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Burkina Faso



Supporting security sector governance in Burkina Faso


In 2017 Burkina Faso launched a security sector reform (SSR) process led by the National Defence and Security Council (CSDN). The country adopted an ambitious reform agenda that includes the elaboration on a new national security policy and strategy, development an anti-corruption strategy, increased governance of the security sector and development a strategy to combat violent extremism, among other commitments. The adoption of a national security policy provides a framework to reconceive a national security architecture while including a broad range of actors such as civil society, ombuds institutions and academia.

The need for a collective response to strengthen cohesion and implement a reform of the security sector in order to clarify security forces’ mandates, prevent corruption and the misuse of resources, foster discussion with communities, and ensure more efficient and accountable security providers is critical. DCAF is proud to be one of the actors supporting national authorities in improving governance and in fulfilling their role as providers of peace and security in the country.

Objectives & DCAF approach
DCAF is implementing a multi-country Sahel programme (2019-2021) with cross-cutting activities with Mali and Niger, aimed to:

  • contribute to the creation of national and regional environments supportive of enhanced oversight and monitoring of the security sector
  • increase confidence and trust by the population in  governmental security institutions
  • improve effectiveness and professionalism of security sector institutions

To achieve this, DCAF:

  • promotes an increased internal control over the security sector through capacity building, strategic planning, workshops, and other means
  • ensures security sector institutions are subject to oversight by civil society, ombuds institutions, the legislative, and executive powers
  • accompanies security sector institutions towards greater compliance regarding the principles of a democratic society

Listen to our SSR Adviser in Burkina Faso, Sadou Sidibé, shedding light on the major challenges facing security sector reform in the country, and outlining the steps taken by DCAF to enhance cooperation in the field of SSR/G:

Our work has contributed to laying the foundation necessary in order to implement an inclusive SSR reform process which takes into account the needs of the population in terms of security:

  • the mandates of security forces were clarified to support greater security sector governance, and the documents supporting the implementation of the new security architecture (National Security Policy (NSP), National Security Strategy, and sectoral strategies at ministry level) were updated and disseminated, in line with the vision put forward by the government of Burkina Faso
  • a functional interface between State institutions and civilian populations was created through a group of journalists and radio reporters who now have regular access to information on the implementation of the NSP
  • methodological support was provided to parliamentarians of the Commission of Defence and Security (CODES), leading to multiple field missions assessing the implementation of the new military planning law, and to the development of an end-of-mandate video report with lessons learnt and recommendations to the new Commission
  • the capacities of ombuds institutions were strengthened, especially regarding the issue of budgetary oversight

The collaboration between DCAF and CODES took shape in a self-assessment and planning workshop in June 2021 in Bobo-Dioulasso. During this workshop, parliamentarians defined and specified the major legislative projects and priorities for the Assembly's contribution to security sector governance in the context of the current legislature. 

DCAF works with several civil society organizations in Burkina Faso to strengthen the contribution of civil society to security sector governance. Through the development of practical tools, good practices have been disseminated to the CSOs' committees in the Centre-North region.

We are grateful for the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Key Resources

Soutenir la gouvernance du secteur de la sécurité au Burkina Faso

Capacity building for the control of small arms and light weapons (SALW) held by security and defense forces (SDFs) of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger (EN) (FR)

PROFILES IN SSR - Interview with DCAF's SSR Adviser (August 2020) (EN) (FR)

African Security Governance Index

Policy Paper: Promoting Financial Oversight - An Essential Element for Democratic Governance of the Security Sector in the Sahel by Dr. Oswald Padonou (EN) (FR)