Recruitment

A Force for Change: Nuevo León Bolsters Police Capacity in Tough Times, 2011-2015

Author
Patrick Signoret
Country of Reform
Abstract

In 2010, the government, private businesses, and local universities in the northern Mexico state of Nuevo León forged an unusual alliance to design and implement sweeping law-enforcement reforms in a challenging context. At the time, powerful drug cartels were fighting increasingly bitter and bloody wars to control their turf—which intimidated an existing police service already hampered by low pay, weak morale, corruption, and disorganization. Public confidence in the state’s ability to maintain order had evaporated. During the next five years, the public–private partnership oversaw the creation of an entirely new police service that, in tandem with other reforms, significantly strengthened the state’s capacity to ensure public safety and helped rebuild public confidence.

Patrick Signoret drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in March and April 2018 and on earlier research carried out by Ariana Markowitz and Alejandra Rangel Smith in October 2014. New York University’s Marron Institute helped support Alejandra Rangel Smith’s participation. Case published July 2018.

 

Filling Skill Gaps: Mobilizing Human Resources in the Fight Against Ebola, 2014-2015

Author
David Paterson and Jennifer Widner
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract

At the end of March 2014, the nongovernmental organization Médecins Sans Frontières warned that an Ebola virus disease outbreak on the border between Guinea and Liberia could unleash an epidemic of unprecedented scale. Its capacity still limited after a 14-year civil war, Liberia’s government was struggling to mobilize and coordinate the extra assistance its health ministry needed to respond. How to recruit, train, protect, and pay a labor force that included government employees, temporary workers, and many international volunteers were central concerns. In the best of times, coordinating this kind of skills supply chain would be challenging. But from June to the end of August, conditions became increasingly difficult. As the infection spread, many health workers died. In the absence of facilities and equipment that could provide protection, fear slowed recruitment—a problem made worse by severely constrained medical evacuation services and reduced airline access. Mobilizing personnel to respond raised questions about how to fulfill a duty of care toward employees, adhere to commitments to equality, and promote longer-term institutional sustainability. The Liberian government, UN agencies, and a wide variety of other organizations worked together to identify and deploy essential skills, develop shared practices, and find ways to pay Liberian temporary workers whose support was essential. UN organizations alone recruited and deployed 19,367 staff during the crisis, including Liberians, but questions remained about how to best meet the ethical and practical challenges that arose.

David Paterson and Jennifer Widner drafted this case study with advice from Béatrice Godefroy.

Princeton University’s Grand Challenges program supported the research and development of this case study, which is part of a series on public management challenges in the West African Ebola outbreak response.

 

Timeline: West African Ebola Outbreak (poster infographic)

Timeline: West African Ebola Outbreak (page version)

 

Mike McCormack

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Focus Area(s)
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7
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Mike McCormack
Interviewee's Position
Co-President
Interviewee's Organization
Guyana Human Rights Association
Language
English
Place (Building/Street)
Guyana Human Rights Association headquarters
Town/City
Georgetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Mike McCormack, co-president of the Guyana Human Rights Association at the time of this interview, discusses many challenges to protecting human rights in Guyana.  With more than 30 years' experience working on human rights issues in the country, he is able to chart progress and setbacks with a deep knowledge base.  McCormack reflects on the extra-judicial killings of the past and present, the drug-related incidents that have become more common, and tensions between the human rights community and the police.  McCormack also touches upon the ethnic representation of the police and perceptions among the Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese communities as well as the disparities between the rural and urban police units.  He draws a distinct line between the prison system and the police as an organization.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Mike McCormack was the co-president of the Guyana Human Rights Association.  Born in the U.K., he lived and worked in the Caribbean, Central America and South America since the late 1960s, serving as Oxfam's Andean regional director and working on human rights issues in Chile and Argentina. He returned to Guyana and was involved with the GHRA since its founding in 1979.  Through the GHRA, he championed political, economic and social rights.

