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Improving security and justice through local/non-state actors

Donors increasingly recognize the important role that local/non-state actors play in the provision of justice and security services in many of the world’s fragile and (post-)conflict countries. However, it is proving challenging to include such actors in support for justice and security development programmes. This report looks at how to effectively support local/non-state security and justice actors and includes three case-studies (Burundi, South Kivu in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and Colombia). It concludes that supporting such actors is possible, and might generate positive effects for human security in the short to intermediate term, but that such support requires: a willingness from donors to take risks; a focus on ensuring linkages between local/non-state actors and the security and justice agencies of the central state; communication, advocacy and knowledge management strategies; flexible and innovative funding mechanisms; and a focus on accountability mechanisms.