrality and impartiality provide a unique vehicle to promote coherent, coordinated and locally owned security sector reform within a framework of democratic security sector governance. DCAF combines policy research and operational capacities so is ideally placed to assist bi- and multilateral actors through practical guidance and implementation of such support in a range of different contexts.
Between 1 million to 50 million CHF per annum
  • Capacity and development training
  • Policy advice
  • Research and policy development
Description of activities
DCAF’s gender and SSR programme supports training and capacity-building initiatives, including the following: • In collaboration with the Women Peace and Security Network - Africa, DCAF conducted a series of training events geared toward female security sector personnel and parliamentarians in Liberia and Sierra Leone; • DCAF facilitated the gender session at the GFN-SSR’s Practitioners’ Course on Security Sector Reform; • DCAF developed a Gender and Security Sector Reform Training Resource Package to accompany the Gender and SSR Toolkit.
DCAF is involved in assisting partners in the comprehensive integration of gender issues in security sector reform policies and programmes at both regional and bilateral levels. For example: • Developed the Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit to provide policymakers and practitioners with a practical introduction to why gender issues are important in SSR and what can be done to integrate them; • Drafted a supplementary chapter on Gender and SSR for the “OECD DAC Handbook on SSR: Supporting Security and Justice”, including guidance and practical information on how to integrate gender perspectives into SSR;
DCAF conducts and supports wide-ranging research in the area of gender and security, some recent publication titles include: • “Seen, but Not Heard : Placing Children and Youth on the Security Governance Agenda” • “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Global Overview and Implications for the Security Sector” • "Women in an Insecure World: Violence Against Women - Facts, Figures and Analysis” • “Gender and SSR Toolkit”
  • Americas
    • North America
      • Canada
    • South America
      • Argentina
      • Chile
      • Bolivia
  • Asia
    • Central Asia
    • South Asia
      • Nepal
      • Afghanistan
    • South East Asia
      • Cambodia
      • Indonesia
      • Philippines
      • Thailand
    • Western Asia
      • Armenia
      • Georgia
      • Lebanon
      • Turkey
      • Azerbaijan
      • Palestine
  • Africa
    • Central Africa
      • Democratic Republic of the Congo
      • Central African Republic
    • Eastern Africa
      • Sudan
      • Burundi
    • Northern Africa
      • Egypt
      • Morocco
    • Southern Africa
      • South Africa
    • Western Africa
      • Ghana
      • Senegal
      • Nigeria
      • Liberia
      • Sierra Leone
      • Guinea
      • Guinea-Bissau
      • Mali
  • Oceania
  • Europe
    • Eastern Europe
      • Kosovo
      • Russian Federation
      • Ukraine
    • Southern Europe
      • Montenegro
      • Albania
      • Bosnia and Herzegovina
      • Croatia
      • Serbia

Burundi

Sectors of activity: 
Security Sector Governance
Defence Institutions
DDR
Gender
Types of activity: 
Research and policy development
Policy advice
Capacity and development training
Description: 

Research activities have included:

• Field research mission under the auspices of the UNDP/DPKO study of SSR in integrated missions; Findings of UNDP/DPKO study of SSR in integrated missions featured Burundi case study;
• Edited volume on women and children in peacebuilding will include a Chapter on "Frontline peacebuilding: Women’s reconstruction initiatives in Burundi”;
• DCAF’s research on the relationship between DDR and SSR has drawn extensively on experience in Burundi.

Since 2006 DCAF has conducted a number of training and capacity building workshops for Burundian officials covering parliamentary security oversight, ombudsman institutions, and SSR policy-making.

Central African Republic

Sectors of activity: 
Security Sector Governance
Law Enforcement Institutions
Defence Institutions
DDR
Types of activity: 
Research and policy development
Capacity and development training
Description: 

DCAF’s research on DDR and SSR has focussed on CAR as a case study. DCAF has also been involved in SSR capacity-building for parliamentarians, civil society organisations and government stakeholders.

Guinea Bissau

Sectors of activity: 
Security Sector Governance
Law Enforcement Institutions
Defence Institutions
Types of activity: 
Research and policy development
Capacity and development training
Project support services
Description: 

• Guinea Bissau has featured in a number of research projects focused on the West African region: Detailed case study included as part of research project on security sector governance challenges in West Africa; a forthcoming chapter will also consider Guinea Bissau as a “challenging context” for SSR;
• DCAF has supported the OECD DAC in assessment missions in Guinea Bissau;
• DCAF ISSAT has also conducted a training needs assessment.