Full Audio File Size
91.4MB
Full Audio Title
Mike McCormack- Full Interview

Oliver Somasa

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Focus Area(s)
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17
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Oliver Somasa
Interviewee's Position
Deputy Inspector-General of Police
Interviewee's Organization
Sierra Leone
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Sierra Leonean
Town/City
Freetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Oliver Somasa gives an account of the police reforms in Sierra Leone.  The main priorities during the reform process were boosting the police’s crowd-control capacity; strengthening their ability to fight organized crime, drug-trafficking and money laundering; and developing airport and border authority to maximize tax revenues.  Somasa talks about police vetting, recruitment, rank restructuring due to lack of distinct functions across positions, and training. He highlights the role of capacity building in professionalizing the police.  International donors and organizations like the United Nations participated in providing the necessary working tools for the reforms.  Somasa describes the challenges raised by such outside organizations, including administrative bottlenecks and the shuffling of advisers that affected the continuity of operations.  Somasa also explains the establishment of Family Support Units, which increased the reporting of domestic crimes as people gained more confidence in the police.  In addition, he describes the department in charge of complaints, discipline, and internal investigation, which enabled the public to report complaints and to seek redress.  For the analysis of the implemented reforms, Somasa highlights the importance of the monitoring and evaluation department, the change-management board, and public-perception surveys that were conducted by independent bodies. 
Profile
At the time of this interview, Oliver Somasa was the deputy inspector-general of police in Sierra Leone.  He joined the Sierra Leone Police in 1987 as an officer cadet.   He later underwent training in drug-enforcement analysis in Vienna and on returning, he became the head of the anti-narcotics squad in the Criminal Investigation Department. 
Full Audio Title
Audio file not available.

Magnus Öhman

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Focus Area(s)
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9
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Ashley McCants
Name
Magnus Öhman
Interviewee's Position
Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Interviewee's Organization
Sierra Leone
Language
English
Town/City
Freetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Magnus Öhman discusses Sierra Leone’s 2007 elections.  He explains the considerations necessary during election sequencing, the current legal and constitutional framework for elections in Sierra Leone, and the various successes and challenges of Sierra Leone’s recent elections.  He describes the responsibilities of the National Electoral Commission, the legal framework that governs it, and its successes and challenges.  He also explains the training of poll workers, the boundary delimitation process, voter registration, and the various safeguards against fraud during both registration and voting.  Öhman also touches on the development of political parties in Sierra Leone, problems with the involvement of donor countries and international organizations, and the role of the media in elections.    

Case Study:  Mediating Election Conflict in a Bruised Society: Code of Conduct Monitoring Committees in Post-War Sierra Leone, 2006-2012

Profile

At the time of this interview, Magnus Öhman was the country director of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Sierra Leone, a position he had held since 2007.  Öhman began working with IFES in 2005, after receiving a doctorate in political science from the University of Uppsala in Sweden.  He worked on political-party and campaign-finance issues from the 1990s, with a focus on disclosure processes, public funding systems and sustainable solutions.  He worked with political finance initiatives in a series of countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Indonesia, Liberia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sudan and Zimbabwe.  He was the lead author of the political-finance module in the BRIDGE curriculum, considered the industry standard on training in elections, democracy and governance.

Full Audio File Size
77 MB
Full Audio Title
Magnus Ohman - Full Interview

Building an Inclusive, Responsive National Police Service: Gender-Sensitive Reform in Liberia, 2005-2011

