Building Civil Society Capacities for Improved Security

Regional Training Workshop

Hotel “DORO” – November 18-21 2010 Tirane / Albania

Institute for Democracy and Mediation with the support of Central European Initiative (CEI) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) organized during November 18-21, 2010 in Hotel DORO CITY in Tirana, the regional training workshop “Building Civil Society Capacities for Improved Security”. This regional training workshop relies on the experience established by IDM through the Security Management Network (SMN) and its success in encouraging a proactive approach and qualitative input of third sector’s expertise in security related policy issues.

This program had a two folded purpose; on the one hand intends to use the SMN experience as a successful story of civil society’s role in policy making, to be shared regionally; and on the other hand will serve as a tool to build capacities of third sector’s representatives from the Western Balkans and Central European countries. As such the activity aimed to cover two perspectives: (1) increasing capacities of the participants in understanding policy issues related to security sector reform and (2) training them on how to develop policy tools to influence the decision making process such as preparation of Policy Briefs.

Importance and particular attention was paid to share the success of the SMN experience, a body of 15 independent researchers from different fields with particular interest in security sector, established 2 years ago by IDM as a potential tool for civil society engagement in policy debates and decision-making.
The overall project was coordinated by IDM communication officer and one assistant. During the preparatory phase several activities took place including the identification of participants, preparation of the training modules and the setting for its implementation. In the framework of this regional training workshop 6 modules were developed by the SMN members:

  • Role of Civil Society in the security sector’s policy implementation & monitoring
  • Advantages & challenges of “opening up security sector to civil society”
  • How to build civil society capacities in the area of security: The case of Security Management Network
  • Tools & approaches to security related research & policy analysis
  • Research tools to monitoring and assessing security governance framework
  • Structuring policy analysis and developing effective policy products
  • Understanding the security sector governance & policy cycle
  • Presentation on key highlights of security sector governance, policy cycle and involved actors
  • Gender perspectives of security sector reform
  • Presentation on key highlights of civil society perspective on gender equality & non-discrimination in the security sector
  • Spotting civil society role in the security sector reform & the process of developing national security strategies
  • Assessing & monitoring security sector reform
  • The Role of Civil society in the process of developing national security strategies

In this regard the training workshop engaged six SMN members that during the last 2 years have been trained by various experts in the field (international and national). They were prepared to conduct each session in the framework of this event.

  • Mr Enri Hide (PHD candidate), is a lecturer and Director of the Department for International Politics at the Institute for Social and Political Studies at the European University of Tirana
  • Eda Peco (PHD candidate) is a professor  in the faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Tirana.
  • Arjan Dyrmishi is a senior researcher affiliated with IDM. Referring to his professional engagements he has a wide expertise in security sector especially in intelligent services where he has was involved for many years in different leading positions
  • Elona Dhembo (PHD candidate), is a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences in Tirana. She has an extended experience in research and trainings although mostly related to the social issues such as gender, education, vulnerable communities and human rights with various influential international NGOs, such as UNICEF, UNDP, SOROS, World Vision Albania etc.
  • Genci Kodheli – Lecturer in Wisdom University in Tirana.
  • Sotiraq Hroni – Executive Director of the Institute for Democracy and Mediation with a long experience in civil society and in-depth expertise on security issues.

The ‘Call for Applications’ was published in the middle of October in various professional networks, civil society organizations associations, universities, partner organizations from the region and individuals concerned with the civil society role in the decision making process of the security sector. This event sparked a lot of interest, mostly from the Western Balkan region but from other central European countries as well, such as Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria. The interest was reflected in the high number of applications (56) that were delivered from different individuals from 12 Central and Eastern European Countries. After a thorough and careful selection process of all the applications, was decided that the training workshop would be attended by 20 participants from the Western Balkan Countries and Central Europe:

  • 2 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 1 participant from Croatia
  • 3 participant from Montenegro
  • 1 participant from Ukraine
  • 3 participant from Macedonia
  • 3 participants from Kosovo
  • 5 participants from Albania
  • 2 participants from Serbia