The advancement of MoI’s response to critical incidents

Kabul, May 2016. Senior officers from the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI) took part in a one-week course on recording and evaluating critical incidents, initiated by EUPOL advisers. The course is a follow-up to the formerly approved MoI’s Crisis Management Policy and the standard operation procedure (SOP), aimed at enhancing the Afghan National Police (ANP) capabilities.

To secure the sustainability of this pilot course, the training was attended by Afghan senior police officers with command responsibilities when crisis occurs and accredited teachers working for the Afghan police training institutions. Hence, the course began with a one-day seminar for decision makers, attended by 19 high ranking police officers and was followed by a six-day training attended by 25 evaluators and teachers. EUPOL invited a European Union expert on evaluation to share with the participants some evaluation methods, such us the After Action Review and the Expert Goal Based Evaluation.

The Seminar’s opening session was attended by the Inspector General of the MoI, General Major General Abdul Zia Kohistani and the EUPOL Head of Mission, Ms. Pia Stjernvall. “We are proud to have you here and I am pleased to witness the developments with regards to the ANP’s response to crisis situation”, said Ms. Stjernvall.

Major General Zia has led the MoI’s working group that drafted the SOP on the Crisis Management Policy. He thanked EUPOL for supporting the professionalisation of the ANP and emphasised the significance of the topic for Afghanistan: “We are here to increase our professional knowledge and contribute to a more effective police service. It is important for all of us to know how to deal with a crisis and use the information properly.”

In their position as evaluators of a response to a crisis, the Afghan police officers learned how to enhance their professional skills and find out whether their organisation works in accordance to the plans and policies - through debating real case scenarios of critical incidents. “I believe that we have had a very positive and constructive learning climate. The participants asked relevant and quite often difficult questions while showing openness and willingness to have a critical dialogue”, said Dr. Martin Bergqvist, senior training and evaluation officer, seconded by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.

What brought authenticity to this educational process was that the Afghan officers worked together with accurate evaluation criteria in examining real critical incidents cases. The training provided the opportunity to discuss and develop what the Afghan participants understood by “good performance” in Crisis Management. The course curriculum and a trainer’s guide were handed over to MoI in order to be embedded in their course delivery system.

“The Afghan police officers showed that they already have a good knowledge of the issues we worked on. The most important principle when evaluating a response to a critical incident is to have a common, clear and approved criteria that defines ‘good performance’ in Crisis Management. This criteria needs to be related to the official strategies and policies within the national police authority”, said Dr. Martin Bergqvist.