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Knowledge and Outreach

DCAF focuses on continuous learning from its International Partners’ Group programming and policy engagement on issues related to security, justice and governance.  We identify lessons, track international aid trends, and continue to build the profile and relevance of SSG/R within foreign assistance strategic commitments.

Our products provide a platform for joint international partner learning and reflection. We build on the applied research and international policy work to develop quick and sharp products, focusing on our collective experience, as an international community, in supporting reforms in fragile or conflict-prone settings.

We focus on studying what works in each of these areas, challenges to avoid, and opportunities to invest in. We hope to provide a road map for international partners on next steps for their national priorities for Official Development Assistance and their country or regional strategies and commitments.

Photo: UN/Isaac Billy




DCAF continuously develops methodologies for SSG/R programming which integrates latest know-how and international programming experience.

Our methodology and guidance provide international partners and mandate teams with concrete step-by-step methodologies on how to conduct assessments, programme design, monitoring, and evaluation, donor mapping and lesson identification. 

We also provide support to multilateral organisations on thematic guidance, as related to security sector governance and reform, including on rightsizing the security sector, donor coordination for SSG/R, reintegration of ex-combatants and SSG/R, etc.

Our tools include the latest learning in terms of programming for people’s needs and in response to institutions’ requirements. You can visit our flagship products below.







In our dynamic world of today, it is crucial to learn from past experiences, study trends and share learning in order to maximise joint impact.

DCAF supports its International Partners’ Group Members’ collective efforts towards innovation, through studying emerging challenges or opportunities for reform and conducting analysis in order to clarify the way forward for SSG/R programming, help avoid past mistakes and record good practice and making it accessible.

As the environment of SSG/R fluctuates, we study available technologies, changes in the role of the security sector, as well as the changes in donors’ policy and programming commitments, in an attempt to clarify the shape of future donor support to SSG/R.  





We believe that security, safety and access to justice remain one of the fundamental sources of concern for many countries and millions of people trying to live and prosper around the world.

We remain committed to providing the necessary analysis behind the guiding principles of SSG/R as per the OECD DAC Handbook on Security Sector Reform, and include local ownership, sustainability, political engagement, gender equality and others.

We also focus on clarifying the various dynamics related to institutional reform and how it could induce profound systemic change. 




Emerging trends tend to highlight new opportunities for reform and potentially innovative solutions. DCAF’s Advisory Notes focus on studying the future of international support to SSG/R.

These products underline the relevance of SSG/R to emerging policy frameworks, giving donors the necessary background to facilitate their “seat at the table” for policy level discussions on SSG/R and related topics. We try to stay ahead of the curve and provide DCAF’s members with fresh and short analysis around climate security, disaster management, youth potential, artificial intelligence, and other issues of interest to the international community currently.

Our Advisory Notes look at significant challenges facing SSG/R programming and scope entry-points for rethinking programming from a wider perspective, identifying opportunities for scaling up reform, which would otherwise be overlooked.

They are also used by  our International Partners’ Group representatives in order to raise cross-government awareness on the relevance of the SSG/R agenda, as well as mobilise funding and justify resource allocation.






The objective of Donor Mappings and strategic analysis is to take a step back from programming and reflect a bird’s eye view of how international assistance is being distributed across the security, justice and governance systems, identify gaps and highlight overlaps.

DCAF’s mappings and strategic analysis reports take stock of donors’ contributions to the country’s reform milestones. International partners use such reports to reassess coordination mechanisms and identify added value as well as what needs to be addressed within a certain context. 

Recognising that reform in one component of the security and justice sector can be dependent on change in another, mappings also highlight where investments need to be made to leverage change across the sector, so that scaling up efforts are geared towards more meaningful reforms.







oak-tab-banner-data.jpg SSG/R still lacks a coherent set of indicators combining qualitative and quantitative measures for security, justice and governance. The current indices that SSG/R programming uses tend to reflect changes in conflict, fragility, rule of law, terrorism, peace, and civil society. None of the indices combine the appropriate indicators to measure progress or change in the security and justice reform process.

DCAF has aimed to fill that gap since 2021 by providing an on-demand, web-based service that offers indicators on security, governance and justice that are easy to integrate into SSG/R programming and provide instant data. 


oak-tab-banner-cop.jpg DCAF moderates and manages a unique platform that is available to OECD DAC governments staff and partners, at Headquarters and field offices.

The platform is dedicated to people and knowledge around security, justice and governance. It is a networking and learning-focused space that brings together international staff representing donor governments, as well as multilateral organisations to exchange information around their security and justice engagements worldwide.

Security sector practitioners in fragile or conflict-affected areas feel often very isolated in troubleshooting the challenges that arise. They lack access to common knowledge of what works as they try and bring innovation and generate solutions when reform processes hit a bottle-neck.  

A resource like DCAF’s community of practice provides a joint space to those in similar situations, enabling them to benefit from peer exchanges and learning, and giving them access to necessary operational tools which help surge knowledge and capacity in SSG/R.


We believe that knowledge and learning is transferred through people and not just reports. Listening to SSG/R practitioners tell their story around how they engaged in a certain context, what worked and how they struggled in addressing challenges allows people to connect with like-minded professionals.

The podcast series "Donors Talk SSR" hosts individuals across different backgrounds and disciplines, all connceted to SSG/R. It highlights areas that are important to the international community in their efforts to better understand reform and its importance to the daily lives of people. We interview thought leaders and fellow professionals who are able to expand our horizons of thinking through accessing learning that is not available in traditional reporting.

Our podcasts serve as a rich resource for practitioners, offering them a convenient, accessible and enriching platform for continuous learning, networking potential and inspirational content. 
Together we explore good practices and identify gaps in both new and old SSG/R themes, as well as delve into their experiences and insights on how the SSG/R landscape has changed throughout their careers.

Listen to our latest episodes below:



This fourth case report from the stocktaking study on cli...

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This second report from the stocktaking study on climate ...


Elsa Dazin, Head of Outreach and Knowledge(