A Needs Assessment Report D C A F

A Needs Assessment Report D C A F About the Implementing Partners Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) is a women-focused, women-led Pan- African Non-Governmental Organization that seeks
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A Needs Assessment Report D C A F About the Implementing Partners Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) is a women-focused, women-led Pan- African Non-Governmental Organization that seeks to promote women's strategic participation and leadership in peace and security governance in Africa. WIPSEN-Africa seeks to institutionalize and mainstream women, peace and security by enhancing women's leadership capacities and promoting constructive, innovative and collaborative approaches to non-violent transformation of conflicts, peacebuilding and human security in Africa. Its objectives are to: 1) Provide a platform for women across all levels of African societies to exchange, share and harmonize strategies for women's leadership and build coalitions to promote peace and security in Africa; 2) Strengthen women's capacities to sustain their active engagement in conflict prevention, resolution, peacebuilding, peace support operations and human security at policy, research and praxis levels; 3) Promote the twin approach of mainstreaming gender and women's perspectives in peace and security institutions and mechanisms; while at the same time mainstreaming peace and security in all gender mechanisms, policies and institutions; and 4) Influence policy development and implementation on women, peace and security through rigorous research, strategic advocacy, and documentation. The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) was established by the Swiss Government in October 2000 as an international foundation, and today has 50 member countries. The Centre works with governments, security sector institutions, parliaments and civil society to foster and strengthen the democratic and civilian control of security sector organizations such as police, intelligence agencies, border security services, paramilitary forces, and armed forces. To implement its objectives, the Centre: 1) Conducts research to identify the central challenges in democratic governance of the security sector, and to collect those practices best suited to meet these challenges; and 2) Provides support through advisory programmes and practical assistance to all interested parties, most commonly to governments, parliaments, security institutions, and international organizations. DCAF's Gender, Children and Security Programme develops research, policy and implementation materials to support the integration of gender and other cross-cutting issues into security sector reform. 1 Table of Contents Contact Information About The Implementing Partners 1 List Of Abbreviations 3 Background 4 Session One: Description Of The Assessment 5 Purpose Of The Assessment 6 Section Two: Data Collection Methods 7 Constraints To The Data Collection Endeavor: 9 Section Three: Analysis 10 Key Guiding Questions For The Assessment Exercise: 13 Analysis Of Data By Respondent Types: 1. Community Members: Female Security Sector Personnel: Broader SSR Stakeholders: Civil Society Organizations: 20 Summary Of Results/findings: 21 Conclusion: Implication For WIPSEN-AFRICA/DCAF Project 22 26 List of Abbreviations AFELL ASSN CSO DCAF DFID ECOWAS FSSP FSU GC IPRSP Association of Female Lawyers in Liberia African Security Sector Network Civil Society Organization Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces UK Department for International Development Economic Community of West African States Female Security Sector Personnel Family Support Units Governance Commission Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper KAIPTC Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre LIFLEA LNP LWF ONS MNS MSWGCA NSC SSR SSR-IP UN UNAMSIL UNDP UNMIL UNSC UNIOSIL WANEP Liberia Female Law Enforcement Association Liberia National Police Lutheran World Federation Office of National Security Ministry of National Security Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children's Affairs National Security Coordinator Security Sector Reform Security Sector Reform Implementation Programme United Nations United Nations Missions in Sierra Leone United Nations Development Programme United Nations Mission in Liberia United Nations Security Council United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone West Africa Network for Peacebuilding WIPSEN-Africa Women Peace and Security Network Africa 3 Background n April 2008, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the Accrabased Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) entered into a partnership to Iimplement a project entitled 'Security Sector Reform in West Africa: Strengthening the Integration of Gender and Enhancing the Capacities of Female Security Sector Personnel' (see project outline for more information). The project is both derived from, and intended to respond to an identified fundamental gap in the discourse and