The Program on Security and Development at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (SAND-MIIS)

SAND-MIIS is an organization that focuses on documenting, investigating and consulting on practical measures that can be undertaken to improve security and the conditions for basic development in all regions of the world. The main focus of the field of security and development is addressing the insecurities that affect the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. A growing level of insecurity and armed violence is preventing desperately needed economic, social and political development (good governance), especially in fragile states emerging from conflict. For more information please contact us via email.

What is Security and Development?

Security, a state of being free from danger or injury, and development, defined as improvements in the human condition, are two sides of the same coin. Security is impossible without development, and development without security. Conversely, the absence of one leads to the corruption of the other; poverty increases levels of insecurity, and insecurity hinders development.

Today, a wide variety of actors have come to realize that meaningful development and lasting security cannot be achieved by treating them as separate issues. States, international governmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental actors (NGOs), and the private sector are increasing their interest in researching, developing and implementing projects that weave the two together. In the past decade, there have been six specific areas of security and development that have received considerable attention. They are:

  • Landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). The presence of anti-personnel landmines and ERW deny the use of arable land and impinge on development. They exact a humanitarian toll, whose cost crushes the health budgets of most countries where these mines and ERW remain. The challenge is to develop and implement programs to remove the ERWs, raise awareness, and integrate such programs into the development of the effective areas.
  • Small arms and light weapons. The negative effects of excessive proliferation, availability and misuse of small arms and light weapons is another challenge. The wide availability and lack of control of these weapons takes a humanitarian toll, increase insecurity, drain scarce resources, and make it difficult for economic, social and political development to proceed.
  • Child soldiers. In countries where children are forced to fight in national or rebel armies, they are no longer able to contribute to the economical well being of their community. Often times, these children have little choice but to kill or be killed. Such an ultimatum can irrevocably affect a child, whose successful reintroduction to society is a complicated, arduous process.
  • Security sector reform. The presence of corrupt and poorly trained and equipped security forces, as well as an ineffective and corrupt justice system, presents another challenge. Security sector reform is now a major global policy effort.
  • Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants . A fifth policy focus is the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, a major focus of the World Bank, UN Agencies and donor states. DDR is often a major component of post-conflict reconstruction, whose successful completion involves the introduction of former combatants as productive members of their community.
  • Gender and Security. The sixth issue of major importance is gender, and the importance of policy and projects that address the needs of both men and women equally. It is a fact that women suffer disproportionately where security and development are lacking, and successful projects and policy are those that give concrete attention to this issue.