Leila Stehlik-Barry
Leila Stehlik-Barry
Senior Program Assistant for Central and West Africa
Washington, DC

Leila joined NDI’s Central and West Africa team in 2015, where she supports programs in Burkina Faso focused on increasing political participation by youth and women and building the capacities of youth CSOs to affect change, as well as the Sahel regional program highlighted in this piece. She previously supported NDI programming in the Western Balkans. Leila holds a Master complémentaire en droits de l'homme, a Master of Arts in German and European Studies with a specialization in human rights, peacebuilding and rule of law, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Legal Studies and Slavic Studies.

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Promoting Democratic Governance of the Security Sector

Members of the Defense and Security Commission of Burkina Faso's National Assembly meet members of the armed forces during an informational visit to a military base in Kaya.

Violence and crime pose serious threats to citizen security. A lack of response to these threats from authorities erodes public trust in government institutions and weakens prospects for stable democracy. Maintaining the peace and ensuring the security of citizens is necessary for a democracy to develop and endure. Likewise, democratic institutions, such as parliaments, media and civil society, help guarantee a focus on citizen interest and public good, especially related to civilian oversight of the security sector. Threats to citizen security are particularly notable in West Africa’s Sahel region and Central America’s Northern Triangle, areas where NDI works to bridge the gap between citizens’ security needs and the state’s ability to meet them.

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