European Journal of Policing Studies


Capacity building and the Afghan National Police

Views from the frontline

Keywords Afghanistan, Intelligence, Capacity, Policy transfer
Authors Gavin Boyd en Gordon Marnoch
Author's information

Gavin Boyd
Gavin Boyd is currently a policing consultant and researcher. He acted as a programme evaluator in Afghanistan 2010-13. After completing service in the RUC and PSNI where he held the rank of superintendent he held a lecturing post in policing studies at the University of Ulster.

Gordon Marnoch
Dr. Gordon Marnoch (Corresp.: is a public policy specialist, who has written extensively on the rise of new public management, evidence based policy, evaluation and performance. He is currently a reader in policy studies at the University of Ulster. He has consulted on behalf of numerous public bodies including those in the criminal justice field.
  • Abstract

      The article reports on a study of an intelligence management capacity building programme involving former Police Service of Northern Ireland officers mentoring members of the Afghan National Police. The study contributes to the formative evaluation of a policy transfer based on principles and practices developed in Northern Ireland. A short discussion of Afghanistan, policing, intelligence management and policy transfer is provided, before attention is given to the capacity building programme. The study is context rich drawing on qualitative data. Analysis draws on face to face interviews conducted with mentors working with the ANP during 2010-2012. Interview questions were 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.

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