The Policy and Best Practices function of the Challenges Forum Secretariat was established in 2012. The function seeks to strengthen synergies within the Partnership, as well as between the Challenges Forum and other institutions through developing collaborative partnerships. The Policy and Best Practices function furthermore seeks to ensure that the Forum’s activities and research projects contribute to global policy debates and processes by identifying current and emerging issues in the field of peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
In 2012 the Challenges Forum Partnership agreed to establish four thematic working groups:
- Future Concepts and Models for Peace Operations (Co-led by Center for International Peace Operations/Germany and United Service Institution/India)
- Comparative Policies, Principles, and Guidelines (Co-led by National Defence University/Pakistan and Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute/USA)
- Authority, Command and Control (Co-led by Ministry of Defence/France and National Defence College/Nigeria)
- Impact Evaluation and Assessment (Co-led by Pearson Centre/Canada and Institute for Security Studies/South Africa)
The focus of the thematic working groups was developed in close dialogue with UN DPKO. The work was done by the Challenges Forum partner organizations under the co-lead of two partner organizations for each thematic group. The overarching theme for the thematic work strands was Designing Mandates and Capabilities for Future Peace Operations. The findings of the thematic working groups was presented in a synthesis report, launched in New York at a high-level Seminar in January 2015.
Challenges Forum Support of the Strategic Guidance Framework Process
In February 2013, the Challenges Forum on invitation from UN DPKO, decided to support the Police Division-led process to establish a Strategic Guidance Framework on International Police Peacekeeping (SGF). The aim is to articulate existing central principles by which United Nations Police operates more clearly and assist in operationalizing them within a United Nations Police context. The Norwegian Institute for International Affairs hosted a workshop in early 2014 on police capacity-building.
The role of the police in peace operations has been an important issue for the Challenges Forum, given that together the Challenges Forum partners contribute approximately 40 per cent of the total number police personnel deployed to UN operations. This support for the SGF builds on the cooperative project between the UN DPKO Police Division Strategic Policy and Development Section and the Challenges Forum in the hosting of the Challenges Police Forum in 2011.