Breathe. Persist. Repeat.

  April 23, 2021

George Floyd’s life mattered.

After less than a day of jury deliberations, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last May. For Floyd’s family, their surprise and relief at the verdict was expressed poignantly in his brother Philonise’s words, “Today we are able to breathe again.”  Many across the nation glued to televisions and Twitter feeds took a collective breath as we realized that our justice system had finally validated that this Black man’s life mattered — and that a system that allowed a White police officer to kill a Black man by kneeling casually on his neck for 9:29 minutes was indefensible and criminal.  Yet however uplifting and validating the verdict, it is worth remembering that many other victims have not yet and may not see justice served. 

Just moments before the verdict was announced, police in Columbus, Ohio fatally shot a 16-year-old Black girl, Ma’Khiah Bryant. It is also not lost on us that just last week, less than 10 miles from where Chauvin stood trial,  Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police during a routine traffic stop. These lost lives are more tragic reminders of the power disequilibrium that systemic racism produces across our nation. Indeed, many police practices reinforce the narrative that Black and Brown lives are threats to society that must be remanded, contained, or even brutalized. This dehumanization wrought by white supremacy in the US places BIPOC at the bottom of a racial hierarchy, where systemic violence perpetuates human rights violations upon communities of color. From mass incarceration to the militarization of police forces that disproportionately target Black and Brown people, these communities have been left at the mercy of the state, and their fury becomes their voice.

The civil resistance in America today is the result of hundreds of years of pain, anger, and fear – and it is our duty to ensure that the Chauvin verdict is a step toward healing the communal trauma of centuries of institutional oppression. The powerful, Black-led movement that organized the largest and most persistent demonstrations in US history is a reminder of how positive social change in this country happens.  We must push our lawmakers to uphold this outcome through a wholesale redesign of our criminal justice system and accountability mechanisms.

Much work and healing remain as we continue to organize and advocate for equitable justice and accountability. We can already see the ramping up of a dangerous counter-narrative from those who portray the verdict as “mob justice” – suggesting that jurors were persuaded not by testimony and evidence but by fear of the potential consequences of a not–guilty verdict – and discussion of passing laws that could target protestors. This is where organizations focused on peacebuilding and democratic reform must demonstrate resolve, vigilance, and leadership. We must amplify messages of social transformation, accountable justice, and healing through a collaborative approach that unifies our voices and networks to truly effect changes in the system that center human life and dignity.

It can seem overwhelming to know where to begin to constructively change an oppressive, abusive system. As peacebuilders, we at PartnersGlobal know that rebuilding trust is one of the cornerstones to any long-term criminal justice reform. Our organization is committed to advocating for change by first acknowledging the collective and personal trauma that our staff is experiencing and allowing ourselves as a team the time to grieve. We also acknowledge that this trauma is felt differently by our Black and Brown colleagues who experience levels of violence and historical marginalization very differently than those with lighter skin. While we know our individual experiences with injustice vary, we believe strongly that we each have a role to play in ensuring that reforms and social transformation will be legitimate, inclusive, and lasting. The Chauvin trial resulted in a guilty verdict because average citizens of all ages, colors, and races took risks to film, speak, organize, and shout about a repugnant murder by law enforcement of a citizen on a calm street in Minneapolis on a typical summer afternoon – and because a jury of peers did its civic duty to hear evidence from all sides and render a just decision that upheld the laws of the state and the principles of our country.

PartnersGlobal will make every effort to uplift and assist our peer organizations working on the front lines of racial injustice and social reform in the United States, offering support to these groups to stay resilient in this long struggle. We recognize that expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and others working to end the dehumanization of people of color is not enough. Yet it represents a critical start for collaborative advocacy and restorative justice. As we call for police to end the use of illegal force and brutality—beatings, racial abuse, unlawful killings, torture, or indiscriminate use of riot control agents —we know that the verdict doesn’t equate to the greater justice we need without systemic change. And we recognize that it will take many different groups and constituencies – activists, community leaders, policymakers, and police themselves – to achieve these kinds of structural reforms.  

We encourage our extended Partners family to join us in supporting the struggle for Black lives whether by donating money, attending protests, amplifying Black voices online, or being willing to have difficult conversations about race and racism in the US.

We honor the memories and legacies of those killed by police. To read their stories, visit:

  April 16, 2021

Partners West Africa Senegal, Partners West Africa Nigeria, and PartnersGlobal are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 General Lamine Cissé Women, Peace and Security Research Fellowship.

