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SMN 2009-2011

Security Management Network

In March 2009 IDM, with the support of Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF) and NATO Public Diplomacy Division, launched the “Security Management Network”, a genuine initiative aiming to create a permanent network of 15 independent experts from civil society, professionals and academics from various fields who have a particular interest in security issues, as well as representatives of public institutions and non-governmental organizations with remarkable achievements in their careers.
The rationale behind the SMN initiative incorporates a two-fold purpose – to build and consolidate independent expertise of various CS structures (think tanks, academia, journalist community interest groups etc.); and secondly, to contribute to overall reforms and governance in the security sector through qualitative research and policy options.

SMN’s Key Activities

During the first phase of this project, six training seminars were conducted for the members of network with eminent speakers from Albania and the region. In the first training on March 2009 Prof. Dr. Velizar Shalamanov – former Deputy Minister of Defence in Bulgaria provided the audience with the basic concepts of monitoring instruments in the security sector, presenting best practices from the Balkan region and Western Europe. He was mostly focused on the efforts to establish a reliable scheme of democratic control of armed forces and security sector in general. Coming from the military ranks, Mr. Shalamanov briefly presented some of the most important aspects of the role of civil society in SSR by describing the developing stages of this process based on the Bulgarian experience.

The second training titled “Benchmarking of security sector governance” took place at the end of April 2009, and was conducted by MA Sonja Stojanovic – Director of Centre for Civil and Military Relations in Belgrade. Ms Stojanovic provided a thorough of indicators leading to objectives and standards for measuring performance of the implementation of SSR. Retired General Dr Luan Hoxha on May 2009 conducted the following training session on “Security Sector Budgeting: Transparency, Accountability”. In particular the SMN members were informed on how to conduct a political evaluation on the mission and capacities of the security sector actors. Mr Hoxha stressed the importance of a wider engagement of the civil society in the security sector budgeting in order to increase the effectiveness and transparency of SSR. The agenda of this training was followed by the presentation of Prof. Dr. Rexhep Meidani the fundamental concepts in building Human Security agenda in the country. This session of the training was fundamental for one of the product foreseen to be prepared by the SMN members in regards to a background paper on Human Security in Albania. Mr. Meidani pointed out the 7 components of this field by pinpointing the situation in Albania.

“Home Affairs policy areas – Albania’s challenges to meet benchmarks” was the joint lecture by Mr. Steffano Failla from the European Commission Delegation in Albania and Mr. Michael Colbourne – Head of PAMECA III happened on July 2009. The international representatives of two key institutions in the Security Sector Reform in Albania, gave an insight perspective of the implications and obstacles of SSR that Albania has to overcome in order fulfil its aspirations of European integration. The next training was conducted by the Ambassador Valerin Ratchev, member of the Bulgarian Academy of Science. He gave a remarkable lecture on the main research, analysis and policy assessment tools in the area of security sector. This session was particularly important for the future work of SMN in regards to the theoretical approach on how to conduct relevant research on SSR issues. The last session, on September 2009 was lead by Mr. Goran Buldioski – Program Director of Open Society Institute Think Tank Funds (SOROS) and Ms Barbora Marankova – Program Coordinator in NATO Public Diplomacy Division in Brussels. Mr Buldioski gave a presentation and opened the floor for related questions on the topic “How to communicate and influence political issues in security sector” and Ms Marankova, based on long and consolidated NATO experience, briefed the audience with a lecture titled “The communication challenges of international organizations: Why the need for Public Diplomacy?”

After the successful training sessions on most important aspects of security sector, 15 researchers involved in this network prepared under the mentorship of IDM, 5 research and policy documents after undergoing revision process by senior security experts of DCAF. These products are presented in this publication. Within this process IDM in close consultations with the members of the network established a working plan related to the activities and the outcomes of this initiative that for the first time is taking place in Albania. The first product which opened the process of a series of research studies on different aspects of security sector in Albania was the “Backgrounder on Human Security in Albania”. This document constitutes a brief analysis of the standards related to human security components in regards to the Albanian context. On the one hand this initiative served as a sound test for the network to involve all the members depending on respective backgrounds and interests, working together for a joint product related to security sector research. On the other hand, it established a milestone for further research in this unexplored field. In difference from the first document, for the rest of the research, the members of SMN were divided in 4 main groups based on their interests and background.

