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Wednesday, 07 May 2008 08:21

Our Background

CSDG is a leading international resource for research, policy advice and training on issues at the intersection of security and development. The Group was established in 1999 with a three-year grant from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to examine the policy challenges associated with its work on conflict, security and development. These three policy arenas were brought closer together with the end of the Cold War, though there remains a tendency to treat them as separate and discrete rather than as mutually-dependent areas of analysis and decision-making.

Under the DFID contract, CSDG placed particular emphasis on bridging these policy divides throught its support for the UK Government’s thinking, policy development and assistance programming in the areas of Security Sector Reform and Conflict Reduction. CSDG continues to work closely with the UK Government today, though now also counts among its clients other donor countries and agencies as well as governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Group's programme of work has also broadened considerably and greater emphasis is now placed on working with and through partners in the South.

Mission and Values

CSDG’s overall mission is to contribute to the effective management and prevention of violent conflict and to the emergence of conditions that allow people in countries of the Global South to live in safety, security and under the rule of law.

In our work we value:

  • Partnerships that contribute to shared agendas for security and development in countries in the South and North;
  • Respect for diversity of views in the design and implementation of all our research and policy initiatives;
  • Rigorous, independent and critical analysis that adds value to decision-making by those who work on conflict, security, and development issues;
  • Knowledge-sharing and effective communication with our partners, the funders who make possible our work, and the intended beneficiaries.

What we do

CSDG's central programme objective is to advance knowledge about the security and development challenges facing countries in the Global South, and to translate this knowledge into practical agendas, capacities and partnerships for change. The Group sees itself as playing a bridging role at two levels: by strengthening linkages between academic, policy and practitioner communities on the one hand, and enhancing complementarity between home-grown and external policy responses to the conflicts and security challenges facing countries in the Global South, on the other.

CSDG works in five overlapping areas of activity:

01Research Three themes inform our research: Africa Peace and Security, governance and security (which cuts across Africa, Asia and Latin America), and Aid Policy and Practice which examines the global aid architecture and processes. Our priority is to strengthen linkages between research, policy and education, promoting where we can greater involvement in international policy debates by Southern researchers. We work to make the findings of researchers from the South more relevant to the formulation of international policy.

02Policy Influencing We strive to critically assess the effectiveness of current international approaches to conflict and insecurity in the Global South, and to promote alternative approaches where these may be required. CSDG conducts policy-relevant research for a range of clients and is also regularly involved in providing policy advice and reviews of donor assistance activities. CSDG staff draw upon extensive practical experience in the policy world and in developing countries, which informs our training and advisory work.

03Fellowships and training Expanding the pool of experts from the South who work on conflict, security and development issues is a to priority. We contribute to the Master’s in Conflict, Security and Development in the Department of War Studies. We also have two in-house Knowledge Building and Mentoring Programmes for future security and development leaders in Africa. In 2009, we will shift some of our training activities to the Africa Leadership Centre now being established at Kenyatta University in Nairobi with CSDG’s support.

04Capacity enhancement Recognising that the solutions to the security and development challenges facing the Global South must emerge from within their societies, CSDG is engaged in a number of long-term programmes to enhance institutional capacity. This involves providing close support to fledgling governmental and non-governmental actors in several African countries.

05Outreach and partnerships Our advisory, publishing and training activities provide a vehicle to connect our ideas to the efforts of organisations working in the field on conflict, security and development issues. By hosting or participating in seminars, workshops and consultative processes we work to stimulate debate among scholars and decision-makers working on security and development matters.

Who we partner with

In our work we draw upon the wide range of resources and expertise on offer across the School of Social Science and Public Policy at King’s College London, including the Department of War Studies, and also collaborate closely with a global network of partner institutions, researchers and consultants. This wider ‘CSDG family’ has a strong comparative advantage in terms of its knowledge, practical experience, skills and contacts in the area of conflict, security and development which makes it possible for us to adopt a truly global focus in our work.

Our partners include:

  • African Security Sector Network (ASSN)
  • Center for Policy Research and Dialogue (CPRD), Addis Ababa
  • Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja
  • City University of New York (CUNY)
  • Development Alternatives Inc., London
  • Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)
  • Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP)
  • Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform (GFN-SSR)
  • Humanitarian Futures Group (HPG), King’s College London
  • International Peace Institute (IPI), New York
  • University of Liberia
  • Stabilisation Unit, UK Government
CSDG’s work is made possible by funding provided by:
  • Ford Foundation
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Open Society Initiative
  • Sigrid Rausing Trust
  • UK Conflict Prevention Pool
  • Department for International Development (DFID)