Esah Holy ANAGHO is a Ph.D. candidate in International Relations and Conflict Resolution at the University of Buea – Cameroon. Her research is entitled, “Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Counter-terrorism: The Roles of women in the North West, South West and Far North Regions of Cameroon.”

For almost a decade, Cameroon has experienced multiple conflicts that have gravely affected women and girls. The Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s Far North region and the separatist armed conflict in the North-West and South-West regions (the two English speaking or Anglophone regions of the country) have endangered the affected populations generally, but have been especially grievous for women and girls. Anagho’s innovative research will assess:

  • What are the roles of women in the Cameroon Anglophone Conflict?
  • In what ways has the Cameroon Anglophone conflict affected women and girls?
  • To what extent have women been able to contribute to the peace processes of the Cameroon Anglophone conflict?

Captain Mame Rokhaya LÔ is the Head of the Gender Desk within the Senegalese National Gendarmerie.

Captain Lo’s research is called, “Gender, Recruitment Strategies, and Management of Human Resources in the Senegalese National Gendarmerie.” With this research, she aims is to highlight gaps in current policy and practice, make policy recommendations, and engage decision-makers with the security sector for transformative change.

Five Years of the Partners for Security in Guinea project

Through its five years (2015-2020) the Partners for Security in Guinea project worked to build trust between police and citizens and reform Guinea’s security sector through community policing. It took collaboration among the Guinean government, law enforcement, community leaders, and everyday citizens and a committment from all to sharping a security sector that was more inclusive and effective as well as rights-respecting.

Take a look through the stories, videos and materials that capture some of the project’s successes, innovations, and best practices and hear from those most involved in the project about their experiences in shaping a more secure Guinea.

About the project

From 2015-2020, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs has supported PartnersGlobal and consortium members COGINTA and CECIDE in implementing the Partners for Security in Guinea project. The project’s goal was to institute community policing in Guinea and to reform the security sector by improving relationships between police and communities so they could collaboratively address shared security challenges. Learn more about the project here.

Read about the project’s best practices and impact

Guide to Best Practices on community policing in Guinea The Guide shares the innovative initiatives, tools, and best practices that contributed to the project’s success and that can inform community policing initiatives and security sector reform in other countries Read More
In Guinea, citizens become “actors in their own security” Read about this national approach to improve police effectiveness and build citizen-police trust through officer training, community-based policing, and positive community-police interactions. Read More

Cliquez pour accéder au Guide en français.

Learn about our 2019 Share Fair

Click the reports below to read about the lessons learned and successes discussed at the Partners for Security in Guinea Share Fair.

Watch our webinar and check out the presentations below

Check out our video library

Jeudi 25 mars 2021
10:30 AM – 12 PM EST/ 14h30 – 16h GMT

Mot d’ouverture : Esther B. Joe, Chargée des programmes Afrique et Moyen Orient, INL


  • Mme Marguerite TEWA-CAMARA, Directrice Pays, COGINTA-Guinée : « Initiative des policiers référents à l’école » – promouvoir le dialogue entre la police et les élèves.
  • M. Moussa NIMAGA, Coordinateur du programme Paix-Justice-Sécurité, CECIDE : « La caravane des femmes » – restaurer la confiance avec la police et les femmes.
  • M. Fodé Shapo TOURE, Conseiller du Ministre de la Sécurité et de la Protection Civile : « Institutionnalisation de la police de proximité en Guinee ».

Modératrice : Dr. Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Directrice Senior des programmes Afrique et Femmes-Paix-Sécurité, PartnersGlobal

Cliquez pour accéder au Guide des Bonnes Pratique – Partenaires pour la sécurité en Guinée: la réforme de la police au service des citoyens

  February 23, 2021

In honor of General Cissé , PartnersGlobal, Partners West Africa Nigeria and Partners West Africa Senegal are awarding research fellowships to two young African women researchers and practitioners working in the civil society and security sectors. Each fellow will receive a grant equivalent of 1,500,000 CFA (West African franc) to fund innovative research around the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts in Africa with a central focus on women, peace and security.

With these fellowships, the Partners Network aims to cultivate the next generation of leaders in women, peace and security and make progress toward realizing UNSCR 1325.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Only future or ongoing research projects are eligible for the Fellowship.

The selection criteria applied for the project appraisal are:

  1. Applicant’s capacity to carry out quality research (level of education, professional experience, published work, academic support);
  2. Relevance and originality of the issue in relation to current security and gender issues;
  3. Link to the themes selected for the Fellowship, as specified in Article 3;
  4. Methodology and structuring of the work;
  5. Analytical development of the project narrative and the planned fieldwork;
  6. Interest of the results and the practical impact of contributions.