Sierra Leone

Sectors of activity: 
Security Sector Governance
Law Enforcement Institutions
Defence Institutions
Civil Society
Gender
Types of activity: 
Research and policy development
Policy advice
Capacity and development training
Description: 

• Research projects have included or focused on Sierra Leone: Detailed case study included as part of research project on security sector governance in West Africa; Worked in collaboration with partner organisation to publish a book on SSR in Sierra Leone, “SSR in Sierra Leone 1997-2007: The View from the Front Line”;
• Involved in general policy research and advice including, parliamentary capacity building and peace consolidation;
• Training sessions and capacity building on gender and SSR in the framework of the project 'Security Sector Reform in West Africa: Strengthening the Integration of Gender and Enhancing the Capacities of Female Security Sector Personnel';

Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)
Rue de Chantepoulet 11
Geneva 11 CH-1211
International Foundation
From 3 to 10 years
Between 1 million to 50 million CHF per annum
100
Rue de Chantepoulet 11
Geneva 11 CH-1211
Headquarters

DCAF conducts research in the following areas: 1. Standards, norms and best practices in the field of democratic governance of the security sector; 2. Theory and practice of security sector reform; 3. Parliamentary and civilian oversight of the security sector; 4. Legal and legislative aspects of security governance; 5. Empowerment of civil society in post-conflict peacebuilding; 6. Regional challenges of post-conflict peacebuilding in the Euro-Atlantic, Africa, Asia and the Middle East; 7. Emerging issues in SSR such as privatisation or the political control of nuclear weapons; 8. Integrating gender into SSR. DCAF also provides operational advice, assistance and training in the following areas: 1. To governments, parliaments and international organisations on good governance and SSR; 2. Promoting accountability and effective civilian oversight of the security sector; 3. Funding and training of expert staffers in support of parliamentary defence and security committees; 4. Developing legal standards and mechanisms for oversight of the intelligence services: 5. Reform in transition countries (affecting police, corrections, justice, intelligence, armed forces etc.); 6. Professional and accountable border management structures; 7. Encouraging transparency in defence budgeting, procurement and planning.

91
H.E.
Theodor Winkler
Ambassador, Director
Alan Bryden
Deputy Head of Research
30

Network

African Security Sector Network (ASSN)

Type: 
Formal
Type: 
Academic
Main purpose: 
Policy
Geographical scope: 
Other
Other: 
meets annually at appointed locations
Description: 

NGO, Practitioner, Academic/ The African Security Sector Network (ASSN) brings together academics, policy makers, NGOs and practitioner to share knowledge, provide a pool of expertise, and develop locally-owned projects on SSR in Africa.

Relevant peacebuilding sectors:
Security sector governance
Law enforcement institutions
Defence Institutions
Human rights
Judicial and legal reform
Local governance
Gender

Association for Security Sector Reform Education and Training (ASSET)

Type: 
Formal
Type: 
Academic
Main purpose: 
Policy
Geographical scope: 
Other
Other: 
Meets by appointment
Description: 

ASSET is a professional association of education and training organisations and institutions that support the development of SSR capacity within governments, donors, security sector institutions, parliaments, civil society organisations and international/regional organisations.

Relevant peacebuilding sectors:
Security sector governance
Law enforcement institutions
Defence Institutions
Human rights
Judicial and legal reform
Local governance
Gender

DCAF International Advisory Board

Type: 
Formal
Type: 
Academic
Geographical scope: 
Other
Other: 
Global (meets in Geneva)
Description: 

DCAF's International Advisory Board is the Centre's primary consultative body. The Board is composed of over 70 eminent international experts in DCAF's fields of operation. Relevant peacebuilding sectors:
Security sector governance
Law enforcement institutions
Defence institutions

Partnership

Development Assistance Community of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Type: 
Formal
Location: 
Other
Other: 
International partnership (based in Paris )
Main purpose: 
Policy
Description: 

DCAF is a member of the OECD DAC's Critical Review Panel for the development and implementation of the OECD DAC Handbook on SSR. This body provides critical guidance on the development of good practices and their application by DAC members in the field of SSR. In 2008, DCAF drafted a new section on gender as an addition to the OECD DAC Handbook. DCAF ISSAT has also supported the OECD DAC in a number of capacity-building events and in-country consultations.
Relevant peacebuilding sectors:
Security sector governance
Law enforcement institutions
Defence Institutions
Human rights
Transitional justice
DDR
Gender

Partner organisations: 
Government
Practioner

United Nations

Type: 
Formal
Location: 
International Partnership
Main purpose: 
Policy
Description: 

Within the framework of Slovakia’s initiative to place SSR on the agenda of the Security Council during its Presidency of the Security Council, DCAF’s UN Security Council and Security Sector Reform project seeks to explore ways and means of developing a system-wide United Nations Security Sector Reform (SSR) concept or policy framework.
Under a separate initiative, DCAF acts as the implementing agency on behalf of DPKO and UNDP, with the support of Canada, on a project entitled ‘The UN Approach to Security Sector/System Reform (SSR) in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: Review of Recent Experience of UN Integrated Missions in SSR Activities’. DCAF also conducts a number of ongoing projects in cooperation with various UN agencies, including UNOHCHR, UNDEF and UNDPA among others.

Relevant peacebuilding sectors:
Security sector governance
Law enforcement institutions
Defence Institutions
Human rights
Transitional justice
Community conflict resolution
DDR
Civilian Small Arms Control
Good Offices and Peace Support
Gender

Partner organisations: 
United Nations
Practitioner

European Union

Location: 
International Partnership
Main purpose: 
Policy
Description: 

DCAF supported the Slovenian and French EU Presidencies on various aspects of SSR policy development in 2008; for example, DCAF took part in European Parliament hearings on the privatisation of security and provided support to the International Civilian Office of the EU Special Representative in Kosovo. DCAF’s research projects have also included titles on SSR and the EU.

Relevant peacebuilding sectors:
Security sector governance
Law enforcement institutions
Defence Institutions
Human rights
Gender

Partner organisations: 
Regional Organisation