DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance is dedicated to improving the security of states and their people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. DCAF contributes to making peace and development more sustainable by assisting partner states and international actors supporting these states, to improve the governance of their security sector through inclusive and participatory reforms. It creates innovative knowledge products, promotes norms and good practices, provides legal and policy advice and supports capacity‐building of both state and non‐state security sector stakeholders.
The Gender and Security Division (GSD) leads DCAF’s work promoting gender equality in security sector reform and governance by providing policy advice, conducting practical research and implementing operational projects. Current projects range in topic and location from working to increase the participation of women in UN peace operations to improving responses to violence against women in Ukraine to increasing the gender responsiveness of the security sector in The Gambia. The Division has 11 full- and part-time staff members.
DCAF is a Swiss foundation with broad international support, established in 2000 on the initiative of the Swiss government. Along with its sister centres GICHD and GCSP, DCAF is headquartered in the ‘Maison de la Paix’ in the heart of International Geneva.
The Foundation Council is the supreme body of the DCAF Foundation. It brings together representatives of some 60 states and the Canton of Geneva. The Bureau of the Foundation Council makes policy decisions in between formal sessions of the Foundation Council. The Centre, led by DCAF Director, implements the strategy decided by the Foundation Council and is responsible for all aspects of DCAF’s operational and policy work.
Any nation with a demonstrable commitment to the democratic governance of the security sector is most welcome to join DCAF's Foundation Council. By joining, nations gain easier access to DCAF’s expertise and can immediately benefit from experiences of other like-minded countries in supporting or running security sector reforms. By joining, nations do not automatically commit themselves to support DCAF financially: however, they are offered opportunities to influence and shape DCAF’s programming priorities not only at national, but also at regional and international levels
DCAF’s accounts are audited each year by an independent firm of auditors. In addition, DCAF is supervised by the Swiss Federal Supervisory Board for Foundations.