The final documents each group was engaged to research in are as follows:

1. Assessment of the National Security Coordinating Authority

2. Developing the National Security Concept

3. Encouraging a Performance Based Management model

4. Gender in Security Sector.

The first document covered various issues related to constitutional and political contexts of the institutions governing the security sector, as well as analyzing the role and capacities of institutions in drafting and monitoring of implementation of national security policies etc. The study was finalized with a set of recommendations concerning the improvement of the coordinating authority of national security. The second group comprised by three independent researchers came up with a policy brief on how to develop the national security concept for Albania. Considering that the current National Security Strategy is outdated as in need to be revised since 2007, this study analyzes the main trends and implications to be taken into account on the future efforts to the national security policies for the future.

The third product of the group focuses on the institutional efficiency and management through launching a “performance based management” model. Work on this topic will remain a top priority for the Network even in the coming years.

The last group, based on the interests, knowledge and expertise of its members have focused on the gender perspective of security sector reform. The documents provides concrete recommendations and solutions for strengthening the awareness and sensitivity on gender aspects of security sector governance and development.

The launch of each document was done in a series of public events – roundtables with the participation of representatives from civil society, public institutions, international community, and academia. This aimed to present to the general public the research work conducted in the framework of this project. In order to influence the policy and decision making audiences in different levels, IDM endeavoured to ensure not only a wide media coverage of the public events, but most importantly, qualitative participation of stakeholders and interest groups in the meetings. Vivid discussions and debates were conducted, that helped the process of awareness raising in regards to the issues under discussion.

Capacity Building

With the intention to strengthen the capacities of the Security Sector Monitoring Network in the research field in the security sector, in the frame of this program, IDM with the support of DCAF, organized in November 2010, a two-day training titled: “How to write effective policy briefs”. The training which was held in IDM premises was conducted by senior experts of DCAF in the field of security sector reforms: Mr. David Law and Mr. Bard Knudsen.

This activity aimed at:

Acquitting the participants of the Security Sector Monitoring Network with the main issues of the security sector reforms and at the same time to help the participants to define the topics that they would focus in the future for writing policy briefs.

Reviewing the best practices of the techniques of writing policy briefs with the aim to increase effectiveness in the respective audiences.

Helping the participants build the teams in which they will be engaged in the future to write research studies and policy briefs.

Facilitating communication among junior researchers of the Security Monitoring Network

The training focused on two important components: the theoretical aspect where participants were introduced with some of the basic principles that should be taken into consideration when writing policy briefs; and the practical aspect where participants were asked to work and reflect on specific topics within the security sector reforms in Albania. During the first session was discussed about the differences between ‘policy documents’ and ‘academic papers’ enabling a review of various models of policy briefs and their use in general. The senior experts of DCAF presented the main structures of ‘policy briefs’ and gave valuable advice to be taken into consideration while writing them. In the second session they discussed specific examples of ‘policy briefs’, enabling junior researchers to engage in practical tasks of writing policy briefs as well as at the same time to manage to assess their work, based upon best practices of writing research studies in the field of security sector reforms. Furthermore, taking into account the interests and knowledge of the members, the network was divided into four main groups, where everyone was involved in writing one of the policy briefs.

Products – Policy Papers

Each of the policy papers were launched in a series of public events – roundtables with the participation of civil society representatives, public institutions, international community, and academia. These activities aimed at presenting to the general public the research work carried out within this project.

With the intention to influence policy makers and decision makers’ audience at different levels, IDM tried to ensure not only a broad media coverage of these public events, but more importantly, a qualitative representation of actors and interest groups in these meetings. Constructive discussions and debates were carried out that helped the process of raising awareness for the topics at hand. These policy briefs are presented in the publication “Security Sector Reform Issues in Albania – Vol II”, together with an executive summary in English. All the materials in English and Albanian language are available at IDM’s website:

The New National Security Strategy Document. An assessment of risks, threats and challenges: How to build a more inclusive and accountable process?

This policy paper, prepared by Geron Kamberi, Enri Hide, and Besnik Baka, aims not only to give a general view of the current implication of the process but also to ensure a useful platform for discussion on the eve of the review and drafting of the new National Security Strategy Document. More specifically, the purpose is to provide a summary analysis of the Albanian CRT assessment so far, focusing on three important levels of a final integrated process.

