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Closing the Security Governance Gap


Strategic initiative with the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI) to address gap between national strategic planning and local policing


Challenge: Increase the capability and capacity of the MoI to direct, resource and hold to account the Afghan National Police (ANP), against the backdrop of international troops drawing-down in 2014.


Problem/context: Outside Kabul, the linkage between central Ministry planning and the direction and resourcing of police activities on the ground is tenuous, where it exists at all. Provincial commanders are either not familiar with the National Policing Strategy and Plan (NPS and NPP) or, if they are, do not feel it has any relevance for the way the forces under their command are deployed and managed. Nor do they have the management systems and capability to direct these forces in line with the NPP even where there might be the will.


Without closing this ‘planning gap’, central MoI strategic planning and resourcing will be of very limited utility, and commanders in the provinces will continue to manage locally, with little reference to national-level priorities. Although it is appropriate that provincial police command involves a high level of local autonomy (to drive responsiveness to local needs, priorities and concerns), the absence of a system to drive government priorities down to the activity level is a severe impediment to the Government’s ability to provide security and access to justice (including to women and the vulnerable) in response to the needs of Afghan citizens. In the absence of this provision, other actors will continue to fill the ‘governance gap’, and to gain legitimacy from doing so.

Solution: We expedited the systemic and cultural shift needed to link strategic intent with police activity on the ground through the design, co-facilitation and reporting on workshops in Kabul and Wilton Park with the highest-ranking officers of the Ministry and police commanders from one provincial zone.


Outcome: Established the necessary engagement and alignment of key MoI officials to pilot a Strategic Management Framework in two provinces, Balkh and Samangan, with a view to a nation-wide roll-out in three years. Participants left with a shared, clear vision, with articulated and easily measurable milestones.


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