COMMUNITY-BASED POLICING AND POST CONFLICT POLICE REFORM
A European Commission Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Project
The ICT4COP research project commenced on June 1, 2015, following a five-year grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program.
The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NMBU, is the project coordinator.
Dr. Ingrid Nyborg, Associate Professor at NMBU, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Noragric, is the project leader.
Understanding human security in post-conflict areas is at the core of this project. Where conventional, top-down police reforms fail, Community-Based Policing (COP) holds promise – but also entails challenges.
The project comprises 11 work packages. In-depth qualitative research will be conducted in a total of 11 case countries, spread across Latin America, South-Eastern Europe, Africa, and South Asia. Crosscutting themes include youth, gender, technology, and police training.
The research is interdisciplinary, with a common, overarching methodology and a strong focus on dissemination and exploitation of research results.
A clear ambition for the project is to analyze both differences and commonalities in community-oriented policing in very different post-conflict societies, to better inform development and security policy, reform processes, and training and education.
Post-conflict societies, although they vary in most respects, have something in common: public institutions are considered weak and untrustworthy. This is true for policing institutions as well. Abuse of policing powers, corrupt practices, and impunity are characteristics people often ascribe to their authorities. Meanwhile, conflicts have regional and global ramifications. Citizens everywhere are endangered by problems arising from conflict, such as human and drug trafficking, and terrorism.
This research project sets out to better understand these and interlinked challenges, and to propose new ways for dealing with them. Questions to be addressed include:
- Could policing in post-conflict societies become a public service and not merely a public authority?
- Are the police in post-conflict societies accountable to the population, and able to respond to gender- and youth-specific crimes and insecurities?
- To what degree can information and communications technologies contribute to or detract from improved human security for vulnerable populations?