USAID Creates First-Ever Field Guide to Assist Civilian Law Enforcement in Developing Countries

For Immediate Release

Monday, July 11, 2011
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has created a field guide for USAID Democracy and Governance Officers entitled "Assistance to Civilian Law Enforcement in Developing Countries" (pdf, 1.7mb). This first-ever guide serves as a critically needed roadmap for the United States Government in implementing law enforcement development assistance. It provides an invaluable analytical and programming framework for the whole of government to promote sustainable institutional law enforcement development.

The law enforcement sector is often compartmentalized and seen as an island unto itself, despite the fact that civilian police are the largest representative of government in many countries and serve as lynchpins for a broad range of governance functions. Well-functioning law enforcement agencies are critical for the long-term success of democratic governments. This guide illustrates in very practical ways how a sustainable institutional development approach to law enforcement assistance is essential for forging the synergies between the rule of law, governance, and civil society sectors that must exist in democracies.

The author of this guide, John Buchanan, served as USAID's Senior Police Advisor for four years until he assumed his current position as Deputy Director of Operations for DOJ/ICITAP. This guide is informed by dozens of trips to the field, extensive international law enforcement development experience before coming to USAID, and his long career at the Phoenix Police Department where he retired as Assistant Chief.

In FY 2009, USAID spent $45 million to fund 40 civilian police assistance programs in 27 countries. Activities ranged from counter-trafficking in persons initiatives in Mexico, Nepal and Cambodia, to community crime prevention initiatives in Guatemala and El Salvador, to human rights initiatives in Mexico, Colombia, and Ethiopia. USAID is currently developing an agency-wide citizen security strategy.

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Last updated: October 18, 2017

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