In depth

 Training police officers is an integral part of strengthening Somalia's security sector

With support from Denmark, Japan, the European Commission, DFID, Denmark, Counter Piracy Trust Fund, UNDP helps Somali law enforcement institutions deliver better policing services through recruitment, international standard law enforcement training curriculum that stresses human rights and gender issues, improved management capacities, internal governance and oversight. Strategies have been designed to improve access to inclusive, equitable and accountable forms of security and protection for all Somalis.

There is a focus on capacity development for key institutions that deliver civilian policing. This includes public accountability and parliamentary oversight mechanisms. Enhanced capacity and development of staff through UNDP trainings, workshops and joint working group mechanisms is an ongoing process.

Individual capacity development for police officers has been complemented with support for policy and strategy development, infrastructure support and provision of operational support and equipment throughout the country. By the end of 2013, UNDP cumulatively supported the training of 14,500 civilian police officers — including 5,800 in south central Somalia, 5,000 in Somaliland and 3,700 in Puntland.

In 2013, UNDP focused on strengthening the institutional and technical capacity of the Somaliland Police Force to promote human rights and introduce a sharper focus on gender equality. The Action Plan for Gender Responsive Policing and police response for sexual and gender-based violence was developed and adopted by the Police Commissioner. The recruitment and training of 150 qualified female police officers into the Somaliland Police Force shows the growing commitment within the armed forces to increase the gender balance.

Supporting robust and reliable institutions on the ground is key to UNDP’s work. UNDP is engaging the Ministry of National Security, responsible for the SPF in south central Somalia to support the police in setting up a police legal framework for a new Police Act that will result in restructuring the police organization and developing the individual capacity of police personal. Construction of police infrastructure, including local police stations, was ongoing in 2013, to help build localized security forces. Building infrastructure builds the capacity of the police force to help them do their jobs professionally and in line with international standards. UNDP also works with national and international partners to conduct specialised training – based on need assessments.

UNDP provided training resources to officers attending police academies in Somaliland and Puntland. Feedback showed they were encouraged and inspired by their training, and currently use the lessons on human rights and the importance of civilian accountability in their everyday work.

A strong police force must emphasize community security and have linkages with those mechanisms. This means empowering communities to use tools to target their unique challenges and environments.

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