practice of security sector reform (SSR) in the sub-region. In West Africa, a number of countries have either implemented some elements of SSR (e.g. Ghana, Nigeria) or have a comprehensive SSR process ongoing (e.g. Sierra Leone, Liberia). In either case, the SSR process has been critiqued for its inadequate consultation with, and underrepresentation of women, as well as for its tokenistic approach to issues of gender-based violence. Hence, the two-pronged goal of the DCAF-WIPSEN-Africa partnership is to strengthen the integration of gender and women's issues in SSR processes; and to enhance the capacities of female security sector personnel to act as drivers of the desired change from within. This pilot project is currently being implemented in two post-conflict countries --Liberia and Sierra Leone-- and is intended to contribute to transforming the security sector in a manner that will promote democratic governance and guarantee that the different security and justice needs of women, men, girls and boys are adequately addressed. Key project beneficiaries include: parliamentarians on defence and security standing committees; female parliamentarians; female security sector personnel and their respective institutions; national security and gender machineries; and civil society organizations. Project activities thus revolve around these beneficiaries and are intended to: 1) Establish an interactive platform for female security sector personnel (if needed and where one does not exist) and by extension provide a space for them to engage in the discourse on SSR. 2) Enhance the capacity of key parliamentarians, female armed forces and law enforcement personnel and women's organizations to mainstream gender and women's issues into new/emerging security structures and operations. 3) Develop and distribute lessons learned and good practices of integrating gender into SSR processes in West Africa. The implementation of the project in both countries was preceded by a Project Needs Assessment which was intended to generate local input into the project design and implementation. Findings from the needs assessment exercise is captured in this report. 4 SESSION ONE [1] - Description of the Assessment n order to ensure local ownership and sustainability, the project kick-started with a needs th th th rd assessment that was carried out from May and 30 May-3 June in Liberia and Sierra Leone Irespectively. The assessment aimed at generating detailed background information on existing initiatives and general knowledge on gender and SSR issues from a broad group of stakeholders in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Those targeted during the assessment were drawn from four (4) general groups: 1) SSR oversight actors and other stakeholders: including parliamentarians; the national defence and justice machineries; traditional leaders including paramount chiefs, ministries of finance and development; Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS); United Nations agencies; and key groups engaged in the SSR process such as Dyncorp and the Governance Commission (GC) in Liberia. 2) Female security sector personnel, as well as heads of different security bodies such as the army, air force, navy, police, gendarmerie, customs, border and immigrations services, intelligence services, justice and penal systems, private security agencies, fire service, drugs enforcement agencies, etc. 3) Civil society organizations (CSOs): comprising of mostly non-governmental organizations working on security, justice and gender/women related issues. 4) Community members: including grassroots women's groups, faith-based community groups, traditional and opinion leaders, and youth groups from mainly the country capitals, Freetown and Monrovia. In light of these categorization which clearly indicates a mix of literate, semi-literate and illiterate targets, the methodology employed for the assessment was varied, as will be discussed in the subsequent section on 'Data collection methods'. Engagement of each of these groups of stakeholders was crucial in generating the necessary community support that is much needed to sustain the sociocultural transformation and changes in perceptions, stereotypes and attitudes envisaged over the longhaul. This report seeks to highlight the findings and feedback from the assessment, which is extremely vital for the development of future DCAF and WIPSEN-Africa project activities that respond to the highly challenging structural, policy and operational security needs on the ground. This report is structured into three (3) main sections and covers the assessment processes and findings in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. Section one focuses on the rationale and purpose for the assessment as well as highlight its specific objectives; section two discusses the methods used in the collection of data; section three analyzes the data collected as well as presents a summary of the results and key findings; and the concluding section examines the implications of these results and findings for the DCAF and WIPSEN-Africa