The first part of the paper comprises a theoretical approach to the main concepts of challenges, risks and threats, and the way they are reflected in view of national security perspectives. The second one provides an outline of the Albanian national security framework for the definition of CRT, followed by an analysis of the importance of an inclusive policy and decision-making process, with the participation of different actors and groups of interest. This analysis assesses the contributive role that other actors, mainly from civil society sector, might play in this specific policy area.

On March 10th IDM in coordination with the inter-ministerial expert working group for the drafting of the document of National Security, organized the round table “National Security Policy: Inclusiveness within and beyond institutions”, with representatives from the key institutions of the security sector, to launch the policy paper. with the participation of senior political and non political officials at public administration, top-ranking civil servants at independent institutions as well as security experts from universities, academia, think tank institutes and media.)

Promoting Women in the Albanian Armed Forces: From a Visual Representativeness to an Operational Approach

This policy brief, prepared by SMN members Edlira Peco, Euron Leka and Etilda Salihi, focuses on the opportunities and obstacles of changing gender relations within a traditionally male-dominated Albanian Armed Forces. Based on a thorough legal analysis, a focused policy and institutional assessment and on the introduction of a best practice, the case of Rumania as a comparative review, the document aims at exploring the dynamics of the gender equality, the patterns of integrating women in the promotion procedures in the Armed Forces and consequently, re-establishing gender relations within and outside the Albanian Armed Forces in general.

The paper concludes that gender equality in the Armed Forces of Albania should be seen more from a qualitative approach rather than simply in quantitative figures. This means that women in the army should not only be recruited and contracted but they should also be engaged and treated in the same way as their male colleagues. Such an approach would help to improve their position and better shape gender equality not only in the Armed Forces but also in the overall Albanian Society.

The Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), on the 10th of December 2010 at Hotel “Rogner”, organized the roundtable for launching the study “Gender Equality in the Albanian Armed Forces” prepared by three IDM associated researchers: Edlira Peco, Eurona Leka and Etlida Saliu. Participants in this meeting included representatives from public institutions (Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Chances, The Presidency, Academy of Defense etc.,) as well as invited persons from civil society (main women NGOs). This meeting was focused on the problematique of gender equality within the Armed Forces of Albania.

This roundtable aimed to gather together the interested stakeholders for discussing and articulating some of the main aspects of women representation such as:

Gender Equality aspects in the AF; the context and theoretical framework

The legal aspects of Gender Equality in the Armed Forces

Best Practices of Gender equality in AF: Romania as a Case Study

The representatives of the AF and civil society estimated this activity as a good chance to express the problems of gender equality in the AF as well as for getting a more appropriate knowledge of the situation in this regard.

Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector through Budgeting

This paper, prepared by SMN members Genci Kojdheli, Suela Jahaj and Besnik Baka, aims to present the current status of the parliamentary oversight of the security sector as well as some relevant recommendations for improving the applicable legal and institutional framework, and to encourage public and professional debate in this framework. The followed methodology includes analysis of legal regulations, official documents, previous studies as well as interviews with members of the Albanian Parliament’s Committee for National Security, the staff of the Committee for National Security and representatives of the Ombudsman. This document addresses a wide audience in the public administration who have jurisdiction in the affairs in the defense and security sector, as well as members of the Committee for National Security along with all MPs, and interested international, governmental and non-governmental organizations and the media. We expect this analysis to encourage a more competent and intense public and professional debate on the parliamentary oversight of the security sector concerning the development of democratic values, accountability and transparency.

The need to reform the Intelligence Service System in Albania

This paper analyses Albania’s intelligence system and tries to make an assessment of the main problems is faces. The paper calls for the need of a comprehensive reform which should bring the intelligence system in line with the international norms and standards. Albania lacks central management and coordination mechanisms to ensure full and efficient cooperation among the intelligence and security and law enforcement agencies. Increasing the intelligence activity and number of the agencies with no coordination mechanisms in place has made the process of management and control more complicated. Another feature of the recent developments is the blurring of lines between law enforcement and intelligence. Lack of oversight provisions in the legislation of the newer agencies and poor practice have led to an incongruous oversight of agencies carrying out similar activities.

