Security Research & Information Centre

Security Research and Information Centre (SRIC) is an independent, non-profit- making think-tank committed to providing data and information on human security and security sector dynamics in Kenya and the sub-regions of the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa. SRIC seeks to influence and contribute to positive change in human security, security sector dynamics, peace building and conflict transformation processes and crime analysis in the stated regions. This mission is supported by conducting primary applied research, through policy facilitation aimed at transformation of human security and the security sector, and the provision of verifiable data and information on key security concerns through the development of a crime typology and of armed violence trends in Kenya and the neighboring countries. SRIC also maintains a dedicated database accessible to government officials, civil society organizations, diplomats, researchers and the media. The aim is to facilitate early warning, conflict analysis and peace building mechanisms in Kenya and the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa.

Background

SRIC was founded in 1999 against the backdrop of the ever-increasing problem of proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) in the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa region. The founding of SRIC came at the time when governments in the sub-region were reflecting on a workable regional instrument to address the problem. At the time of the Centre’s foundation, the region was marked by armed conflicts that were quickly tearing apart the political systems. The numbers of armed groups challenging these systems were enormous and so was the demand for SALW. Behind these challenges, however, there was great optimism on the part of both the governments and civil society in the region that countries mired in conflicts would eventually embark on transforming their conflicts and rebuild their societies for sustainable development.

Post-conflict reconstruction and eradication of tools of violence/small arms gained momentum as signs of peace became apparent. At the national level, increased armed violence in Kenya posed a big challenge to human security. By and large, people relied on official police reports – which were not always readily available – to understand the local dynamics of crime and insecurity. These were the driving factors behind the formation of SRIC to provide reliable information relating to the forces and motions of the broader theme of human security in the region. It was conceived that developing typologies of crime to provide reliable data on human security, facilitate partnership and participate in policy debate would go a long way in strengthening and complementing other initiatives from a specialized perspective.

Out of this was born the concept “Increasing human security through peace building and controlling the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa,” a project that SRIC has been implementing through the support of the DfID, Cordaid and the Norwegian Government. The overall goal of SRIC’s work is to combat the proliferation of SALW and promote peace building through partnerships with governments and non-governmental institutions and a network of likeminded international and local NGOs and community-based organizations (CBOs). The Kenya Government is an important partner, especially in security sector reforms (SSR), in combating the proliferation of SALW and crime prevention.

The many years of existence have provided opportunities for great lessons and achievements that inform us as an organization on the strategic direction we want to take in the many other years of our strategic planning. A number of achievements have been made where SRIC has played an integral role. Broadly, SRIC, in collaboration with governments and other civil society partners, has had a lot of input in the operationalization of the Nairobi secretariat (now RECSA), the formation of 11 National Focal Points (NFPs) and development of three National Action Plans (NAPs) in the sub-region. SRIC has published numerous research reports and books on Crime, Conflict, Peace Building and Small Arms. Structurally, SRIC started with a skeleton manpower team of only three. It has now grown in size and is currently staffed by seven researchers and three support staff. While SRIC has come this far, it has also encountered a number of challenges occasioned by consistent changes in the security sector environment in which we are operating. These challenges are enumerated in this plan and we intend to address them as we progress and build on the gains and successes we have achieved so far. SRIC will remain focused in its programmes as we seek to achieve the stated objectives. These will be the benchmarks on which we will progressively evaluate ourselves.

  • Integrity, honesty and the highest level of ethical standards in our work. Relevance, adaptability and receptiveness to change.
  • Collaboration and inclusion through building networks with likeminded institutions, individuals, communities, organizations and governments within the sub-region and beyond.
  • Recognition of the role and contribution of women in our work.
  • Accountability and responsibility to ourselves, partners, stakeholders and donors.

 

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