Download the Project Overview and Module Outline, revised January 2014.
This 3-year project will produce a handbook and on-line training curriculum to improve security sector and civil society engagement. The goal of the project is to increase the safety of individuals and communities, as measured by local perceptions. The project coordinates the development of the curriculum by bringing together groups already providing training on these topics to form a master curriculum that maps lessons learned and resources. The project's process includes a carefully designed set of civil-military consultations and conference that bring together civil society and security sector professionals on the curriculum's themes and content.
Background of the Project
Over the last 15 years, a variety of peacebuilding NGOs and university-based peacebuilding programs have responded to invitations from military and police forces to help them prepare for interacting with NGOs and civil society in complex, conflict-affected regions. These groups have carried out hundreds of training programs and multi-stakeholder security dialogues between security forces and civil society.
This project gathers the existing curriculum that NGOs and universities are already teaching to security forces and civil society so as to standardize it and bring it together it into one place, where trainers can share their content, scenarios, case studies, lessons learned and exercises. As such, the project development is bottom up and demand driven.
Four global trends influence the relationship between security forces and civil society and how these diverse groups coordinate or communicate with each other. While the UN Organization for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance provides humanitarian civil-military coordination, there are no global coordinating mechanisms, guidelines, or comprehensive training courses to support military or police relations with the broader range of civil society organizations.
Current Gaps in Capabilities and Training
1. Security Sector Demand for Training: In many countries, new security approaches require security forces to provide support to humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding. But their preparation for these new mission sets and lines of effort are often ad hoc and inadequate. To build this capability, military training programs are requesting NGOs to provide training on a range of topics including relating to civilians, negotiation, governance, conflict assessment, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Some military training centers already offer training on some topics. But often there are no civilians involved in writing the materials and the terms and definitions used do not reflect the interests of civil society.
2. Grassroots Demand for Training: Civilian humanitarian and peacebuilding actors are equally unknowledgeable and unprepared to leverage the capabilities of security forces, understanding the limitations faced by security forces, and lack capacity to communicate support requirements for these activities in a way that maximizes these capabilities while minimizing undesired effects (i.e., unintended consequences such as increasing attacks against civilians). To build this capability, more robust education and training programs are needed for civilian as well as security sector audiences.
3. Preparation in Steady State: Relations between civil and military actors occur predominantly after a crisis. This not only encumbers cooperation during those times, but prohibits effective civil-military interaction for increasingly important conflict prevention operations. To address this gap, continuous steady-state education and training programs that feature continued networking are in need.
4. Different Terminology and Doctrine: Security forces with disparate doctrinal and training backgrounds, whether in bilateral or multilateral settings, mean security forces have difficulty talking to each other and lack a common terminology and shared concepts or skills for interacting with civil society. To mitigate this, more universal education in security sector-civil society interaction that teaches essential principles (i.e., "last resort" and "do no harm") and helps to bridge different terminology and doctrine is necessary.
5. Standardization: Current training curricula is not standardarized. Individual NGOs provide training for security forces that sometimes contradicts what other NGOs are teaching to other groups of security forces about how to relate to NGOs. There is a lack of coordination and coherence in the training that NGOs are offering to security forces.
A Note on Terminology in the Project Title
The term "Civil Military Relations" is a confusing term, as there are many types of civilians and civilians relate to the police, the court system, security policymakers and military forces.
Security Sector: This project uses the term "security sector" instead of "military" in recognition of the wider applicability of the training. The UN defines the security sector as "a broad term used to describe the structures, institutions and personnel responsible for the management, provision and oversight of security in a country."
Civil Society: The term "civil society" is used instead of "civilian" because there are many types of civilians – government civilians, civilians working in humanitarian agencies, and civilian contractors. Civil society is defined as including all not-for-profit nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), universities and community-based organizations.
Engagement for Human Security: The security sector and civil society interact with each other in a variety of ways. This project aims to assist the security sector and civil society to engage with each other for a specific purpose: to improve human security as defined by local people impacted by security operations.