Author
Laura Bacon
Country of Reform
Abstract

After Liberia’s 14-year civil war ended in 2003, the government began to overhaul its security sector. The Liberia National Police (LNP), whose capacity was ravaged and reputation tarnished during the war, sought to improve its services and build the community’s trust. Gender-sensitive reform at the LNP was high on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s agenda, given low numbers of women in the security sector and high rates of sexual and gender-based violence. Between 2005 and 2011, LNP reformers Beatrice Munah Sieh, Asatu Bah-Kenneth, Vera Manly and others led innovative efforts to make the police service more inclusive and responsive. In particular, they sought to recruit female officers at a rapid pace and to launch a Women and Children Protection Section. By July 2011, although the police service still identified shortcomings in capacity and the justice system more broadly, it could boast an increased percentage of female officers (17%, compared with 2% in 2005), 217 specially trained officers deployed in 52 Women and Children Protection Section units across Liberia, more women in leadership positions, and improved responsiveness and public image. This case chronicles police reform in a post-conflict setting, examining the challenges of promoting diversity, building capacity, conducting community outreach and awareness, and delivering services to remote areas.

 
Laura Bacon drafted this case study on the basis of interviews she conducted in Monrovia, Liberia, in June and July 2011, interviews conducted by Arthur Boutellis in Monrovia in May 2008, and text prepared by Christine MacAulay. Case published April 2012. A companion piece, “Building Civilian Police Capacity: Post-Conflict Liberia,” addresses broader police reforms from 2003 to 2011. 
 
Associated Interviews:  David Beer, Paavani Reddy

Neil Pouliot

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Focus Area(s)
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4
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Neil Pouliot
Interviewee's Position
Retired Chief Superintendent
Interviewee's Organization
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Canadian
Town/City
Ottawa
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Neil Pouliot, a retired chief superintendent with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, discusses his experiences as the commander of the United Nations Mission in Haiti from 1994 to 1996. He recounts the security and rule of law challenges posed by the scaling down of U.N. multinational forces. In particular, he describes the challenges associated with effectively recruiting and training new police officers, including the need to demobilize and, in some cases, integrate officers of the former regime. Among the challenges that the U.N. and the international community face in effectively building police services capacity, Pouliot notes, is maintaining continuity between missions and leadership. He argues that police services training is best overseen by integrated multinational forces with diverse language ability and cultural frames of reference. Police reform, he states, requires broader commitment to justice and rule and law from the highest levels of the political sphere. Based on his experiences, Pouliot stresses that it is important that officers have field-based training and live and interact with the communities in which they work.
Profile

Neil Pouliot served as the commander of the military and civilian police components of United Nations Mission in Haiti from 1994 to 1996. In this role, he worked with the government of Haiti to maintain and safe and secure environment, prepare for elections, provide interim security, and oversee police services development. Prior to his work in Haiti, Pouliot worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada, including as the officer in charge of national/international drug operations. He also served as a course coordinator and lecturer at the Canadian Police College and as a resource person for the U.N. Division of Narcotics and Interpol. Pouliot also served as the officer in charge of the Security Offenses Branch for the Criminal Intelligence Directorate in Ottawa and the director of Criminal Intelligence Services Canada, an organization tasked with coordinating intelligence in Canada and internationally through the RCMP and other police forces. At the time of this interview, Pouliot was retired as chief superintendent and was working as a consultant with RCMP.   

Full Audio File Size
65 MB
Full Audio Title
Neil Pouliot - Full Interview

Carlos Humberto Vargas García

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3
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Flor Hunt
Name
Carlos Humberto Vargas García
Interviewee's Position
Chief of Studies
Interviewee's Organization
National Academy of Public Security, El Salvador
Language
Spanish
Nationality of Interviewee
El Salvadoran
Place (Building/Street)
National Academy of Public Security
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Carlos Humberto Vargas García describes the challenges of establishing a police academy in El Salvador after the Peace Accords of 1992.  He begins by explaining the recruitment and training process, the academic-degree requirements for candidates, and the quota system.  Challenges that he faced in training the police force include lack of resources, internal administrative issues and lingering resentment between the former warring factions.  He describes the usefulness of his training with ICITAP (the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program), the role of donor countries, the training curriculum, community policing and the importance of having an integrated police. He contends that while it is important to receive aid and training from multiple countries,  international donors should not impose preconditions, as they are not familiar with the local reality. 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Carlos Humberto Vargas García was the chief of studies at the National Academy of Public Security in El Salvador, an institution separate from the national police. From 1992 to 1995, he was the first sub-director of the academy, and he trained in the U.S. and Central America with ICITAP, the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. He also worked in the private sector, in other universities in El Salvador as a professor of engineering, and for the Instituto Salvadoreño de Formación Profesional, which is in charge of non-formal education.

