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Stronger police and security services
Strategic Support to the Ministry of Interior, Afghanistan
Strengthening the Ministry of Interior's capability, accountability and responsiveness to support the Afghan National Police and improve security for the Afghan people
The UK government established the Strategic Support to the Ministry of Interior (SSMI) project to contribute to the goals of promoting security and stability and supporting the prosperity and development of Afghanistan. This programme supports the outcomes of an effective and sustainable Afghan National Police (ANP), improving service delivery through better allocation and use of resources and strategic leadership. 

Coffey, A Tetra Tech Company, managed the first phase of the programme from 2011 to 2015, and we are now managing the second phase, which runs until 2019. We provide oversight and strategic direction to improve ministerial leadership, strategy and policy mechanisms, including: 


  • Building more effective leadership at the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA) by developing the leadership skills of current and future ministry leaders 
  • Improving policy, planning, and programming mechanisms and increasing police officers’ understanding of the
  •  Improving how the MoIA and the police communicate with the public, helping create better channels for the public to voice concerns 
  • Establishing better budgeting for greater financial accountability, helping the MoIA submit accurate budgets, based on strategic need, to the Ministry of Finance 
  • Under the second phase of SSMI, we are using a Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) approach to maintain the relevance, viability and legitimacy of our solutions.
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Results and Innovations

SSMI has achieved significant results across multiple initiatives involving MoIA and other stakeholders. 
Some of these successes are detailed below. 

Leadership Training

  1. The programme arranged targeted study visits and provided scenario-based leadership exercises as well as 12 three-day workshops on leadership competency to more than 100 participants. According to a survey of ministry staff, the majority of leaders who had attended the training have shown “very noticeable improvement” in leadership competency.

  2. SSMI trained 500 police in policy and strategy. The SSMI-developed policy and strategy curriculum now has been formally incorporated into the Police Staff College Promotion to Major course. SSMI has also taught the curriculum to all instructors at the college so they can teach it to others.

  3. SSMI provided a research training programme to selected Ministry staff, resulting in the development of the first internal, Ministry-led research on diverse topics such as women in policing and root causes of various crimes.

Public outreach

SSMI was instrumental in establishing the National Consultative Council, the first forum where members of civil society organisations can publicly discuss their policing concerns with the MoIA. The programme supported the establishment of the Public Outreach Commission, which brings together for the first time all MoIA departments engaged with the public to support a more coordinated and relevant MoIA response.

Institutional Strengthening

  1. Under SSMI mentorship, the MoIA has developed standard, documented processes and procedures for its strategic management, including strategic planning development and implementation, policy development and implementation, programme budget development, performance reporting, and monitoring and evaluation.

  2. SSMI has partnered with MoIA staff to conduct internal reform and change management assessments in two key units and has worked with the Chief of Staff to establish and support a Change Management Committee to lead the implementation of critical changes within relevant departments.

  3. Programme advisors across SSMI have provided support to the annual revision of the MoIA Strategic Plan (MISP) and are providing strategic inputs to the senior MoIA leadership on managing MISP and reform implementation. The 2017 MISP revision marks a notable increase in senior leadership’s participation in strategy development and the first time that all relevant plans and targets for the MoIA have been integrated in a comprehensive document to guide reform.

Innovation for adaptive programming

SSMI is on the cutting edge of exploring how a Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) approach to programming can be applied to security sector institutional reform in a transitioning post-conflict environment. Programme advisors have studied PDIA and use the framework to adapt their inputs, as well as programme activities within the MoIA, ensuring that appropriate and contextualised solutions are being pursued for critical problems.