""

Vanda Dahlbom

Analyst in Iraq

Vanda Dahlbom is on secondment from FBA to the EU Advisory Mission in Iraq, where she works as an analyst. The EU mission supports Iraqi authorities with advice and expertise in its efforts to reform the security sector, aiming to strengthen state institutions in order to improve their capacity to deliver security and rule of law.  

After the overthrow of long-term dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, a power vacuum was created, paving the way for the creation of the Islamic State (IS). In the summer of 2014, the terrorist group began taking large swaths of Iraq. Following a large-scale counter-offensive, IS was declared defeated in 2017, but remaining IS cells still continue to carry out terror attacks in the country. The Iraqi government lacks the ability to provide its citizens with satisfactory security and basic services, and to carry out successful reconciliation and reconstruction programmes.

Vanda, what do you do as an analyst for the EU Advisory Mission in Iraq (EUAM)?

– The EUAM gives strategic advice on how to build an effective security sector in Iraq; a cornerstone of any state. For example, the mission supports efforts to develop the legislative process, and provides advice relevant for strengthening the capacity to fight organized crime, terrorism and corruption. Part of my work includes mapping efforts by international actors in support of security sector reform in Iraq. In order for the EUAM to be effective, it is necessary to be aware of what other actors are doing, so that we can avoid overlaps and focus our efforts where they are needed the most.

Could you describe your day-to-day life in Iraq?

– I am stationed in Baghdad. The EUAM is currently operating out of a hotel in the international zone of the city, where the staff is also quartered. Because of the difficult security situation, we can only move freely within the premises of the hotel. Now and then we are required to leave the hotel area to attend meetings, though this is only possible with rigorous security arrangements. The situation makes me feel somewhat restricted in my day-to-day life, but at the same time it is incredibly interesting to be stationed in a country experiencing such development.

What did you do prior to your deployment to Iraq?

– I have experience working for the Swedish Police, as an investigator among other things. I am currently on leave of absence from my regular work, for my secondment to the EUAM Iraq. My interest in promoting international security was raised in the 1990s, when I was deployed by the Swedish Armed Forces to the Balkans. In the last years, I have been deployed by the Swedish Police to the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, and I have been seconded by both FBA and the Swedish Police to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. I view the international missions as my contribution to a more peaceful world.

Photo: Christiaan Briggs, Raymond Bucko

On international deployment

Kristian Edqvist

Training manager in Brussels

Read more about Kristian

Catalina Perdomo Rodriguez

Adviser to the UN in Colombia

Read more about Catalina

Johan Chytraeus

Monitoring officer in Ukraine

Read more about Johan

Karolina Riedel

Statistician in election observation missions

Read more about Karolina

Johan Fredborn Larsson

Political adviser in Mali

Read more about Johan

Björn Tedeman

Election observer

Read more about Björn

MORE FROM HOME

Women’s low participation in decision-making one of the main gender equality challenges

It was an international breakthrough for gender equality when 189 countries agreed on an action plan to strengthen women’s rights 25 years ago. Some years later, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, rooted in the action plan. The 2020 anniversary of the resolution is an occasion to celebrate women’s rights. But what is the status of gender equality today?

2020-10-28 08:00

Read our publications

""

Security Sector Reform for Practitioners

This booklet aims to provide the reader with a basic overview of security sector reform (SSR) as well as some initial insights necessary to engage in SSR programming.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2020

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Annika Folkeson

    Avenues for accountability and participation: harnessing the power of the streets

    While much of the world awaits the upcoming US presidential elections in November, Iraq remains ensnared in its own deliberations over elections. Following the protests that escalated significantly in October 2019, the government resigned and early elections are now set for June 2021.

    The lack of jobs and public services, as well as rampant corruption, are among the grievances that have set off demonstrations across much of southern and central Iraq, as well as parts of Kurdistan ... Read entire post »

    2020-10-22 12:19
  • Posted by Minna Naucler

    ‘Defund the police’ and reforming the security sector

    In the midst of the pandemic, riots and unrest continues in the US over the recent cases of police brutality that resulted in the deaths of several African American individuals. While the Black Lives Matter movement continues to draw attention to the structural racism and inequalities of the American society, one of the slogans of the movement is ‘defund the police’ – seemingly meaning to disband or even abolish the police and give their funding to… ... Read entire post »

    2020-09-30 12:26
  • Posted by Rhodri Williams

    Civil society as a critical partner: rule of law and accountability in the Liberian COVID response

    The rule of law is broadly recognized as necessary for good governance, peace and security. The UN 2030 Agenda recognizes this dynamic in all countries, rich or poor. However, the impact of the rule of law – or its absence – is most strongly felt in countries struggling with conflict and crisis.

    As part of its work in Liberia, the FBA has supported local partners to apply rule of law principles in public administration. This reflects a ... Read entire post »

    2020-09-14 10:34
""

Johanna Malm

Johanna is expert on the Democratic Republic of Congo

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

""

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter