The effective provision of security and justice is one of the main requirements for a peaceful society and sustained social and economic development. This is particularly important in post-settlement or post-conflict countries, where sources of insecurity may be exacerbated by the actual and anticipated return of ex-combatants, refugees and internally displaced persons to areas of minimal or degraded state presence. Depending on their training, pay, motivation and professionalism, security forces may be part of the solution or part of the problem.
Alert works to connect up the experiences and concerns of those who are the intended beneficiaries of security-enhancing programmes with the donors, policy makers and implementers in order to improve both policy and practice. Working with governments, civil society and community groups to ensure that security and justice is provided is one of the major elements of strategic peacebuilding.
Our objectives are to:
- Advocate for improved effectiveness of policies and programmes aimed at establishing and improving security and justice in conflict-affected contexts.
- Ensure that such policies and programmes are grounded in local realities and perceptions of what security and justice means, including a clear understanding of the actors and institutions, state or non-state, that provide or enable security, and how and why various elements of society seek to access justice in different ways.
- Advocate for a broader range of actors and activities to be considered in the planning, implementation and oversight of justice and security system reforms (JSSR).
Alert’s security and justice team works across the world in association with our country programmes and partners, including in Nepal, Uganda, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It also pursues high level advocacy and training in the UK and with EU, UN and other international institutions, donors and peacebuilding organisations.
In order to promote a more people-centred approach to security provision and to improve access to justice for all, Alert works with communities, civil society organisations, formal and informal security and justice providers, local and national governments, donor institutions and intergovernmental organisations.
Our research focuses on in-depth participatory research in communities affected by or vulnerable to violent conflict to develop an understanding of security and justice issues and perceptions within their local context. Specific research and cross-learning between contexts allows us to develop a reliable evidence base for our programmatic interventions and advocacy.
In promoting accompaniment, dialogue and communication between stakeholders we seek to broaden the debate to include those who are not typically involved in ‘security’ discussions, for example, women’s groups, civil society more broadly, the aid/development community and business actors.
Building on our research and partnerships, our international advocacy works to connect national, regional and international actors and mechanisms involved in policy formulation with local and national actors and structures involved in security policy implementation and practice.
Training courses are delivered at all levels, from capacity-building of our local partners, community groups and country offices to high-level courses for politicians and security practitioners.
In conflict-affected countries, specific sections of society or even the majority of the population often face ongoing threats to their safety and security which are unlikely to be mitigated in the immediate future. Alert’s approach to the security aspects of peacebuilding is based on our analysis of where these threats come from and why, and how the services and institutions within society address or fail to address them.