Capacity building and the Afghan National Police Views from the frontline

Gavin Boyd, Gordon Marnoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article reports on a study of an intelligence management capacity building programme involvingformer Police Service of Northern Ireland officers mentoring members of the Afghan NationalPolice. The study contributes to the formative evaluation of a policy transfer based on principles andpractices developed in Northern Ireland. A short discussion of Afghanistan, policing, intelligencemanagement and policy transfer is provided, before attention is given to the capacity buildingprogramme. The study is context rich drawing on qualitative data. Analysis draws on face to faceinterviews conducted with mentors working with the ANP during 2010-2012. Interview questionswere broad in nature encouraging respondents to discuss implementation in their own terms.Respondents generally concluded policy transfer was viable but were in a position to provide a great deal of information on the Afghan context and how specific problems occurred during implementation of the capacity building programme. Cultural issues, corruption and resource constraints presented obstacles to the transfer as did the general absence of a bureaucratic basis for managing the ANP. Violence and physical geography presented rather less of a problem than was anticipated. The need to learn more about appropriate inter-personal skills in capacity building emerged as a significant finding. Such knowledge is currently undervalued in policy transfer within the policing sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-273
JournalEuropean Journal of Policing Studies
Issue number4
Early online date12 May 2014
Publication statusPublished online - 12 May 2014


  • Afghan police
  • capacity building.


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