Application requirements

Submit the complete application file electronically by March 15, 2021 to [email protected]

The application must contain the following files:

  • 1 Resume/CV (contact details including home address and possibly institutional address, training, career path and professional project, photograph);
  • 1 transcript of the Master’s degree and/or the doctoral research proposal approved by the committee members/ or a transcript of the doctoral/PhD diploma;
  • 1 Letter of recommendation;
  • 1 Copy of a research work already carried out (thesis chapter, scientific article, etc.);
  • 1 research proposal for the General Lamine Cissé Fellowship (10 pages) including the following sections, in .doc or .docx format:
    • Aim/goal of the research;
    • Research problem;
    • Research methodology;
  • In the appendix of the research project:
    • Indicative references;
    • Research timeline;
    • Estimated research budget.

Incomplete applications or those arriving after the Closing Date will not be considered. See the flyer below for more details.

  October 16, 2020

Police Officer Ramata Mamadou Diallo grew up surrounded by insecurity, domestic violence, theft, and the marginalization of women. She understood early on that women and children suffered the most in this environment.

It is for this reason that when she got an opportunity to take a test to join the public servant corps in 2005, she requested to be assigned to the Ministry of Security and Civilian Protection. She wanted to protect and be of service to children and women who were victims of violence and contribute to peace and stability for families in her community. Three years later, in 2008, Officer Diallo formally joined the Guinea National Police.

Shortly after joining the police, Officer Diallo began advocating for greater integration of the gender dimensions in all police work, including in recruitment and training efforts. She favors using ongoing media messaging to sensitize women and youth on the role of police in securing their communities. Increasing women’s enrollment in the police is a goal of hers.

“Women’s participation in the security sector is a net positive because their service leads to trust, allows dialogue, and strengthens community policing,” says Officer Diallo.

“In all of the services where women police officers are in charge, women victims are well received, which has increased the likelihood that women victims will seek redress and protection,” she adds

Through her many training sessions in and out of Guinea, Officer Diallo has gotten a better understanding of the challenges women face, but these sessions have also strengthened her belief that progress is possible. She does caution, however, that a “greater solidarity among women is needed to succeed.”

In 2012, Officer Diallo was appointed to lead the Labé regional office of the Office of Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (known by its French acronym OPROGEM). This position, she said, allows her to realize her dream of serving and protecting women and children.

She has had many successes, but none seems to measure up to her 2015 rescue of an underage girl, straight from the hands of her kidnappers. The girl, a minor, had attempted to call her parents from a cell phone. Officer Diallo and her team used the mobile phone number to locate the victim and free her.

As part of the Partners for Security in Guinea project, Officer Diallo led multiple dialogue sessions between police, women, and youth. She visited several schools through the Police in School initiative that seeks to bridge the gap between teenagers and the police through civic education. She also contributed to the establishment of local security and violence prevention forums and trained local leaders on conflict resolution and crime prevention.

Prior to eventually retiring from Guinea’s National Police, Officer Diallo looks forward to serving at the national and international levels. She hopes her native Guinea will continue to honor a 30 percent gender recruitment quota and promote women officers to meaningful posts that will inspire the next generation of women police officers.

  October 15, 2020

Police Captain Jeanne Sagno has been with the Guinea National Police since 2008. She joined the police because she believes it serves an important role for public good—protecting people and their property, guaranteeing the security of state institutions, maintaining and restoring public order, and fighting criminality and gender-based violence.

In her more than decade-long service, two events have left an indelible mark on her: the rape of a 12-year-old girl who died from abortion complications and the case of a woman now permanently disabled from her husband’s domestic abuse. These events cemented her belief that women must be represented in the security sector in great numbers for community policing (police de proximité) to succeed. She says that because women constitute one of society’s vulnerable groups and are also victims of multiple forms of violence, they are best placed to provide actionable recommendations on how to guarantee the safety of women and their children.

As the Head of the Office of Protection of the Gender, Children and Morals (OPROGEM) Brigade at the Kaloum Police Commissariat in Conakry, Captain Sagno is doing her part. Through the Partners for Security in Guinea project, Sagno has partnered with civil society to inform women and youth of their legal rights and on how they can report violence against them to competent authorities, including the police. Her campaigning has led to higher number of reports filed as victims feel more empowered to go to the police.

Captain Sagno also serves as a Community Outreach Officer (or Policière Référente in French), a role that has taken her to many high school and university classrooms to educate students about the police. Her motto: Educate rather than punish.

She has also trained colleagues in the judicial police on conducting police searches or stops, handcuffing, and transporting suspects in ways that respect their human rights. Her training sessions have also included how to respectfully handle minors and peacefully manage protestors.

