Democratic Security Sector Governance

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The elected government of any nation has the responsibility to ensure the management of the security sector is in line with democratic best practices and the provision of security as a public good. Governments also bear the political responsibility for the activities of the security sector. As a result, governments need detailed and extensive plans and management structures to ensure security policies and practices are transparent and accountable.

Security institutions that are responsive to public needs tend to be transparent; those which are indifferent to public needs tend to be opaque. This section outlines key institutional governance issues affecting key government ministries responsible for security sector agencies.

Governments must also ensure that the legal framework for the activities of each security sector institution is exhaustive. The legal framework for ministries, directorates and security institutions needs to be developed in line with international good practice and ensure consistency with the rule of law. Legislation needs to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each security institution, specify the authorisation procedures for administrative and operational activities, identify the applicability of internal rules and procedures, ensure instruments exist for other stakeholders to engage and monitor security institutions, identify the constitutional basis for each components’ activities, and ensure security institutions’ employees are accountable for their actions before the law. Additionally, legal frameworks need to incorporate and facilitate access to information for the general public and democratic institutions.

Key Issues and Policy Recommendations, Conference 6

This publication offers the Key Issues and Policy Recommendations based on the results of the Sixth International Conference “Security Sector Governance: Defence Production, Sales and Acquisitions”. Conference Six provided a platform to discuss state p … read more

Conference Proceedings 3: Governance and Reform of State Security Services

  This publication offers the proceedings of the Conference III “Governance and Reform of State Security Services: Best Practices”. Following the findings of the previous two conferences, participants elaborated current challenges related to refor … read more

Conference 7: Ukraine’s Civilian Security Sector: Reforms’ Progress and Challenges

In the framework of the ‘Ukraine – Security Governance Best Practice and Monitoring Platforms’ project, the seventh conference will take place in Kiev between 29 and 30 March. This conference will address Ukraine’s Civilian Security Sector: Reforms’ Pr … read more

OSCE PCU, & Verkhovna Rada and & Ministry of Defence Visit to DCAF and GICHD 10-12/10/16

At the request of the OSCE Project-Coordinator in Ukraine, DCAF and GICHD (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining) hosted a delegation from the Verkhovna Rada and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine to brief them on DCAF and GICHD’s work. … read more

OSCE PCU, & Verkhovna Rada and & Ministry of Defence Visit to DCAF and GICHD 10-12 October 2016

At the request of the OSCE Project-Coordinator in Ukraine, DCAF and GICHD (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining) will host a delegation from the Verkhovna Rada and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine between 10 and 12 of October 2016. T … read more

Democratic Civilian Control and Military Crisis in Ukraine: Legislative Aspects

The events of 2014 underlined key challenges facing the oversight of the security sector in Ukraine. As a result, a series of legal amendments were initiated on a preliminary basis in order to address democratic control and security sector reform issue … read more

Gender and Complaints Mechanisms: A Handbook for Armed Forces and Ombuds Institutions

This handbook brings together knowledge and experience as regards prevention of misconduct, and handling and monitoring of complaints within armed forces, with particular regard to gender. The Handbook is a resource for armed forces, ministries of defe … read more

Integrating a Gender Perspective into Internal Oversight within Armed Forces

This guidance note is an essential resource for those working at the strategic or management level in the armed forces; gender units, as gender advisers and gender focal points; as equal opportunities officers and others responsible for human resources … read more

Core Values of Norway’s Defence Sector

The Norwegian defence sector promotes certain general values of openness, broadmindedness, respect, responsibility, and courage. The sector encompasses the Ministry of Defence and four administratively subordinate agencies: the Norwegian Armed Forces, … read more

Overseeing Intelligence Services Toolkit

DCAF’s toolkit on overseeing intelligence services is a compendium of booklets (tools) that provides policy-relevant information on the establishment and consolidation of independent bodies to oversee state organisations involved in the collection, ana … read more

Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: Understanding Intelligence Oversight

This guidebook provides an introduction on how democratic states govern their intelligence services. The toolkit demonstrates how states can govern their intelligence services in order to make sure that: They contribute effectively to the security of t … read more

Defence Sector Reform

The purpose of this policy is to guide the United Nations support to national defence sector reform (DSR) efforts. It outlines the parameters and components of this support, including principles, core tasks and constraints. The policy also highlights l … read more

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