project in the short to medium term. 5 Purpose of the Assessment ecurity sector reform processes are ongoing in the post-conflict West African countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia, albeit at different levels. However, similarities exist when a gender assessment of these processes are carried out, in that in both instances women have been largely excluded from Sthe discourse on SSR and in day-to-day governance of SSR processes, given that only a paltry number of women in the sector occupy decision making positions. In light of the on-going SSR processes in these countries, the needs assessment was intended to generate detailed background information on the general state of knowledge on gender and SSR, as well as on existing initiatives on gender and SSR in order to avoid duplication of effort and wastage of resources. In addition, the exercise was designed to raise awareness on, and enhance community support for, the project. More specifically, the objectives of the assessment include the following: 1. Identifying current gaps/needs and opportunities for action in the area of gender and security sector reform --including as it relates to training, establishment of an interactive platform for female security sector personnel, and the documentation of good practices on gender and SSR. 2. Involving target communities in the design of the project activities to ensure local ownership. 3. Establishing baseline information on current knowledge and attitudes towards security and security sector reform issues. 4. Identifying past good practices and challenges in integrating gender into SSR processes in Liberia and Sierra Leone. SESSION TWO [2] - Data Collection Methods articipants for the needs assessment exercise in Liberia and Sierra Leone were drawn from both urban and rural communities, as well as the formal and non-formal sectors see the Description of Pthe Assessment for a full list of participants. Given the myriad of stakeholders targeted for the needs assessment exercise and their differing literacy status, a combination of data collection methods was used. This included a desk review and compilation of existing data on the SSR processes in Sierra Leone and Liberia and their related gender specific initiatives, which included: Background research carried out by the Research Assistant at DCAF. A community attitude survey which involved personal interviews with a representative sample of community members e.g. local chiefs, leaders of women's community-based organizations, groups and associations, faith-based organizations and youth groups about their perceptions of women's roles in security matters. Key informant questionnaires and interviews with particularly key officials and leaders knowledgeable on security and/or gender issues. Focus group discussions, for instance with the Sierra Leonean Parliamentary Committee on Defence, Internal and Presidential Affairs. Interviews during the exercise were coordinated by the WIPSEN-Africa team with support from focal points on the ground. In Sierra Leone, the focal point was drawn from the Gender Division of the Ministry for Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs (MSWGCA) and in Liberia the focal point was from the 3 Tauma Healing Programme of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Office. Both focal points were assisted by staff members from their respective institutions in conducting the interviews. Table one below shows the number of interviews conducted: TABLE ONE: INTERVIEWS CONDUCT DURING PROJECT NEEDS ASSESSMENT ON GENDER AND SSR Liberia: May 2008 Institution Male Female Total KAIPTC seconded personnel to 1-1 the GRC Liberia National Police Ministry of Defence Parliament Ministry of National Security 1-1 1Beatrice Mosello Susan Sesay and assisted by Ibrahim Kamara Viaba Flomo and assisted by Grace Jarsor 2 3 7 Drug Enforcement Agency 1-1 Ministry of Gender and Development Civil Society Organizations Political Parties UNDP Dyncorp Local Chiefs 2-2 Women Leaders Leaders of Faith-based Organization 1-1 Total: 32 Sierra Leone: 30 th May 3 rd June 2008 Institution Male Female Total Parliament Justice Sector Coordination Unit Ministry of Trade and Industry 1-1 Ministry of Local Government 1-1 and Internal Affairs Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children s Affairs Prisons Department Naval Wing Sierra Leone Armed Forces Immigration Services Private Security Companies Fire Services Civil Society Organizations Total: 40 Four (4) types of questionnaires were designed for, and administered accordingly to, SSR stakeholders, community members, female security sector personnel and civil society organizations (mainly nongovernmental organizations). Each questionnaire contained a combination of open-ended, close-ended, multiple choices and likert scaled questions. Samples of each of these are attached as appendices to this report. In Sierra Leone and Liberia, a total of three hundred (300) questionnaires were administered. Twenty-five (25) and fifty (50) questionnaires were administered to each of the four target groups in Sierra Leone and Liberia respectively; totaling 100 and 200 administered questionnaires correspondingly. Fiftythree (53) and forty-nine (49) were completed and returned respectively. Table two below shows the distribution of questionnaires by type of respondent. 