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Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997-2007

Book Launch in London on 26 February

Thursday 26 February 2009, 12.00 – 14.00
Room 3W11, Department for International Development
1 Palace Street, London SW1E 5HE
The Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform (GFN-SSR) and International Alert invite you to the launch of their recently completed research programme on “Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997-2007”.
This publication details the security sector reform (SSR) process and activities in Sierra Leone over this period and is the culmination of a wide consultation of many of the primary actors engaged in the process from both Sierra Leone and the UK. Following a core narrative constructed around four key events in the history of post-war Sierra Leone, starting in the mid-1990s and finishing with the successful General Elections of 2007, the work draws on a range of experiences from the process that may be used to inform future SSR policy and implementation, in Sierra Leone and elsewhere. SSR primarily grew out of governance as a response to the urgent problems on the ground in Sierra Leone and was supported by involvement from DFID, FCO and MOD and other Whitehall departments. This involvement is documented from different perspectives in the book.
The publication was written by Peter Albrecht and Paul Jackson with substantial input and contributions from Desmond Buck, Emmanuel Osho Coker, Kellie Conteh, Kadi Fakondo, Aldo Gaeta, Garth Glentworth, Barry Le Grys, Rosalind Hanson-Alp, Anthony Howlett-Bolton, Al-Hassan Kondeh, Christopher Rampe, James Vincent, Alfred Nelson-Williams, Mark White, Robert Ashington-Pickett, Keith Biddle, Adrian Horn, Rebecca Stringer, and others.
The launch of this book is an opportunity to present the final output of this research programme and follows on from the series of working papers that were written by Sierra Leonean and British participants in security system transformation activities. The working papers are available on the GFN-SSR website at,  and the book will also be available for download from 26 February. Hard copies will be available at the launch.
The launch event will be chaired by Garth Glentworth, lead Governance Adviser for DFID's aid programme in Sierra Leone between 1996 and 2005, and will include a presentation of the book, the research process and the key findings by its authors:
·  Peter Albrecht (formerly International Alert, now the Danish Institute for International Studies and Copenhagen Business School) and
·  Paul Jackson (GFN-SSR, University of Birmingham)
This will be followed by short presentations from:
·  Major General Alfred Nelson-Williams, Chief of Defence Staff, Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces
·  Emmanuel B. Osho Coker, Secretary to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the former Director of the Public Sector Reform Unit, Sierra Leone.
Brigadier General (ret.) Kellie Conteh, Sierra Leone’s National Security Coordinator will also be present at the launch.
There will then be an opportunity for discussion. Sandwiches will be provided. To attend, please register with
For further information, please view the attached pdf file, or visit
Please get in touch with Ben Kelly on or Peter Albrecht at .
Background information on speakers

Emmanuel B. Osho Coker
is Secretary to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the former Director of the Public Sector Reform Unit, Sierra Leone.

Major General Alfred Nelson-Williams is Chief of Defence Staff, Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces. Enlisting into the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces in 1975, he did his Cadet training at the Egyptian War Academy in 1976 and was commissioned in 1978. He has held several appointments as Company Commander, Battalion Commander, Head of Anti Smuggling Squad, Head of Anti Corruption Squad, Contingent Commander and Battalion Commander on ECOMOG Peace Enforcement Operations, Deputy Chief Military Intelligence Officer, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff Operations and Plans and Military Spokesman, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Defence Staff in 1988.
He graduated from Junior and Senior Command and Staff Colleges in Ghana, as a Fellow of the Nigeria War College, in Management and Public Administration at Legon University in Ghana, and as a Master of Science at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.
His honours and awards include an ECOMOG Medal as well as long service, efficiency and gallantry medals. He also earned a National Award as Grand Officer of the Order of Rokel GOOR.

Brigadier General (Ret.) Kellie Hassan Conteh heads the Office of National Security in Sierra Leone as the National Security Coordinator.

Garth Glentworth was Lead Governance Adviser for DFID's aid programme in Sierra Leone between 1996 and 2005 during which SILSEP and the Sierra Leone SSR programme developed first and broadened out. Garth worked for 25 years in what is now Governance in DFID and saw it grow from a peripheral feature with three staff to the internal army of 150 advisers it is now. Two of Garth's involvements now are as a consultant for the UK Stabilisation Unit and in Strategic Conflict Analysis for Sierra Leone.

Dr Paul Jackson is the Director of the GFN-SSR and Head of the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham. Paul has over twelve years’ experience working in developing and post-conflict areas, including Northern Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and the Caucasus. He writes on issues of conflict and post-conflict reconstruction, warlords, industrial development, politics and decentralisation. He also consults widely, with recent assignments in Rwanda, performing a baseline study on donor coordination for the UNDP (2005); Ghana, performing an evaluation of capacity-building activity in the field of decentralisation for Danida (2004); Sierra Leone, assisting with the development of local government in a post-conflict environment (World Bank, DFID, 2003-2005); and Bangladesh, developing a financial management training programme for the Ministry of Finance (DFID, 2003). He teaches extensively within the International Development Department (IDD) in the University of Birmingham at postgraduate level. He has developed and now runs the IDD Masters programme on Conflict, Security and Development. He also teaches a number of short courses including GFN-SSR's regular SSR Practitioners' Course.

Peter Albrecht is currently a PhD candidate at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). He was formerly a Senior Programme Officer in International Alert’s Peacebuilding Issues Programme where his main focus was on SSR, including civil society engagement in the process, in the Balkans and West Africa. In this context, he has undertaken a variety of activities including field-based research and assessments, strategic planning and development, programme development, advocacy work in the UN agencies, EU, OECD-DAC and bilateral donor agencies, and training. Peter has worked in the UN Mission in Kosovo and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana, and for the Danish Institute for Foreign Affairs and the Danish Association for International Co-operation. Peter holds an MSc in Nationalism and Ethnicity from London School of Economics (LSE) and an MA Research Degree in Anthropology and Ethnography from Aarhus University, Denmark.


Updated: 06/02/09