- Main applicant: Mr P. Rotmann (Global Public Policy Institute, Germany)
- Co-applicants: Mr T. Ruttig (Afghanistan Analysts Network, Afghanistan), Professor V. Fontan (American University of Kurdistan), Iraq, Mr S. Smith (United States Institute of Peace, Afghanistan)
This project will assess bottom-up security assistance in fragile states in light of transnational security dimensions, both transnational threats (e.g. ISIS) and transnational assistance (Western or regional interventions). Do Local and Hybrid Security Forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan (hereinafter, “Iraq”), and Syria respond effectively, inclusively and comprehensively to human security concerns? Theories of Change for Local and Hybrid Security Forces mechanisms will be re-evaluated not only regarding transnational security implications, but also regarding community perspectives and legitimacy, rule of law and state-building priorities, and protection concerns. This balance of research questions is necessary to fully reflect how such mechanisms balance comprehensive human security concerns in practice. Three case studies of Local and Hybrid Security Forces mechanisms will draw from stakeholder interviews together with in-depth qualitative field research in affected communities (based on careful risk assessment) that will better assess community perspectives, practical implementation issues, and evolving conflict dynamics (particularly transnational). Findings will inform an overview paper, policy briefs for direct stakeholders, and thematic issues across both regions. Research will be interwoven with stakeholder outreach to ensure a constant feedback loop with practitioners and policymakers, and greater likelihood of adoption of findings. Project partners will leverage extensive practitioner networks in the US, Europe and relevant international organizations to maximize knowledge sharing, including through a major event in Washington, DC. Iraq and Afghanistan partners will utilize existing ties with local governments, foreign donors and local communities to hold informal knowledge sharing roundtables. Employing local researchers in research will further enhance local voices and capacity development in two target Lower and Middle Income Countries.