2014/15 Research Projects

The Role of Civil-Military-Police Coordination in Supporting Durable Solutions to Displacement

In 2014, ACMC commissioned research with the Brookings Institution on ‘The role of Civil-Military-Police Coordination in Supporting Durable Solutions to Displacement’.

The objectives of this project were to increase understanding of the synergies between peacebuilding, conflict prevention and durable solutions to displacement, and inform and strengthen the capacity of key actors. The research includes four case studies; Kosovo, Colombia, Liberia, and Timor-Leste.

The research considers how conflict prevention approaches may be integrated into initiatives and strategies to support the resolution of displacement, and focuses on the role of military and police forces (and related civ-mil coordination structures) in supporting durable solutions to displacement in post-conflict situations.

Through case studies, a UN based workshop and a final report, the research project highlights the linkages between civil-military-police and durable solutions to displacement and concludes that improving the ties between security, development and humanitarian actors is an important step in building and maintaining peace and stability.

Kosovo Case Study:
The paper on Kosovo identified many positive linkages between peacebuilding, SSR and the creation of durable solutions for protracted IDP situations and demonstrated that although representation of minorities and vulnerable groups is a necessary condition, in itself it is not sufficient to create a truly multi-ethnic security and justice system which provides effective security and justice services to all citizens, regardless of their ethnic background and status. Coordination between humanitarian and SSR actors – in particular those working on the police and military –was identified as one part of the answer to ensure that programs are better linked.

Colombia Case Study:
The Colombian paper demonstrated that if SSR efforts are to reduce some of the negative impacts security forces and their activities have had on displacement and improve prospects for durable solutions, they need to address IDP security concerns specifically. When SSR efforts only focus on the effectiveness of the security sector, they may detract from the safety of IDPs and cause more displacement. Alternatively, when such efforts include a focus on the security and justice needs of IDPs, improvements in the security and justice sector can make important contributions to durable solutions and the prevention of displacement.

Liberia Case Study:
The background paper on Liberia highlighted that displacement is both a security and a development issue. Displacement places strain on limited public services, create insecurity and fuel urbanisation. There is concern that the lack of solutions for the displaced could threaten the country’s fragile peace and security. Resolving displacement is also central to the government’s development agenda.

Timor Leste Case Study:
The Timor Leste paper identified a need for greater civil-military coordination and the development of intentional overlapping of mandates between humanitarian, peacebuilding, and peacemaking, and peacekeeping actors. In essence, the only way to ensure a more integrated approach is to plan for it, to ensure that different tasks are included in its remit and to hold people accountable for cooperation and not just coordination.

The workshop was held on 8 May 2015 at the Australian Mission to the United Nations. The workshop focused on tracing the intersections between security, development, and humanitarian actors, with a particular focus on security sector reform and peace support operations. It highlighted the importance of coordination between humanitarian, development, and military actors in working together to find durable solutions to displacement.

The first blog was published in September 2014 and the second was published in June 2015. These blogs were released on the Brookings website and focussed on the role of the military and police in supporting durable solutions for those displaced by conflict.

Final Report:
The report was built upon the four case studies which provided insight, context, and guidance to the discussion. The report also draws upon existing literature as well as the comments and presentations from an expert-level workshop in held at the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York in May 2015.