DCAFProject › Support to Institutional Partners on Gender and SSR

Support to Institutional Partners on Gender and SSR

As a global leader in research and practice on gender and security sector reform, DCAF is frequently asked by international organisations to provide policy input, technical support and capacity building. The European Union and the United Nations are key partners of DCAF's gender and security programming, alongside NATO, the OSCE, the OECD, the IPU, and other prominent international bodies.

The United Nations Organisation (UN)
DCAF's collaboration with the UN has a long history. In the field of gender and security sector reform, DCAF has worked with different departments of the UN, including UNDP, UNIFEM and UNDPKO, as well as with the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, and the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA). DCAF has a particularly strong partnership with UN Women; one of UN Women’s predecessor institutes was co-publisher of theGender and SSR Toolkit.

DCAF has provided technical support on the integration of gender in SSR to UN Women, both Headquarters and field offices, especially in West Africa, the Western Balkans, and the Caucasus.

In partnership with the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC), a programme of UNDP, since 2010 DCAF has supported the Council of the South Eastern European Women Police Officers’ Network by providing input into the WPON’s statutes and several training workshops.

The European Union (EU)
As the integration of gender in peacekeeping and stability operations has become a priority for the EU, the need for capacity building and external expertise has grown accordingly. DCAF has had a prominent role in shaping the approach to security sector reform of several of the rotating presidencies, through individual meetings, input into strategic planning documents and participation in symposia and seminars organised by the presidencies.

DCAF has also supported the integration of gender in ESDP missions through its participation in the 1325 EU Partnership. In 2009, in partnership with the NGO ISIS Europe, DCAF organised three roundtables on gender and SSR for EU staff responsible for the development of SSR policy and programming. As the EU has put in place its comprehensive approach to UNSCR 1325 and 1820, DCAF has participated in several seminars and working groups to strategise implementation and identify performance indicators.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) 
In the last decade NATO  has showed keen interest in integrating gender and empowering women throughout its operations and internal structures, led by the advances in women's integration in some of its member militaries. DCAF supported the Committee on Women in NATO Forces (CWINF) through the process of drafting a series of guidelines on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in NATO operations. The process culminated in 2009 with the issuance of NATO Bi-SC Directive 40-1 establishing concrete measures to ensure 1325 implementation.

In June 2009, CWINF changed its name to the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NGCP)  and received strengthened terms of reference "to be a consultative body to promote gender mainstreaming as a strategy for making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and military operations". To be able to respond to this enhanced mandate, the Committee has frequently sought DCAF's assistance in planning and carrying out different activities, such as designing a template for pre-deployment gender training with the aim of establishing common standards among all NATO member countries.

In addition to its cooperation with NATO, DCAF holds the executive secretariat of the working group on SSR of The Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes (PfPC) . In that role, DCAF has organized a series of workshops and seminars focusing on the integration of gender in military operations and structures. Activities include a workshop on gender and SSR in 2010, and a seminar on gender and defence transformation co-organised with the Swedish National Defence College and the Swedish Armed Forces in 2011. In 2012-2014, the SSR WG has worked in collaboration with the PfPC Education Development Working Group, and held a series of workshops on teaching gender to the military, at NATO School Oberammergau and the George C. Marshall Center in 2012, and in Geneva in 2013. DCAF, through the SSR WG, has also compiled a factsheet on documents and initiatives on gender and security in NATO to inform joint research, outreach and expert formation in the PfPC context.

Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE-ODIHR)
OSCE-ODIHR has had a long partnership with DCAF, including as co-publisher of the Gender & SSR Toolkit. In addition, OSCE-ODIHR and DCAF have partnered in numerous initiatives to build key actors' capacity on gender and SSR. For example, OSCE-ODIHR and DCAF co-presented the Gender & SSR Toolkit at the conference of the South-Eastern European Police Chiefs' Association in Croatia, and facilitated a two-day workshop on gender and security sector oversight with parliamentarians and civil society representatives in Skopje.