Integrated Security Sector Reform and Violence Prevention in Honduras

Project completed

Citizen security in Honduras continues to be a priority challenge for the country, with implications for both the living conditions of the population and democratic governability. In order to improve the efficiency and transparency of the security sector, the program brings together various reforms: i) police training and institutional development of the National Police, ii) strengthening criminal investigation and iii) strengthening municipal security. This phase provides continuity and consolidates the results achieved in the first phase.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Legal and judicial development
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018
CHF  6’000’000

Honduras continues to be one of the most violent countries in the world, characterized by high rates of homicide, endemic corruption and impunity. One of the principal causes is the weakness of the state institutions in the sectors of justice and security, sectors that are characterized by their low capacity level, lack of coordination and high rates of corruption. The Honduran government has designated improving citizen security and the corresponding reform of public security as areas of high political priority. The homicide rate dropped from 86 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012 to 66 in 2014.


The overall objective of the program is to contribute to prevention and control of crime and violence and to improve citizen security.

The contributions of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE) are oriented to supporting systemic changes in the security institutions (the National Police; the Ministry of Security).

Target groups
  • Ministry of Security (SEDS).
  • Directorate for Strategic Planning and International Cooperation of the National Police.
  • Directorate of Investigation and Evaluation of Police Careers (DIECP).
  • Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DPI).
  • 3 – 5 municipal corporations / local populations with high rates of violence.
Medium-term outcomes

The general outcomes of the program remain as they were in the first phase:

  1. Improved effectiveness of the security institution (National Police),
  2. Better effectiveness in investigating disciplinary cases in the National Police (police vetting)
  3. Greater proportion of committed crimes are investigated and sanctioned,
  4. Improved citizen security and more peaceful living together at the local level in selected municipalities.

COSUDE will give priority to the following objectives:

  • Strategic planning: strengthening organizational structure and planning instruments in support of the National Police Directorate for Strategic Planning and International Cooperation.
  • Local Security: development and implementation of Municipal Security Plans.
  • Police education system: curricular reform for training officials, consistent with the educational reform for basic training.
  • Ongoing follow-up and in-service training for graduates of the Institute of Police Technology (i.e. basic training) and post-training accompaniment.
  • Cooperation between the Investigative Police and the Public Prosecutor: Coordination of technical assistance and synergies with the “Eurojusticia” program of the European Union (Investigative Police – Public Prosecutor cooperation protocols)
  • Consolidation of the program’s Strategic Management Group (GGEP). This space is fundamental for COSUDE’s ongoing influence.

Expected results:  

  • 5,000 new police trained under the new curriculum.
  • A system established for monitoring and accompanying graduates.
  • A police career system based on merit (“dignifying the police”).
  • A system established for effective criminal investigation integrated into the criminal justice system.
  • A strengthened and efficient system for eliminating police corruption.
  • Three municipalities implementing Municipal Security Plans (PMS).
  • Consolidation of the program’s governance system (Program Strategic Management Group, GGEP) and COSUDE’s influence.

Results from previous phases:  

Police training was extended from 3 to 11 months. Topics of Human Rights, a gender focus, and a police-community focus are now included in the curriculum. The first 750 police officers have already graduated. There are 1,200 more police currently in training (25% women).
In the field of criminal investigation, the Ministry of Security fired 700 detectives for irregularities, laying the foundation for an institutional reorganization and the replacement of personnel by new, better trained police investigators.
The program established 30 observatories of municipal violence that provide basic information for developing local security plans. Due to the insistence of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE), Comayagua will now be the first municipality in the program to implement its local security plan.
COSUDE propelled the construction of a program management group (GGEP) that coordinates the efforts of the Ministry of Security, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and COSUDE in order to strengthen the strategic management of the program. With the group’s participation, COSUDE can have more influence in the direction of the program.
COSUDE relies on backstopping from the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). COSUDE and DCAF built a good close working relationship with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and with the senior officials of the Ministry of Security. They participated in a training workshop organized with COSUDE and DCAF in Washington in 2015.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International Financial Institution (IFI)
International or foreign NGO
Other International Organization
Private sector
  • Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Interamerican Development Bank (other)
  • Swiss Private Sector

Other partners
  • Vice-Ministry of Security for prevention
  • Vice-Ministry of Security for inter-institutional affairs.
Coordination with other projects and actors
  • European Union and the United States: coordination and cooperation to develop a functional national criminal justice system.
  • G-16 – round table on security, justice and human rights: COSUDE will be the coordinator of the roundtable in 2016 and will use the opportunity to promote alignment and harmonization of international cooperation with Honduras on key topics in the Reform of the Justice and Security System.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    6’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    5’874’996
Project phases

Phase 2 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.07.2012 - 30.04.2016   (Completed)