8 TABLE TWO: DISTRIBUTION OF RETURNED QUESTIONNAIRES BY RESPONDENT TYPE TYPE LIBERIA SIERRA LEONE TOTAL Female Security Sector Personnel (FSSP) Broader Stakeholders Civil Society Organizations Community Members Total: Constraints to the Data Collection Endeavor: By implication, one hundred and ninety-eight (198) questionnaires were not returned. Reasons for this may be deduced from general comments made by recipients of the questionnaires e.g. that there were either too bulky or technical. Most recipients requested additional time to complete and return the survey forms, but only a few actually did. For those administering the questionnaires, time and mobility were key constraints. In the first instance, the number of days within which the assessment was to be carried out was inadequate and limiting, resulting in the inability to, in most cases, return and pick up questionnaires from respondents who had requested additional days to complete the survey forms. Arising from the tight timeframe, mobility was severely constrained, resulting in the assessment being mainly implemented in Freetown and Monrovia, the capitals of Sierra Leone and Liberia respectively. Attempts to extend the assessment to other counties in Liberia and provinces/districts in Sierra Leone were futile given that this would have involved extensive travels which were unplanned and therefore not budgeted for. Other constraints include poor electricity services and limited internet access which inhibited respondents from completing and returning the questionnaires via electronic mail. 9 SECTION THREE [3] - Analysis ierra Leone and Liberia present appropriate and unique case studies for analyzing security sector reform processes in a post-conflict environment. On the one hand, their appropriateness is derived from the fact that both countries have undergone and emerged from protracted civil wars that Sspanned over a decade. Consequently, the two countries have been confronted with grave security challenges including unprofessional security forces, citizens' lack of confidence in national security institutions, high level of youth unemployment, etc. In their current post-conflict era there is thus a fundamental need to improve the security milieu in order for democracy and development to thrive and it is based upon this that Sierra Leone and Liberia embarked on the reform of their respective security sector. On the other hand, their uniqueness is derived from the differing nature of their SSR experiences. In Sierra Leone, SSR is a crucial part of three national reform and developmental programmes --Good Governance and Public Service Reform Programme for Sierra Leone (launched by the former President, Tejan Kabbah, in 1997 with support from the UK Department for International Development [DFID]); Sierra Leone's Peace Support Reconstruction Programme; and the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (IPRSP) of 2000 which emphasizes the crucial role of an active security sector in efforts to reduce poverty as well as promote national recovery and socio-economic development. Within the framework of these reform and development programmes, a comprehensive security review was launched by President Kabbeh in This review was largely provoked by a number of contextual factors including the planned withdrawal of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) which had been largely responsible for the implementation of the SSR programme. The review exercise culminated in the production of a Security Sector Reform Implementation Programme (SSR-IP) which decentralized roles under the SSR programme and emphasized community participation in security matters through the establishment of provincial and district security committees. The implementation of the SSR-IP commenced in 2006 and is: 1) Led by the President who heads the National Security Council (NSC), the civilian monitoring and oversight body; 2) Managed by the National Security Coordinator; and 3) Administered by the Office of National Security which set up a working group that comprised of both government officials and civil society. In Liberia, SSR is an integral part of the post-war recovery and reconstruction process and finds its mandates in the 1985 Constitution of Liberia, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2003) and the UNSC Resolution 1509 (19 September 2003). The Accra Peace Agreement specifically requested the United States to play a leading role in the process of restructuring and training of the army, and it is in fulfillment of this that the US government contracted two of its private military companies, Dyncorp International and Pacific Architect Engineers, to train and restructure the army, as well as vet and recruit its personnel. The UNSC Resolution 1509
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