Human security: The United Nations defines human security as "people-centred, comprehensive, context-specific, and prevention-oriented measures that seek to reduce the likelihood of conflicts, help overcome the obstacles to development and promote human rights for all."
Security Sector Reform: The United Nations defines SSR as "a process of assessment, review and implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation of the security sector, led by national authorities, and that has as its goal the enhancement of effective and accountable security for the State and its peoples, without discrimination and with full respect of human rights and the rule of law."
This project aims to enable security forces and civil society to interact in a way that minimizes harm and maximizes potential for complementary approaches to improve human security. Security actors are concerned largely with the security of states (and thus state-building) whereas civil society is largely concerned with human security. As recognition spreads that the roots causes driving insecurity requires civil society participation to bring about sustainable solutions, particularly in fragile states, there is more attention to the goal of human security.
This curriculum development project responds to training needs identified by both security forces and civil society:
1. To Improve training for security forces in relating to civilians
- Respond to security forces (both foreign and national level military and police) request for more training on how to interact with NGOs and civil society, particularly given their interest in counterinsurgency, stabilization, and the comprehensive approach.
- Provide Security Sector Reform and broader Security Sector Assistance implementers with improved training and case studies to support positive multi-stakeholder dialogue and civilian engagement in these processes, as mandated, for example, in all best practices of SSR and in the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding goals in the New Deal for Fragile States.
- Respond to security forces request for more training on conflict management, context analysis, cultural understanding, community engagement strategies and broader peacebuilding approaches.
2. To Improve training for civil society in relating to security forces
- Provide civil society organizations with training on how to interact with security forces.
- Describe how civil society has worked with the security sector in diverse contexts to overcome security challenges
- Link International Humanitarian Law and current civil military guidelines to community engagement strategies in Security Sector Reform and counterinsurgency and stabilization strategies.
Indicators of Impact
Human security is measured by the degree to which people perceive they are free from fear, free from want, and free from humiliation and despair. Public perceptions are measured through a variety of polls, surveys and index measurements. These potential indicators of impact for the project:
· Decrease in human rights violations by security actors
· Increase in protection of civilian indicators
· More security sector strategists write policy papers or doctrine that recognizes civil society perspectives on their relations with security forces, including the necessity for civil society to be viewed as independent actors rather than as government contractors. (Currently, only a few countries have policies or doctrine that reflect civil society interests in human security, conflict prevention or peacebuilding).
· More security sector forces consult with and interact with civil society in a way that identifies how to foster human security. (Currently, there is antagonism between security forces and civil society in many countries).
· More civil society organizations will reach out to engage with security forces to begin a dialogue or projects that will improve human security or civilian oversight of the security sector, moving from "protest" to "proposal". (Currently, there are few civil society projects to engage the security sector).
· Civilians at the local level report that they perceive themselves to be more safe, more able to live free live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair.
· Improvement in and other civil-military performance indicators, overall peacebuilding performance per the MDG/post-2015 indicators, Rule of Law and other SSR indicators, etc. (This project will identify relevant indicators from other indices to use for monitoring and evaluation.)
Theories of Change
The project is based on these theories of change:
Education: Lack of understanding and adequate training is part, but not all, of the problem of security policies in many countries. Increased training for security forces and civil society will improve their ability to work together, and this will support human security.
Contact: Lack of contact and communication between civil society and security forces increases tensions and decreases their ability to understand how to support human security. Increased safe spaces for engagement, communication and dialogue between security forces and civil society will improve human security.
System Change: Improving the understanding of security forces and civil society of each other's interests and concerns and creating forums for building relationships between these groups can create a momentum to foster institutional change and a shift in security paradigms to support greater human security.
Current Gaps in Capabilities and Training
1. In light of new demands, the capabilities of security forces to provide support to humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding are uneven, often ad hoc, and inadequate. To build this capability, more robust education and training programs are needed for security forces.
