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Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
Geneva Centre for
the Democratic Control
of Armed Forces
DCAF
Promoting gender equality for inclusive security
Promoting gender equality
for inclusive security
DCAF
Creating a safer environment for sustainable development
Creating a safer environment
for sustainable development
DCAF
Driving innovation in policy and practice
Driving innovation
in policy and practice
DCAF
Promoting good governance of the security sector
Promoting good governance
of the security sector
DCAF
Strengthening global support for better security sector reform
Strengthening global support
for better security sector reform
DCAF

 

Who we are

The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) is dedicated to improving the security of states and their people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

DCAF assists partner states, and international actors supporting these states, to improve the governance of their security sector through inclusive and participatory reforms based on international norms and good practices.

DCAF creates original knowledge products, promotes norms and good practices, provides policy advice, and supports capacity building of non-governmental security sector stakeholders.

What we do

Assisting international actors

Assisting international actors

Security and justice reforms are often carried out with extensive support from international actors, either through bilateral donor assistance or in the framework of cooperation with multilateral organisations. Helping bilateral and multilateral actors become better international partners in supporting SSR is a core dimension of DCAF’s work.

DCAF's advisory services support donor government and multilateral organisations through:

  • Promoting norms and good practice in the area of good governance of the security sector
  • Supporting policy development and guidance
  • Capacity building of international actors to effectively contribute to nationally led reform processes
  • Facilitation of coordination efforts and coherence amongst international actors in line with aid effectiveness principles
  • Supporting needs assessments, design, monitoring and evaluation of SSG/R programmes in line with international good practice
  • Indirectly managing programmes funds in the area of SSG/R
  • Supporting the implementation of international treaties and multi-stakeholder policy initiatives by providing secretariat and expert backstopping services
     

Contributing to international policy

As one of the world’s leading centres of competence in the area of SSG/R and related matters, DCAF contributes to international discourses on development, peace and security policy, as well as to norms, standards and good practices. 
 

DCAF’s support to policy development and good practices includes:

  • Input to and facilitation of multilateral and national policy processes
  • Undertaking research that fills knowledge gaps and informs policy debates
  • Development of guidance products that bridge research, policy and practice, and that are openly accessible and available in multiple languages
  • Identification of trends and challenges in the area of democratic and security sector governance
     

our work Dcaf

Our work

DCAF recognises that a democratically run, accountable and efficient security sector is fundamental to people’s livelihoods, to reducing poverty and the risk of conflict, and creating an enabling environment for sustainable development. 
 
DCAF has identified three main avenues of work through which it can contribute to improved human and national security within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights: i) directly supporting national partners, ii) assisting international actors and iii) contributing to international policy and knowledge development in the area of good governance of the security sector.
 

Advisory support & assistance

Supporting National Partners

Many states seek support from DCAF to design and implement inclusive and participatory reforms aimed at enhancing the effectiveness and accountability of security provision. DCAF’s work with national partners succeeds because its activities are driven by respect for national ownership, in-depth knowledge of local context and comparative experience from different regions.

DCAF supports national partners by:

  • Providing policy and legal advice, as well as comparative experience, to support national actors on how to enhance the governance of the security sector
  • Supporting institutional reforms to strengthen integrity, transparency, accountability and respect for human rights within the security and justice sectors
  • Supporting the development of effective parliamentary oversight of the security sector
  • Supporting the development of inclusive national security policies and strategies
  • Establishing communication systems and practices to engage and build trust between the state and its people
  • Building the capacity of civil society by providing access to independent expertise and information on security sector governance and reform
  • Supporting the private sector’s efforts to operate in line with the principles of security sector governance
     

 

Thematic expertise

 Across all the areas below, DCAF brings extensive experience in strategic planning, programme management and understanding of the political context of SSR processes.