Security Sector Reform

Mapping of Southern Security and Justice Civil Society Organisations and Networks


Shivit Bakrania (ed.)

University of Birmingham /

August 2010

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The purpose of this mapping study is to provide the UK Department for International Development (DFID) with a quantitative and qualitative snapshot of security and justice civil society organisations (CSOs) and networks working in and across the countries investigated.

CSO engagement on issues of security and justice is inherently difficult in many countries due to the nature of their governing regimes (such as where the state has authoritarian tendencies or where military regimes preside). In some cases the political space for CSOs to engage in issues of security and justice is being increasingly suppressed. Consequently, the success of donor support for security and justice CSOs often depends to a great extent on the political will of respective governments to enable CSOs to work freely. Furthermore, donors who wish to support security and justice CSOs need to take account of the extent to which donor interactions with government security and justice structures may influence the extent and quality of donor interaction with CSOs.

In many countries, an understanding of security and justice as conceptualised and defined by donors is lacking amongst civil society – and an understanding of these issues as conceptualised by civil society is often lacking among donors and governments. This scenario even holds true in those countries where civil society as a whole is otherwise vibrant. Consequently, there is a need to increase the basic level of understanding on security and justice matters (both within CSOs and governments), to broaden the strategic community (those working in think tanks or engaged in policy analysis), and to support the development of research capacity and expertise in security and justice areas.

Joined up approaches to security and justice work are rare in almost all contexts and common/collaborative/networking fora do not exist. Recommendations were made in almost all sub-regions stating that donor approaches should encourage collaboration at the outset between security and justice CSOs and devise schemes that reward or encourage joined up working.

View PDF files of the: report (800 KB); appendices (300 KB).