Month: March 2013

New RAND Study on Capacity Building Across Contexts: A Brief Review

The RAND Corporation recently published a monograph on United States security assistance efforts since the end of the Cold War. The monograph questions how the U.S. Department of Defense can increase its effectiveness in building partner capacity, and what approaches are effective under what circumstances. The RAND study compares data on 29 cases of U.S. capacity building efforts with partner nations from 1990 to 2009.

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Policing in South Africa: A State of Crisis

Policing in South Africa is once again in the spotlight after a series of incidents which are seen to highlight police brutality and corruption. In recent months the news in South Africa has been dominated by the activities of the South African police service (SAPS), and some have gone as far as to say that policing in South Africa has reached a crisis point.

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Bottom Up DDR: Sierra Leone’s Okada Riders

The most successful DDR and youth employment initiative in Sierra Leone did not come from United Nations or Government programming; it arose from disempowered youth helping themselves by founding the Sierra Leone Bike Riders Union, popularly known as the Okada Riders. The organization began in Makeni during the war when displaced youth banded together to provide a dirt-bike taxi service.

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SSR and Civil Society: Opportunities Across Cases

Successful Security Sector Reform (SSR) requires the buy-in of multiple actors and stakeholders. In government processes of SSR, civil society (CS) is often neglected. CS is an important and effective actor for SSR security as it supports reform and stability across sectors by improving human rights, increasing dialogue and dispersing a civil mentality. The importance of including CS in SSR is evident in three cases: Morocco, Palestine and Albania.

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Securing the Sahel: From Mali to Niger

In the western Sahel, limited resources, institutional resistance, and little political will for security sector reform (SSR) exacerbates the threat of a regional conflict, as French and African military forces push Mali’s Islamist rebels into surrounding countries. This is particularly true of Niger, where SSR is a relatively unknown concept and where there has been a long history of violence with the same groups that destabilized Mali.

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