On July 20th 2011, Institute for Democracy and Mediation organized in the premises of Hotel Tirana International the joint round table about “The need to reform the intelligence system in Albania” and “Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector Through Budgeting”. High representatives from the Ministry of Interior, Intelligent Services, General Prosecutor Office, Ministry of Justice, Ombudsperson, Members of Parliament, representatives from civil society and media.

During the activity, the two policy documents were presented. After the presentation lively discussions and constructive debates took place between the participants on the obstacles related to the reform in the itelligence services and a more active role of parliamentary oversight through budgeting.

Based on the successful establishment and experience of SMN during the last year, IDM with the support of partner organizations would further consolidate the activity of SMN on research and monitoring work of security sector issues and institutions. For next 3 years SMN would develop a twofold perspective: team training on “Performance Based Management Methodology” and training on “Advanced Research on Security Studies”. Aware of the diversity in the fields of expertise that the network members enjoy, the monitoring of the implementation of policies in the SSR will be conducted in various angles.

• Monitoring the drafting process and the implementation of the new National Security Strategy, that will cover subjects related to their field of expertise such as: human security, protection of dignity and national values, Euro-Atlantic integration, rule of law etc;

• Monitoring public satisfaction of police performance. This is a regular review related to the performance of police activity, since IDM during the past has conducted various surveys on this subject.

• Monitoring the implementation of legislation and other regulations on community policing strategy. This strategy has entered in the 4th year of implementation, however has not provided any results while the process is lacking the evaluation and assessment tools due to the absence of periodical monitoring reports.

• Monitoring and annual reporting of policy implementation of security sector institutions especially the role of parliamentary commission on National Security as regards democratic control and oversight of security sector institutions.

• Since ‘gender balance’ has been introduced as an important component of the security sector reform in Albania, SMN in the future (through research and analysis) will concentrate on the possibilities to enhance public policies concerning gender balance and issues related to the security sector institutions.

• A research study on human resources management in the Armed Forces and State Police. The main objective of this research is to analyze the reform process in the armed forces and in the state police structures related to conditions offered to respective officers for career, while examining the dismissal practices in the military and police ranks for well educated officers and personnel.

• Research on trends of the development of social trust and authority in the framework of law enforcement during the last 20 years in Albania. This would constitute a sound opportunity to better understand the democratic pace of the institutions in regards to obligations, responsibilities, and values. By examining the relations between social trust and democracy in a region undergoing political and economic change we can be able to assess the causal direction of the relations between trust and democratic performance in a context in which there is substantial variation in levels of democracy.

• In the future the network will continue to produce policy briefs and reports on different issues of Security Sector Reform.

• The members would be involved in the activities of IDM, in the organization of round-tables, conferences and public debates with key stakeholders and representatives from various institutions in the security sector.

Enri Hide 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. Mr Hide holds a Master Degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the Panteion University, Athens. He graduated from the Aegean University in “International Relations and Organization. He is the author of various articles and publications in the field of security studies.

Mr. Agron Sojati is the head of the Department of Witness Protection, in the Ministry of Interior. He has a extensive career in the police structures where for 7 years was the Police Liaison Officer for SECI Centre (Southeast European Cooperative Initiative). In the last years he has been a contractor with US. Justice Department International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP). He holds a Master Degree in Security Policy from Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Switzerland.

Mrs. Edlira Peço is a PHD candidate in sociology. She is a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Tirana, where she has been engaged in the last 8 years. She is working on her PHD thesis “Impact of Migration on the Albanian. Society Stratification”. Misses Baka holds a MA degree from the University of Bruges/Belgium. She is the author of many publications in the field of sociology and particularly in the field of asylum seekers’ rights.

Mr. Genc Kojdheli is a former officer of political affairs in OSCE. He was an adviser to the Minister of Public Order in 2005. Currently he is a trainer in “Friedrich Ebert Stiftung” foundation. Mr. Kojdheli has a long experience in political arena and civil society, where he as been active in human rights issues. In the same field he obtained his Master Degree in the University of Utrecht.

Arjan Dyrmishi is a researcher affiliated with IDM. Referring to his professional engagements he has a wide expertise in security sector. He was Head of Centre for Interception of Telecommunications and Head of International Relations in National Intelligence Service. In the past Mr. Dyrmishi was holding the position of the Adviser to the Minister of Defence and prior to that Director of Defense Policies and Integration in the same ministry. He holds a Master in Political Sciences from the University if Siena, Italy and has obtained a large number of additional diplomas and trainings in security matters.

