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The Gambia




The election of President Barrow in late 2016 ended a 22-year dictatorship under Jammeh rule. In line with the incoming President’s commitments to uphold democratic principles, adhere to the rule of law, and foster development, the Barrow Administration initiated a series of comprehensive reforms and processes covering transitional justice, constitutional reform, national development, and security sector reform (SSR).

Since the launch of a comprehensive SSR process in September 2017, the Gambian government has achieved some very important milestones. The country's first National Security Policy was published in 2019, and a National Security Strategy (NSS) and Security Sector Reform Strategy were adopted in 2020. The Gambia has entered a key phase in its SSR journey as it moves to articulate and implement institutional reform across the sector, and DCAF is proud to be one of the actors supporting this change.

Objectives & DCAF approach
Engaged in The Gambia since 2017, DCAF has implemented various initiatives aimed at:

  • promoting a coordinated, inclusive and participatory SSR process
  • improving civilian oversight of the security sector
  • upholding the rule of law and democratic principles of security institutions’ regulations and policies
  • strengthening effectiveness and accountability of security institutions

To achieve this, DCAF:

  • provides policy makers and security actors with access to evidence and data, and the opportunity to participate in SSR-shaping dialogues
  • strengthens the capacity of parliament, civil society, and the media to effectively provide oversight of the security sector
  • provides expertise on legal frameworks, policies, and human resource management of security institutions

Our intervention has laid the essential groundwork enabling national stakeholders to design and carry out a reform of the security sector that is holistic, coherent, inclusive and evidence-based:

  • an institutional human resource assessment of security institutions was conducted, together with a gender survey and a population survey
  • key oversight actors developed mid-term strategic plans pertaining to their oversight functions of the security sector
  • draft legislations governing the intelligence service, and the armed forces were developed
  • an interlinkage between the constitutional reform process and SSR was enhanced

From January 2021, our support will aim at strengthening the effectiveness and accountability of the Gambian police force, while enhancing the capacity of key actors to provide effective oversight of security institutions.

We are grateful for the support of:

  • The European Union
  • France
  • Germany
  • The United Kingdom