Dr. Albrecht Schnabel, Head of Asia-Pacific Unit
Mr. Kevin Socquet-Clerc, Project Officer Southeast Asia
DCAF takes a unique sub-regional approach to promoting good security sector governance (SSG) and security sector reform (SSR) in the Asia-Pacific region. DCAF has a vision of fostering inter- and intra-regional dialogues, experience-sharing, and cooperation within and between the sub-regions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, in order to improve ongoing and launch new national SSR processes. It has created a network of partner institutions and SSG associates (experts working on security sector-related issues) in all three sub-regions.
These partners are brought together at annual sub-regional and Asia-Pacific regional forums to allow participants to share and learn from each other’s experiences in promoting good SSG through SSR activities. DCAF’s partners in turn assemble a group of security sector representatives and experts in national SSG working group meetings (NWGs). These take place multiple times per year and are meant to foster a dialogue between stakeholders and review the status of good SSG in their respective countries. In these meetings, needs for improvement are defined, and translated into specific SSR activities. These flow back to DCAF, which seeks funding so that such SSR activities and projects can be implemented.
The first Southeast Asia Security Sector Governance Forum was held from 7 to 9 October 2019 in Manila, the Philippines. After two virtual renditions in 2020 and 2021, the 2022 and 2023 forums took place in person again.
The network organizes webinars that are open to the public and has released several Thematic Briefs as well.
DCAF continues to support actors relevant to the Peace Process in Myanmar, where it works closely together with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Swiss Embassy in Yangon, and other actors such as International IDEA, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. DCAF assists in the peace process using its broad expertise in, amongst others, SSG, SSR, and DDR. Courses continue to be organized with the aim to increase knowledge on these concepts and foster discussion on pathways to good security sector governance among participants. Training activities take place online, and in the past took place in Myanmar and Switzerland as well.
Our SSR Backgrounders are all available with Burmese translations.
Since 2008, DCAF and FES have supported the National Defence College of the Philippines (NDCP) on SSR-related capacity building for the defence and broader security sector community in the Philippines. This includes annual workshops for senior military officers, officials from other security institutions, government agencies, parliament, local authorities, and civil society organizations.
The workshops, held at NDCP headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, focus on introducing SSG/R concepts and adapting them to the specific context of the Philippines, including topics like peace processes, post-conflict peacebuilding, DDR/normalisation, federalism. Some workshops were co-hosted by the National Security Council (NSC) and the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process (OPAPP).