2. Civilian humanitarian and peacebuilding actors are equally unknowledgeable and unprepared to leverage the capabilities of security forces, understanding the limitations faced by security forces, and lack capacity to communicate support requirements for these activities in a way that maximizes these capabilities while minimizing undesired effects (i.e., unintended consequences such as increasing attacks against civilians). To build this capability, more robust education and training programs are needed for civilian as well as security sector audiences.
3. Security forces with disparate doctrinal and training backgrounds, whether in bilateral or multilateral settings, mean security forces have difficulty talking to each other and lack a common terminology and shared concepts or skills for interacting with civil society. To mitigate this, more universal education in security sector-civil society interaction that teaches essential principles (i.e., "last resort" and "do no harm") rather than chooses doctrines is necessary.
4. Relations between civil and military actors occur predominantly after a crisis. This not only encumbers cooperation during those times, but prohibits effective civil-military interaction for increasingly important conflict prevention operations. To address this gap, continuous steady-state education and training programs that feature continued networking are in need.
5. Training curricula for civil-military relations or security sector engagement with civil society to foster human security from a peacebuilding perspective is nearly non-existent. Although the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Integrated Training Services has recognized this deficiency, a comprehensive civil-military training program is still under development. Small NGOs and universities have piloted training on these topics over the last 5-10 years, but no one has brought this training together into a coherent curriculum for general use.
6. There is no comprehensive training package to help security forces interact with a range of different types of civilians and civil society organizations. Individual resources exist. But there is not a convenient mapping of these resources, so many training programs for security forces do not know they exist.
7. Current training curricula is not standardarized. Individual NGOs provide training that sometimes contradicts what other NGOs are teaching. There is a lack of coordination and coherence in the training that NGOs are offering to security forces.
8. Some security forces receive training on some topics related to civil society and peacebuilding, but often there are no civilians involved in writing the materials and the terms and definitions used do not reflect the interests of civil society.
Key Audiences for the Curriculum
Research on current training programs for these groups identifies the need for all groups to receive the same, basic, concise training on core concepts, skills, and practices in relations between security forces and civil society. To recognize the distinct needs of individual groups and the diverse contexts in which they operate, each training curriculum module will include specific case studies in diverse contexts and recommendations for specific audiences.
Military, police, and civil society organizations including NGOs, universities and religious organizations involved in training security forces and/or civil society on how they relate to the other.
- Security Sector Professionals
- Political leaders, policymakers, staff in justice and security sectors
- National and International military leadership at strategic level
- National and International military leadership at operational level
- National police departments
- Security Assistance and Security Sector Reform Trainer
- Civil Society Organizations
- NGOs (local and international)
- Broad array of other civil society
- International organizations (UN, World Bank, etc)
- Regional organizations (AU, OAS, etc)
- Some of the lessons in the curriculum are tailored to address the interests of these specific audiences. For example in Module 1/Lesson 2 on Introduction to NGOs and Civil Society, the objectives are listed for each unique audience.
Types of Contexts Addressed
· Foreign security forces interacting with local civil society in peace and stability operations that may overlap with offensive operations targeting opposition forces.
· National security forces interacting with local civil society in both democratic, transitional and nondemocratic contexts
· Organised crime manifested by Criminal Networks such as drug and weapons trafficking, mafia and gangs
· Peace operations – multi-dimensional peacekeeping in UN context; or peace support operations by NATO and the EU,
· Interstate war
Project Activities and Timeline
The project design includes a global process of broad consultation with diverse civil society and security sector stakeholders. These consultations will include key people and groups that have already been involved in training and projects related to the themes of the curriculum to support human security. Currently, there has been no mechanism to bring together either military or civilian groups working on these issues, so their individual training curriculums have not used the same language or terminology or international law as reference.
To provide a platform for developing mutual lessons learned, for aligning training and terminology across groups and to develop buy-in for the project so as to aid in its eventual dissemination and usage, this project will include the following consultative processes:
Phase 1: Consultations
• Geneva Civil Society Global Reference Group October 2013: Representatives of NGOs and universities in15 countries that are already training security forces on related topics. UNITAR and DCAF are institutional members of this group.
