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DCAF/ISSAT Activities with the EU

DCAF's International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) reinforces the international community's efforts to improve security and justice primarily in conflict-affected and fragile states. Since 2008, ISSAT with its rapidly deployable teams of experts has been supporting its Governing Board Members to enhance the effectiveness and quality of security and justice reform programming, coordination, as well as the collection and dissemination of SSR good practices. ISSAT's membership is composed of 14 countries, of which 11 are EU Member States (namely Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and 7 multilateral actors, including the Council of the EU and the European Commission as well as UN DPKO, UNDP, UN DPA, OIF, and OECD. The African Union has permanent observer status on ISSAT's Governing Board. Since 2009 ISSAT has been supporting the EU institutions in security and justice reform. In 2012, ISSAT has supported the EU institutions in one Advisory Field Support mission as well as in two trainings, further cooperation and support is anticipated to take place in the course of the year. An overview of ISSAT activities with the EU is provided below:

Advisory Field Support

Support to the initiative of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU to develop an SSR Assessment Framework. Upon the request of Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2009, ISSAT joined the advisory panel, along with other EU member states, and representatives from the Council and the Commission, tasked with developing a EU SSR Assessment Framework.

Review of joint, multi-disciplinary SSR team in Central African Republic for the EU/UNDP. An ISSAT team was requested by the EU Delegation in the Central African Republic (and in consultation with UNDP) to undertake a rapid evaluation mission in December 2009 to review the use of multidisciplinary teams providing SSR support to national authorities. The review extracted lessons for similar engagements and made recommendations for harmonizing future joint deployments.

Support to a joint EU/UN/ECOWAS assessment of the security and justice sector in Guinea. The Directorate General for External Relations (RELEX) requested DCAF/ISSAT to support ECOWAS and the joint SSR Working Group for Guinea to conduct an SSR assessment to inform future programming to strengthen the rule of law, security and development in Guinea. ISSAT provided two senior justice experts to support two missions that took place in April and May 2010.

Support in the design of a programme for justice sector reform in Guinea. DCAF/ISSAT was requested to support the EU delegation in Conakry in the preparation of the design and implementation strategy for a programme to support reform of the justice sector. This was a follow up to the assessment report of the justice sector carried out with ISSAT support in July 2010. During October/November 2010, ISSAT provided a justice expert to support the analysis of the needs and constraints to implement the EU programme in Guinea.

Support the Thematic Evaluation of the European Commission Support to Justice and Security System Reform. DCAF/ISSAT was requested to support the ADE external evaluation of the Commission’s work on justice and security system reform over the period 2001-2009. ISSAT will provide expertise and support to the EU Evaluation Unit that is overseeing the process throughout the period of the review 2010-2011.

Providing expert advice to a study on EC support to the justice sector. DCAF/ISSAT was requested to provide support to the reference group for a review on the EC support within the justice sector. This group will meet twice, at the beginning of the process to discuss the inception report and at the end in a workshop. It will comment on the current review focusing on ACP countries and give advice on the writing and method of the review.

Support to the development of the EU strategy on military justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In March 2011, ISSAT was requested to support the EU delegation in Kinshasa in defining how to support the military justice sector in DRC. The support will include the development of a strategy, based on a needs assessment of the military justice sector, and the identification of entry points for possible future intervention.

Support to the facilitation of a DEVCO workshop on EU support to justice and security sector reform programmes. In May 2011, ISSAT was requested to assist in the preparation and facilitation of a workshop in Brussels for the EC Directorate-General for Development Cooperation. The gathering assembled participants from EU delegations around the world that work on JSSR issues to talk about how to improve their engagement in terms of substance and existing procedures.

ISSAT High Level Panel held in Brussels on “A common approach for building international capacity to support security and justice sector reform”. Representatives from the EEAS and the former CSDP SSR mission in Guinea Bissau acted as panel speakers at the High Level Panel held in May 2011 in Brussels, focusing on capacity gaps and opportunities to meet needs in supporting SSR.

Support to a workshop on police accountability in the Palestinian Police run by the EU CSDP mission in Palestine EUPOL COPPS in partnership with UNDP. In March of 2012, ISSAT provided three experts to share experience of good practice on police ombudsman practices, anti-corruption and police codes of conduct as part of an initial workshop developed to launch an 18-month EU/UNDP programme to assist the Palestinian Police to enhance accountability within their structures.


Training Workshop for middle and senior-management level representatives from the European Commission, the Secretariat of the Council of the EU and EU Parliament. In November 2009, on the request of the European Commission (DG Development), ISSAT conducted a two-day SSR training workshop in Brussels for representatives of various EU institutions, including DG Development, RELEX, Secretariat of the Council of the EU and the EU Parliament. The training, among other things, examined how the EU works with other national and international actors in supporting SSR programmes and provided the participants from different departments with opportunities to develop ways of enhancing the comprehensive EU approach to supporting SSR.

Support to the Expert Workshop on Training for SSR. DCAF/ISSAT contributed to the development of a roadmap to harmonise European SSR training programmes, standards, and curricula through a workshop held in the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) in 2009. The workshop sought to enhance the EU’s development of a comprehensive approach to supporting SSR that could be implemented by its experts in the field, and brought together the different training institutions throughout the EU.

Trainings for the ESDC Course on Security Sector Reform in Stadtschlaining, Austria. ISSAT was requested by Austria to assist in the running of SSR training courses in April 2010 and March 2012 at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. The introductory SSR training course focused on EU SSR experiences, and brought together participants from the various countries, including EU candidate states, as well as representatives of EU institutions.

Facilitation support for an internal EU training on SSR in cooperation with IHEDN (Institute des Hautes Etudes de la Defence Nationale France) and (Instituto Defesa Nationale Portugal). ISSAT provided facilitation support in April 2012 to discussions on SSR and EU capacities as part of an internal EU training. The workshop brought together EU staff working on security and justice issues to review issues relating to the EU policy framework for supporting SSR, available instruments and capacities and examples from the field.