Captain Sagno looks forward to many more fruitful years serving her community, particularly women.

  October 14, 2020

Chief Police Commissioner Marie Gomez has a stellar 16-year career within the Guinean National Police. She has served as the officer in charge of law enforcement within the Judiciary Police, as the INTERPOL focal point on human trafficking, and with the police division in charge of science and technology. Over the years, she has completed training in Benin, Botswana, Burkina-Faso, Côte-d’Ivoire, Morocco, Rwanda, Togo, and Senegal.

She says her current position, however, is her most fulfilling. She serves as the Deputy Director of the Office of Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (known as its French acronym OPROGEM). In this role, she is serving some of the most vulnerable women and children in Guinea, which has been a lifelong dream of hers.

OPROGEM is tasked with combatting rape, child marriages, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence. This is a complex and challenging mission in her native Guinea, which has the sixth highest percentage of child marriages in West and Central Africa with nearly 2 million child brides, according to United Nations Children’s Fund’s 2018 estimates. It is, however, a mission that Chief Police Commissioner Gomez fully embraces, having joined the police to serve and defend the most vulnerable. Even before enlisting in the police corps, Gomez worked with vulnerable populations. Upon retirement, she hopes to still work with women-centered civil society organizations.

Most of the police agents and officers that Gomez interacts with are men, and she says she would like to see more women join the police, particularly at the senior level. To reach this goal, Gomez supports the recruitment of women to join the police force so they can be the police leaders of tomorrow.

Chief Police Commissioner Gomez believes increasing the number of women police officers will help improve the community’s trust in the police since women enjoy the trust of many social groups. This would aid the police’s overall goal of increasing trust with the community as part of its community policing policy (locally known as Police de Proximité).

More importantly, she says that more women on the force will improve how the police addresses and works to eradicate gender-based violence.

In the future, Gomez says she looks forward to an opportunity to serve in an international peacekeeping mission and to promote women’s participation in the security sector globally, both of which would “pay it forward” in her words.

by Solange Bandiaky-Badji   October 5, 2020

As many countries move toward reopening as COVID-19 cases fall, and in some places re-confinement as cases increase, law enforcement agencies will continue to play a key role in supporting the implementation of public health measures to contain the virus. For governments’ COVID-19 measures to be effectively implemented, governments should promote approaches that strengthen trust between security forces and citizens through increased and collaborative problem-solving. These efforts can not only improve countries’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic but serve as a foundation on which to build resilience to future crises. Our experience at PartnersGlobal shows us that these relationships can be strengthened even in the midst of a crisis.

Community policing (police de proximité in French), which many African countries have introduced over the last decade as part of security sector reform, is an approach that focuses on building ties between police and community members. Community policing not only strengthens trust and improves communication with citizens but can help security forces work more effectively. It can also build resilience to enhance responses to cross-cutting challenges, such as a pandemic.

In Guinea, participants in our Partners for Security in Guinea project, a U.S. Department of State-funded community policing project implemented over the past five years, are building on the police-community relationships they have established to respond to the current health crisis. Their collective and inclusive initiatives to prevent the spread of COVID-19 includ

  • The creation of COVID-19 response teams made up of district chiefs, police commissioners, health officers, and others who conduct awareness campaigns and implement prevention measures;
  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships among civil society, local leaders, women, and youth, which develop community-based action plans to prevent gender-based violence and the spread of COVID-19;
  • Local crime prevention councils that support community sensitization activities around COVID-19; and
  • Police officers trained to working in health emergencies and on preventing domestic violence.

These collaborative efforts of our partners in Guinea provide a blueprint for other countries to develop more effective approaches to peace and security. By strengthening trust between police and citizens, governments are better able to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and can build resilience to face future challenges such as disasters, pandemics, and climate change.

When we get past this current crisis, the success of COVID-19 responses and recovery plans will be measured not just by health and economic recovery but by how citizens—including women, youth, and the most vulnerable—have been involved and how their human rights have been respected.

For more information on proven strategies for building trust and cooperation between citizens and security forces, look at our brief “COVID-19 and Community Policing: Strengthening citizen trust with security forces in Guinea” and join us Oct. 7 at 10:30 AM EST for our webinar “COVID-19 and The Security Sector: Civil Society Experience in Building Trust Between Security Forces and Citizens in West Africa.”

RSVP here for English:

RSVP here for French:
*The webinar will be available in English and French

About the Author: Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Ph.D., is Senior Director of Africa and Women, Peace and Security at PartnersGlobal