• Regional Civil Society Consultations in Washington & The Hague – January & February 2014: Roundtable discussions, lessons learned, and review of the curriculum by US-based and Europe-based peacebuilding NGOs and universities already training security forces on related topics.
• Military and Police Reference Group Formation December 2013
• Peace Portal: an online community for Security Sector and Civil Society Engagement on Human Security is on GPPAC's Peace Portal to communicate about the project, collect resources and engage a broader group of stakeholders. The public portion contains:
- a description of the project, its goals, and activities
- resources and case study material from diverse contexts,
- drafts of the curriculum modules.
Phase 2: Pilot Trainings and Publications
• Write report on "Peacebuilding Approaches to Security Sector" with case studies and lessons learned from consultations
• Military and Police consultations and pilot testing Spring 2014
• Delegated writing of the curriculum by participants in consultations
• Writing Handbooks to accompany curriculum:
• For Civil Society
• For International Military Forces
• For National Military and Police
Phase 3: Final Conference and Pilot Trainings
• Pilot trainings (Mindanao, Brazil, Ghana?)
• Large final conference to discuss, review and make plans for dissemination of curriculum
• The conference will present the E-learning modules as a formal launch and as a final review of the material to ensure agreement on content.
• The conference will provide an opportunity to reflect and assess the process of the curriculum development, since the process itself is a human security dialogue that brings global civil society leaders from diverse countries into conversation with security forces.
• The conference is an opportunity to plan how to implement and disseminate the training. This could involve the development of the next phase of the project to hold training of trainers so as to more widely disperse the training amongst regional organizations and national military forces as well as through other civil society networks.
• The conference will discuss how to monitor and evaluate the impact of this training to assess whether training positively influences both security forces and civil society organizations to better work together to design human security strategies. Throughout the entire three years, project leaders are exploring and developing avenues for including the e-course in existing security sector/civil society training programmes in different regions.
Handbook: Printed and PDF Version
The handbook will provide an orientation to the curriculum to allow diverse users from identified key audiences working in a variety of contexts to contextualise the materials and identify relevant parts of the modules provided.
Self-paced online training curriculum as well as a printed version of the curriculum that will be downloadable as a PDF to be available on UNITAR's e-learning website.
Each training module will be available on-line in an interactive e-learning format, building on UNITAR's experience developing such on-line curricula and in their standardized format. Each module will have:
· specific learning objectives,
· clear and concise content kept to minimum, sensitive to cultural and contextual differences in terminology.
· Focus on context-specific, practical application by providing examples of success and other case studies that relate to the relevance of the material to different types of stakeholders in different types of contexts
· a list of training activities including supporting exercises, scenarios and role plays,
· on-line videos or downloadable powerpoints,
· links to further resources
· case studies
· references/sign posting to specialized resources identified in the mapping
The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) program on human security works to achieve a people-centered security strategy, which is a more successful, cost-effective, and sustainable national security strategy than traditional approaches. The program opens channels of communication between the Pentagon and local civil society organizations (CSOs) working to build human security from the ground up through conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Lisa Schirch, Director of Human Security, and Col (ret) Chris Holshek, Senior Civil-Military Advisor at AfP are the lead staff and contacts for the Civil Society and Security Sector Engagement for Human Security Project.
The University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies is one of the world's leading centers for the study of the causes of violent conflict and strategies for sustainable peace. Kroc Institute faculty and fellows conduct interdisciplinary research on a wide range of topics related to peace and justice.
The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) is building a new international consensus and enabling joint action to prevent violent conflict and promote peacebuilding, based on regional and global action agendas. GPPAC is a global network of civil society organisations committed to act to prevent the escalation of conflict into violence, at national, regional and global levels. It aims to build a multi-stakeholder partnership including civil society, governments, regional organisations and the UN.