DCAF › About Us
The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces – DCAF – is an international foundation whose mission is to assist the international community in pursuing good governance and reform of the security sector. The Centre provides in‐country advisory support and practical assistance programmes, develops and promotes norms and standards, conducts tailored policy research, and identifies good practices and recommendations to promote democratic security sector governance.
DCAF was established in 2000 on the initiative of the Swiss government.
DCAF is guided by the principles of:
- gender sensitivity
- local ownership
DCAF's work is underpinned by the acknowledgement that security, development and the rule of law are essential preconditions for sustainable peace.
DCAF is based in Geneva with permanent offices in Beirut, Brussels, Ljubljana, Ramallah and Tunis. The Centre has over 150 staff from more than 30 countries. The new staff organisational chart as of January 1, 2017 can be found here. A full staff listing can be found here.
The DCAF Foundation currently comprises 63 Member States from across the globe. The Foundation Council – an assembly of all DCAF Member States – is DCAF’s supreme decision-making body. The Council is presided over by the Hon. Véronique Bujon-Barré who was named president of the DCAF Foundation Council in 2015. In addition the Hon. Adolf Ogi, former Federal Counsellor and President of the Swiss Confederation, is Honorary President of the DCAF Foundation Council.
The table below lists DCAF Member States alphabetically. The figure in brackets indicates the year each Member joined the DCAF Foundation:
|Albania (2000)||Georgia (2001)||Netherlands (2001)|
|Argentina (2009)||Germany (2000)||Nigeria (2000)|
|Armenia (2002)||Ghana (2011)||Norway (2002)|
|Austria (2000)||Greece (2002)||Philippines (2011)|
|Azerbaijan (2002)||Hungary (2000)||Poland (2000)|
|Belarus (2002)||Indonesia (2007)||Portugal (2003)|
|Belgium (2004)||Ireland (2000)||Romania (2000)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001)||Italy (2001)||Russian Federation (2000)|
|Bulgaria (2000)||Kyrgyzstan (2011)||Senegal (2011)|
|Burkina Faso (2009)||Latvia (2000)||Serbia (2001)|
|Burundi (2010)||Lebanon (2007)||Slovak Republic (2000)|
|Canada (2003)||Liechtenstein (2006)||Slovenia (2001)|
|Croatia (2001)||Lithuania (2000)||South Africa (2001)|
|Cote d’Ivoire (2001)||Luxembourg (2003)||Spain (2001)|
|Cyprus (2008)||Macedonia (Republic of) (2000)||Sweden (2001)|
|Czech Republic (2000)||Madagascar (2015)||Switzerland (2000)|
|Denmark (2002)||Mali (2011)||Tunisia (2011)|
|Estonia (2000)||Malta (2008)||Turkey (2003)|
|Finland (2000)||Moldova (2002)||Ukraine (2000)|
|France (2000)||Mongolia (2014)||United Kingdom (2000)|
|Geneva (Canton) (2002)||Montenegro (2006)||United States (2000)|
Cambodia (2009), Chile (2011), Kazakhstan (2012) and Thailand (2009) have permanent observer status on the Foundation Council, as do the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (2008) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (2009).
DCAF combines conceptual, analytical and operational capabilities in order to support a holistic SSR agenda. The Centre develops and promotes appropriate norms and standards at national and international levels, conducts policy-relevant research, offers tailored policy guidance and provides advisory field support and in-country assistance programmes.
DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) reinforces the capacity of the international community to support SSR processes, primarily in conflict-affected and fragile states.
DCAF's main fields of expertise are:
- parliamentary oversight of the security sector
- police and border police management
- defence reform
- intelligence governance
- private security governance
- gender and security
- public-private partnerships and security governance
- ombuds institutions for the armed forces
DCAF’s core services in the field of security sector reform (SSR) and security sector governance (SSG) are:
- strategic advice to governments and international organizations on the development of SSR / SSG policies
- programme design
- monitoring and evaluation
- tools and guidance development
- capacity-building and training
- knowledge services
DCAF conducts operations globally, with a particular emphasis on Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe. Our outreach and policy research programmes also cover Southeast Asia, Caucasus and Central Asia, and Latin America.
DCAF partners include a wide range of governments, parliaments, international organisations, non-governmental and private actors.
DCAF applies a broad understanding of the security sector that incorporates core security actors, management and oversight bodies as well as private or informal security actors. The Centre places particular emphasis on supporting security sector governance institutions and actors. These include:
- executive authorities
- parliaments and interparliamentary bodies
- judicial authorities
- security sector actors (police, intelligence services, border guards etc.)
- ombudsman institutions
- expert networks
- civil society organisations
DCAF works directly with:
- national SSR stakeholders in different national and regional settings.
- bilateral donors to support SSR and to promote coherence, coordination and complementarity in line with the whole-of-government / whole-of-institution and 3Cs agenda.
- multilateral institutions, in particular the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, as well as other regional and sub-regional organisations – in enhancing their role in the SSR field.
- regional and global SSR-related expert networks
- partners to facilitate or otherwise support innovative multi-stakeholder processes in the field of security governance.
DCAF’s budget in 2015 is expected to reach 35 million Swiss francs.
The Swiss government contributes approximately half of DCAF’s budget. The share of core and project funding provided by other governments has been constantly growing. In 2011-2012, DCAF received financial or other contributions - such as staff secondment - from some 30 states and 8 international organisations. For a detailed breakdown please visit the page on DCAF Budget and Donors.
The OECD recognises contributions to DCAF as Official Development Assistance, under DAC guidelines.
In January 2015, DCAF moved into its new headquarters at the Maison de la Paix.
DCAF encourages applications from well-qualified candidates from around the world.
The DCAF Flyer gives a short introduction to DCAF's mission, the organisation and thematic and regional programmes.