Full Audio File Size
84.5MB
Full Audio Title
Vargas Garcia Interview

Mustafa Resat Tekinbas

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Focus Area(s)
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17
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Mustafa Resat Tekinbas
Interviewee's Position
Deputy Police Commissioner
Interviewee's Organization
United Nations Mission in Kosovo
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Turkish
Place (Building/Street)
U.N. Camp Alpha
Town/City
Pristina, Kosovo
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Mustafa Resat Tekinbas speaks about his role with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Police.  As a deputy police commissioner, he discusses his experience both in working with U.N. international policing and with the administrative intricacies of the Kosovo mission.  He begins by detailing the structure of the UNMIK police and explaining the progress the mission had made in the eight years since the inception of the force.  Tekinbas talks about the U.N. policies behind international police assignments, the limitations of pre-deployment training and aspects of the immersive training that takes place in the field.  He details efforts to deploy international police in certain areas to maximize their effectiveness.  He concludes with an example of the grueling work schedule of an international policeman and offers ideas for improvement.  

Case Study: Building the Police Service in a Security Vacuum: International Efforts in Kosovo, 1999-2011

Profile

At the time of this interview, Mustafa Resat Tekinbas was serving as deputy police commissioner for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).  He began his career in Istanbul, Turkey, and worked as a police officer for more than two decades.  Tekinbas received additional police training in the United States, and his experience spanned intelligence, information technology and riot control.  He began working with UNMIK in 2003.  

Full Audio File Size
87 MB
Full Audio Title
Mustafa Tekinbas Interview

Managing the Political and Practical: Nepal's Constituent Assembly Elections, 2006-2008

Author
Michael Scharff
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract
Appointed chairman of Nepal’s Election Commission in October 2006, Bhojraj Pokharel faced an uphill battle. One month after his appointment, a peace agreement between major political parties and Maoist rebels ended a 10-year conflict and set the stage for elections to a Constituent Assembly that would write a new constitution. An interim government would choose a new electoral system and set the rules for the contest. With the Maoists threatening to resume hostilities if the elections did not take place on schedule, Pokharel, a former civil servant with no previous experience managing elections, had to work quickly. His main goal was to ensure the elections were maximally inclusive, free of fraud and peaceful so as to avoid giving the parties reason to pull out of the electoral process or boycott the results and send the country back into chaos. Pokharel worked closely with the interim government, providing valuable information and counsel on electoral rules and requirements. He oversaw the updating of voter lists, hired poll workers and helped assemble a special police service. Political squabbling forced the commission to delay the elections twice, yet as the chief architect of the process, Pokharel managed to keep the parties engaged. In April 2008, Nepalese citizens finally went to the polls. Although there was violence during the campaign period and on election day, as well as reports of voting irregularities, the election strengthened the fragile peace. The Maoists joined the government, and democratically elected representatives began the difficult task of drawing up a new constitution. In 2012, the peace continued to hold even though persistent disagreements in the Constituent Assembly had stymied efforts to produce a constitution.
 
Michael Scharff drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Kathmandu, Nepal, in December 2010 and using an interview conducted by Rushda Majeed in July 2011. Case published in June 2012. Most ISS case studies rest on large numbers of interviews. This case study was informed in large part by an interview with Bhojraj Pokharel, who served as chief election commissioner of the Election Commission of Nepal from 2006 to 2008.
 
Associated Interview(s):  Neel Kantha Uprety