Ms. Mariola Qesaraku is working as researcher at IDM since 2008, in the area of security issues (more specifically, editor of EU Home Affairs Review, contributing for Security Issues Quarterly, in charge of a number of other initiatives – such as the Regional Summer School on Security Studies ’08 etc.). Ms. Mariola Qesaraku holds a BA degree in Political Sciences (University of Siena, Italy) and an MA degree in Contemporary European Studies (University of Sussex, UK).

Mr. Besar Likmeta is a professional journalist from Tirana. He has an extensive experience in investigative journalism and is the Albanian editor of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – a regional cooperation network of reporters from all the Balkans covering issues in common interests as corruption, security etc. He has a University Diploma in Advanced Philosophical Studies from the University of North Florida (2004).

Mr. Besnik Baka holds a BA degree in Journalism (University of Tirana) and two MA degrees: MA in Global Journalism (Orebro University & Oslo University College) and MA in Democracy and Human Rights (University of Sarajevo and University of Bologna). Mr. Baka has been involved with Albanian and regional think tank organizations, as a PR officer and researcher – Regional Environmental Centre (Tirana); Institute for Democracy and Mediation (Tirana); Centre for Civil Military Relations (Belgrade, Serbia) etc.

Ms. Ira Papagjika is a Law Coordinator in the Department of Public Administration, in the Ministry of Interior. She is finishing her MA studies in Public Administration from University of Tirana – Economic Faculty.

Ms. Evis Gjebrea is a teaching assistant in the European University of Tirana lecturing Economic Policies. She holds a MA in Banking and Finance for Development from University of Milan. She finished her Bachelor degree in International Economic Relations from Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. She was selected for the US Congress scholarship on advanced studies at GWU in 2007-2008 in Washington D.C

Eurona Leka is lecturer Marlin Barleti University in Tirana. She holds a MA degree in Peacekeeping Management from University of Turin/Italy while she finished with “excellent” results the University of “La Sapienza” in Rome. Miss Leka has a relevant academic background in crisis analysis, conflict & post-conflict policies and crisis response situations covering three macro areas such as (1) conflict transformation, (2) mediation and negotiation in emergency management stabilisation and (3) Reconstruction Processes.

Mr. Geron Kamberi currently is an Advocacy Officer of Oxfam. His interest in Security Management Network relates strongly to his previous research experience at certain areas of security studies and in this framework. He holds a MA. Degree in European Politics at Sussex European Institute, United Kingdom. Mr. Kamberi has an extensive experience in research, as well as designing and monitoring projects. He has been active as associate researcher for IDM and has published various articles and studies.

Ms. Elona Dhembo is a lecturer in the faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Tirana. She obtained her Master of Science in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford. She has an extended experience in research and trainings mostly related to the social issues such as gender, education, vulnerable communities and human rights. Ms Dhëmbo is the author of various publications related to social issues.

Ms Jonida Hoxha is a lawyer, graduated in University of Aristotle – Greece, and currently engaged with Classified Information Security Directorate in the Council of Ministers. For the moment she is finishing her MA studies in Amsterdam/Netherlands. Ms Hoxha has participated in various activities and academic events such as George Marshall Center for Security Studies in Germany, Regional Summer School on Security Studies in Albania etc.

Ms. Suela Jahaj has finnished her studies for “European Studies” in Malta, and her postgraduate studies in Italy in the same subject. Upon her return in Albania, she graduated the Law Faculty in European University of Tirana. Ms. Jahaj has been engaged in the civil society as a Political Coordinator in “Mjaft” movement, and later she has been working in the Public Relations Office in the Municipality of Tirana. Currently working in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry while being engaged in different projects.

Mr. Maklen Misha has finnished his studies for International Relations in the University of Utrecht in Netherlands. He finnished his MA Studies in the same institution for “Conflict Resolution”, with the dessertation “Kosovo and International Community – A comparative study”. Mr Misha has been engaged with the International Criminal Tribunal fo Former Yugoslavia, and upon his return in Albania, has lead the Research Department in the Institute of International Studies. He cooperates with different NGOs such as Albanian Media Institute, Institute for Dialog and Communication, Institute for International Studies etc. He often publishes articles Albanian daily “Shqip”.