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Call for Papers: Parliaments, SSG/R & SDGs

Call for Papers: SSR Paper on Parliaments' Contributions to SSG/R and the Sustainable Developments Goals

DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance 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 contributes to making peace and development more sustainable by assisting partner states and international actors supporting these states, to improve the governance of their security sector through inclusive and participatory reforms. It creates innovative knowledge products, promotes norms and good practices, provides legal and policy advice and supports capacity‐building of both state and non‐state security sector stakeholders.

DCAF's Foundation Council comprises 63 member states, the Canton of Geneva and six permanent observers. Active in over 70 countries, DCAF is internationally recognized as one of the world's leading centres of excellence for security sector governance (SSG) and security sector reform (SSR). DCAF is guided by the operational principles of neutrality, impartiality, local ownership, inclusive participation, and gender equality. DCAF embraces and promotes values of accountability, excellence, inclusivity, integrity and respect. For more information please visit

The Policy & Research Division (PRDiv) produces empirically-grounded and policy-oriented comparative research on global thematic topics relating to security sector governance. PRDiv is also responsible for working with multilateral organisations, such as the UN and OSCE, to improve and harmonize their security sector governance programming, particularly in the context of the UN’s Sustaining Peace Agenda and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Finally, PRDiv conducts research on global approaches to monitoring and evaluating projects related to security sector governance.

Background & Rationale

The UN’s 2030 Agenda is a global action plan for sustainable development and a key priority for the UN and its member states. Currently, little work has been done to link SSG/R with the 2030 Agenda despite there being considerable overlap between the two realms. In this context, DCAF’s Policy and Research Division is conducting a project which focuses on linking SSG/R with the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular SDG16 which relates to peace, justice and strong institutions. SDG16 is made up of 12 sub-components. These sub-components, or “targets”, clarify how one can achieve SDG16, which includes objectives to reduce violence (target 16.1), promote rule of law (target 16.3), reduce illicit arms flows and combat organized crime (target 16.4), reduce corruption (16.5), develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions (16.6), ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making (16.7), ensure access to information and protect fundamental freedoms (16.10), strengthen institutions to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime (16.A). Many of these targets very neatly align with the objectives of security sector reform.

Against this background, this project zeros in on how security sector oversight actors contribute to achieving SDG16 and its targets. The main objective of this publication will be to conceptually frame the role of parliaments in linking good security sector governance and SDG16. Parliaments play an instrumental role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and in holding governments accountable for their commitments to sustainable development. At the same time, they are essential in creating peaceful and just societies and good SSG, through their five key functions:

  • Legislative function: Parliaments create laws that determine the mandate, function, organisation and powers of security providers, management and oversight institutions.
  • Budgetary function: Parliaments have a role in the approval, amendment or rejection of the budget for the security sector.
  • Oversight function: Parliaments monitor and verify whether the security sector is acting in accordance with the constitution, laws, regulations and policies to which it is legally subject.
  • Elective function: Parliaments may scrutinize, veto or approve appointments within the security sector, as well as vote nonconfidence in case of disagreement with government decisions regarding security.
  • Representative functions: Parliaments provide a public forum for debate on security, facilitates political consensus through dialogue and transparency, and gives voice to popular disagreement with government decisions regarding security.

The authority, ability and attitude of legislatures in performing these key functions are also important.

This publication will be part of a four-paper series dedicated to the role of oversight actors in linking SSG/R and SDG16. In addition to parliaments, this project, which is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will entail the publication of two more SSR Papers on the role of civil society and independent oversight actors. These publications all have a global focus (and therefore are not bound to specific regional or national contexts). DCAF’s objective as part of this project is to highlight the importance of oversight and accountability, captured in target 16.6, in efforts to achieve SDG16.

Publication type

The paper will be published as part of DCAF’s SSR Papers series. SSR Papers are a flagship DCAF publication series intended to contribute innovative thinking on important themes and approaches relating to SSR in the broader context of SSG. Papers provide original and provocative analysis on topics that are directly linked to the challenges of a governance-driven security sector reform agenda. SSR Papers are intended for researchers, policy-makers and practitioners involved in this field. SSR Papers are approximately 30,000 words in length. They are published independently by Ubiquity Press, and are subjected to a double-blind peer review process.

Submission procedure

PRDiv invites you to submit your application to by 4 October 2020 with the subject heading “SSR Paper on Parliaments – SDG16”, enclosing:

  • A 500-word abstract
  • An annotated table of contents
  • A copy of your CV, including a list of publications and indicating your research expertise

We welcome submissions from established but also younger promising researchers.                                                                                                                                 

Starting date: 4th quarter of 2020

Duration: Upon mutual agreement (Expected date of publication is early 2021)

Remuneration: the SSR Paper will be compensated with a 5,600 CHF honorarium.


Please note that only candidates whose submission has been short-listed will be contacted.


DCAF is committed to equality of opportunity and encourages submissions from all qualified individuals regardless of sex, age, disability, gender identity, religion, or ethnicity.