DCAF, the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, is dedicated to making states and people safer through more effective and accountable security and justice. Since 2000, DCAF has facilitated, driven, and shaped security sector reform (SSR) policy and programming worldwide.
Cyberspace and cybersecurity have numerous implications for security provision, management, and oversight, which is why DCAF is engaged on these topics within its work. DCAF has implemented a cycle of policy projects to develop new norms and good practices in cyberspace. At the operational level, cybersecurity governance has become a prominent part of SSR programming.
Digital policy issues
- Capacity development
DCAF supported the drafting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF) Zurich-London Recommendations on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) and Terrorism Online. Subsequently, it co-developed the Policy Toolkit, which transforms these recommendations into practical tools for states. DCAF applies the Policy Toolkit in its work in the Western Balkans, and several UN bodies – as well as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – are planning to incorporate it into their activities. DCAF has also developed a French language guide on good practices concerning cyberspace governance for the Ecole nationale à vocation régionale (ENVR) de la cybersécurité in Senegal, which is mainly targeted at cybersecurity practitioners in Francophone Africa.
DCAF contributes to effective and accountable cybersecurity in Europe and Central Asia by providing practical guidance and support for the governance of the cybersecurity sector; supporting the development of national and international legal and policy frameworks to promote good cybersecurity governance; and facilitating multistakeholder engagement in cybersecurity. This work is organised in several service lines: providing national cybersecurity assessments; developing policy advice; enhancing regional and transnational co-operation between cybersecurity authorities; building the capacity of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs); promoting dialogue and co-ordination between state and non-state cybersecurity actors; and publishing policy research on good governance in cybersecurity. DCAF regularly works with partners, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Regional Cooperation Council, the OSCE, and DiploFoundation.
To increase the transparency and accountability of the security sector in the Middle East and North Africa, DCAF supports the automation of internal processes, information sharing, document management systems, and data visualisation and analysis in parliaments, ministries, public administrations, and oversight institutions. Furthermore, four online Sector Observatories (‘Marsads’) provide centralised information and analyses on the Tunisian, Libyan, Palestinian, and Egyptian security sectors and their actors, and three legal databases provide searchable online access to legislation governing the security sectors in Libya, Tunisia, and Palestine. Finally, DCAF has provided legal expertise to national oversight institutions in regard to possible privacy violations through and misuse of COVID-19 apps developed by national governments.
In 2016, DCAF developed a social media guide for ombuds institutions and the armed forces under their jurisdiction in order to support the use of social media as a safe and effective communication tool.