Regional Workshop on Security Sector Transformation 2009-05-12 Kathmandu, Nepal

Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) collaborated with the Global Facilitation Network for SSR, DCAF/ ISSAT in Geneva, the Institute for Strategic and Defence Studies (ISDS) in the Philippines and Centre for South Asian Studies in Nepal, to organize a Regional Workshop and Training on Security Sector Transformation from 12-14 May 2009, in Kathmandu, Nepal. The workshop was conducted under the activities of the Association for Security Sector Reforms Education and Training (ASSET) of which RCSS is a founding member.

The workshop brought together 25 participants exclusively from civil society organisations from 11 countries in South and South East Asia in a bid to assist civil society organisations in the region to discuss Security Sector Transformation issues in South and South East Asia and to develop their own training materials, to be used both regionally and nationally.

The Kathmandu workshop was a follow-up to the Security Sector Reform Training Workshop held in Manila in December 2008, where the need to conduct similar SST training in South Asia had been identified. On the first day, participants were offered an overview of the key policies and principles of SST and the various contexts within which SST is conducted. Through the use of case studies, participants were then introduced to various SST related issues in four South and South East Asian countries. The key focus on the second day was on SST training. Participants were then introduced to the specific skills and methodologies required to design and deliver SST training and were offered hands-on experience in designing and delivering SST modules. The third day highlighted various trends and processes of STT in the region and explored possibilities for future collaboration.

The uniqueness of this workshop was that several participants from the Manila training programme were invited to design and deliver training sessions at the workshop. As such, the introductory session on key SST policies and principles, and 4 case studies on the region were conducted by participants. In preparation for the workshop, ISSAT’s training team worked closely with these participants to help them design and deliver their respective sessions. The four case studies delivered by participants dealt with the following issues: Security Sector Transformation in the Tribal Areas: Case Study of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) in Pakistan; policing organized crime in India: A case study of the Mumbai police; reforming without transforming: challenges and opportunities for Security Sector Transformation in the Philippines; and human rights and justice reform in Cambodia. Through these case studies, the organizers hoped to gain more insight on key SSR issues in the region and also encourage discussion and comparison across sub-regions.

The workshop ended with a roundtable discussion that identified trends and best practices related to SST, and as presented during the previous two days, in South and South East Asia.