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Advisory Field Support



DCAF offers to its ISSAT International Partner Group Members targeted, project-specific security and justice support at both headquarters and field level. This can take the form of assistance in assessments, assistance with developing strategies for engagement, drafting theories of change, programme design, assisting partners involved in facilitating processes, setting up monitoring frameworks, reviews and evaluations, long-term backstopping support with periodic field missions, and coaching and mentoring for field personnel.

Conceptualising, planning and conducting assessments

DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team works with its mandator to help conceptualise, plan and undertake data collection for security and justice activities, as well as ensuring a robust approach to the analysis and development of recommendations.

For example, we supported the European Union and the United Kingdom to undertake an assessment of police reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo and provide recommendations of practical options for future international engagement. The assessment focused in particular on identifying key gaps in police support, the potential for bilateral or multilateral engagement to address these gaps, and opportunities for building stronger linkages between police reform and wider efforts to improve access to justice.

Designing security and justice programmes

We support ISSAT International Partner Group Members to undertake participatory approaches to programme design, ensuring these are based on a firm understanding of the behavioural and institutional changes required to improve security and justice delivery.

For example, we supported Sweden in the development of a follow-on programme in Albania to strengthen Community Policing. This has been designed from the basis of a theory of change that was developed with the Ministry of Interior, State Police and civil society representatives. The design also includes a framework monitoring plan, with outcome indicators developed with national partners in order to incorporate and complement existing national reporting requirements.

Reviewing and evaluating programmes

DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team provides security and justice evaluation experts to undertake independent evaluations of programmes, as well as working with its International Partner Group  Members on mid-term reviews.

For example, wesupported the Netherlands to evaluate the different phases of their Security Sector Development (SSD) programme in Burundi. In addition to this, we also carried out a full evaluation of the security and justice reform process in the country since the Arusha Peace Agreement. The review went beyond the SSD programme to cover the full security and justice sector (defence, police, justice, and governance areas, as well as the national security architecture and intelligence fields).

Backstopping combined with technical support

We provide long-term periodic support to ISSAT International Partner Group Members’ programmes in the form of backstopping embassy and mission staff and advisors deployed in the field. In addition to the coaching and mentoring that is integral to our assistance, regular deployments to field locations can also be combined with short-term technical support to reinforce particular activities undertaken as part of an International Partner Group Member’s programme.

For example, we provided a backstopping mandate supporting Switzerland to implement its programme No Development Without Security in Honduras. Support included providing technical advice to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and their partners, working to incorporate a conflict-sensitive approach that takes on board the political nature of the engagement, and assisting SDC to monitor their partners’ programmes. Within the context of the support, DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team has also provided inputs to police training curricula.

Coaching and mentoring staff

Helping to develop the capacity of the international community to better support security and justice reform is at the core of our work. This can include helping technical experts to translate their security and justice knowledge into a more developmental approach to support, or regular reinforcement and capacity development for embassies/missions with programmes on the ground.