Julie Brethfeld, Country Manager, Saferworld Nepal
Julie Brethfeld is Country Manager for Saferworld’s Nepal programme, based in Kathmandu. She is currently focusing on people-centred security provision, community safety, gender & security, conflict prevention and conflict sensitivity, and trains local partner organisations to build their capacity and support them in their work. Previously, she was Team Leader for Saferworld’s Europe & Central Asia programme. Before joining Saferworld Julie was a manager and Peace Advisor with Pact in South Sudan and Ethiopia where she worked on peacebuilding and conflict prevention through promoting livelihoods and trade; and on DDR and SALW control for the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC).
Programmes that go beyond technical approaches to security and justice development – and that support longer term, more arduous and politically complex processes in which communities are encouraged to shape the security and justice institutions that they want – are rare. Moreover, the idea that only the state can or should exercise authority over security and justice obscures contexts in which authority is contested and fragmented and in which multiple sources of legitimacy compete with one another.
Community security can therefore potentially fill an important gap. Saferworld will present on how community security contributes to both immediate and long term solutions to security deficits – crucially, in a way that seriously engages with the long term objectives of achieving legitimacy, public confidence and improved state-society relations. Development is severely undermined in areas of ongoing insecurity and social fracture. Beneath the security challenges that frustrate development can be a complex range of factors that might encompass almost anything that makes people feel insecure. These concerns can be as diverse as social exclusion, poverty, unemployment, crime, poor infrastructure or competition for resources, each of which are barriers to development and have the potential to drive violent conflict. Secure communities with functioning, trusting relationships between their members and local security actors are better equipped to identify such potential drivers of conflict upstream, and manage and mitigate them.