Project Factsheet
Tools for » Strengthening Justice and Security Sector Reform in Guinea Bissau
Project ID:00067222Description:MDGF-1956-F-GNB Strength Justi
Fund:
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
Theme:
MDGF Conflict Prev Peacebld
End Date*: 14 May 2013
Country: Guinea-Bissau Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple
About

Overview

The Programme's objectives were to improve judicial and security sector democratic governance and better protect citizen`s rights through legislative reform, and to improve access to justice for the poor, with a special focus on women. 

The Joint Programme has contributed to strengthening the national justice and security sector reform process by introducing conflict and gender sensitive approaches, and by contributing to the development of a justice and security sector which operates according to the rule of law, reducing the risk of relapse into conflict, and providing fair and effective justice and security services to the people of Guinea-Bissau. 

The joint programme sought to address policy development at the macro level with capacity building interventions focusing on the legislative and judicial branch. Simultaneously it strengthened civil society’s capacity to better render services at community level. It sought to ensure that all policy developed was done in a participatory manner promoting ownership through training workshops and providing research and analysis of the situations the new policies aimed to address. 

The main achievements of the evidence based policy making support provided by the JP are the formulation and adoption of the National Justice Sector Policy and Strategic Plan for the Justice Sector; development of the first national policy on gender equality and equity; development of the National Assembly Strategic Development Plan; the Access to Justice Baseline survey (conducted in 3 Regions) and; the study on the situation of violence against women in Guinea Bissau.

The results of the Joint Programme are also reflected in the country´s legal framework, which is now more gender sensitive. During the implementation period new specific laws regarding women´s rights and the fight against all forms of violence were adopted such as a Law against Female Genital Mutilation as well as a Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health that determines the minimum age for marriage, a Law against human trafficking, with special focus on children and women was elaborated and adopted and more recently the law on Domestic Violence has been approved in the parliament.

A department of Gender and Human Rights was created in the Ministry of Interior to mainstream gender into the security sector, and a legal aid scheme was institutionalized bringing together the Ministry of Justice, the BAR Association and civil society organizations. In addition, five access to Justice Centers were set up in four regions to provide legal orientation to the most vulnerable, and have assisted over 3,600 beneficiaries.

 

Outcome 1:

 

Judicial and security sector governance improved and citizen’s rights better protected through legislative and normative reform.

 

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • For the development of the National Policy and Strategic Development Plan 2010-2015 the Government was equipped with critical planning tools to ensure a coordinated, coherent and comprehensive approach.  
  • The JP supported the first policy on gender equality (PNIEG) through a participatory process spanning over two years with activities such as seminars, capacity building sessions, regional consultative sessions, workshops with different stakeholders, as well as technical backstopping by expert consultants and public session for validation.
  • A participative strategy was also applied for the mainstreaming of gender in several other policies and strategic documents, as is the Policy for the Justice sector, the second generation of the Poverty Reduction Strategic Paper of the Government (DENARP II), the Priority Action Plan of the DENARP II as well as its Public Investment Programme.
  • Additionally a National Action Plan on Security Council Resolution 1325 was elaborated and a national steering committee set up.
  • During the implementation period new specific laws regarding women´s rights and the fight against all forms of violence were adopted such as a Law against Female Genital Mutilation as well as a Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health that determines the minimum age for marriage, a Law against human trafficking, with special focus on children and women was elaborated and adopted and more recently the law on Domestic Violence has been approved in the parliament.
  • A new National Operational Plan to counter illicit trafficking, organized crime and corruption was approved by the Council of Ministers.
  • Equipment, assets and training were provided to strengthen national capacities. Training included: administration reform, human resources, crime management, GBV studies, conflict resolution, human rights and international law.

 

 

Outcome 2:

 

Access to justice services for the poor improved, with special focus on women.

 

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • A legal aid scheme was institutionalized bringing together the Ministry of Justice, the BAR Association and civil society organizations.
  • Five Access to Justice Centers (legal aid offices) were set up in four regions of the country providing legal orientation to the most vulnerable, a total of 2,646 beneficiaries (21% women) have been assisted, through legal information.
  • The Access to Justice Centers carried out awareness-raising activities and legal awareness sessions, targeting mostly vulnerable groups (including women and children), on children’s rights, women’s rights, gender equality and illegal detentions. In total, this sensitization reached more than 60,735 people.
  • Five NGOs and public institutions were supported to strengthen their ability to respond to women victims.
  • A department of Gender and Human Rights was created into the Ministry of Interior in view to enhance the coordination of efforts to mainstreaming gender in the security sector.
  • Training of trainers on Gender Equality, Human Rights and GBV was successfully conducted and replicated in four regions.
  • A comprehensive campaign on Women´s Human Rights reached 134,947 girls and women aged above 14 years old.

 

Best practices:

  • The adaptability allowed maintaining certain activities in spite of instability.
  • All members of the Programme Management Team and local authorities participated in joint coordination missions that took place every quarter. These missions were specifically intended to analyze, discuss and increase field coordination between all participating actors. They facilitated direct contact with local authorities, beneficiaries and population and promoted better understanding of challenges, activities and impact. They also enabled better coherence and promoted complementary actions increasing overall efficiency of project operational activities.

 

Lessons learned:

  • Importance of flexibility in unstable countries. It is possible to get things done if partnerships are well established, working in technical and operational level, where political obstacles emerge. Civil society has a key role to play and must be one of the pillars of the partnership strategy.
  • Strengthening public confidence in the justice system and promoting a culture of ethic and anti-corruption within the society is key for a successful and deep reform of the judicial sector. Access to justice cannot be improved if there is no formal justice state present in the targeted regions and for formal justice to function, there must be presence of the courts.
  • Progress on information, the legal framework and the rights of women was low because it was seen as an activity as opposed to a process of change. The lesson is to develop awareness campaigns for behavior change, rather than short-term sensitization activities. This requires a new ways of thinking about education, but also adequate monitoring to assess the outcome of campaigns undertaken.
  • Future joint programmes should have a more coordinated and integrated action of the United Nations System, more focused on policy changes rather than on the activities themselves.
  • The formulation phase is key for the JP’s success. In this case the programme formulation phase was neglected, on the one hand due the tight deadlines required by the MDG F and on the other hand due to the underestimating the implications and comprehensiveness of the particular challenges of joint implementation by the agencies. 

 

More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
Key Figures
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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Guinea-Bissau or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

The person with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Jade-Mali Mizutani, Special Assistant to DSRSG/RC/RR; Telephone: 245 643 51 17; Email: jade.m.mizutani@one.un.org; Skype: jademali
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