About us

What we do

The Stabilisation Unit (SU) is a cross-government unit supporting UK government efforts to tackle instability overseas.

We support integrated co-ordination of UK government activities in fragile and conflict-affected states by acting as a centre of expertise on conflict, stabilisation, security and justice.

We recruit, train and deploy qualified and experienced civilian experts (‘Deployable Civilian Experts’) to support UK government activities in fragile and conflict-affected states, and to multilateral missions on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We are responsible for the safety and security of all staff deployed through us.

We also capture and analyse evidence from practical experience to identify and share best practice, inform the UK government’s strategy and policy development, improve our operational delivery and increase the impact of our work.

Who we are

We are a cross-government, civil-military-police unit based in London, and include the National School of Government International (NSGI). We are funded through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and are governed through the National Security Council. We currently have core civil servant staff members from twelve government departments, as well as serving military and police officers.

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for:

  • providing the link between civil, military and police efforts to build stability overseas
  • facilitating cross-government working and lesson-learning in planning for, and responding to, conflict
  • capturing and sharing lessons and examples of best practice on stabilisation work
  • responding to requests from UK government departments, embassies and country offices for support to fragile and conflict-affected states

Our priorities

From 2016 to 2020, our priorities will be to:

  • increase our capacity to support the UK government in understanding and developing effective, integrated responses to transnational stability and security challenges, in fragile and conflict-affected states
  • provide expert advice on understanding and responding to gender, peace and security issues
  • improve monitoring and evaluation advice and training
  • support effective response to crises
  • provide a hub for international policing support to fragile and conflict-affected states, and an effective platform for the NSGI
  • enhance our training offer

The National School of Government International

The NSGI is a small, cross-cutting unit, located in the SU, supporting UK government objectives overseas to increase the impact of aid interventions and help build effective institutions in fragile and developing countries.

NSGI is made up of a small core team of civil servants drawn from a range of departments as well as short and long term expert support from across government, academia and the wider public sector.

NSGI is funded through the SU’s CSSF budget, and use other funds from partners across government.

What does NSGI do?

NSGI provide advisory and capacity-building support in governance and centre of government reform to overseas governments, using a practitioner-to-practitioner model of support that is adapted to local priorities and the local context. NSGI’s principal areas of work are:

  • cross-cutting: support to solve systemic government-wide problems such as human resource management, policy development and accountability
  • sector specific: support to line ministries to strengthen leadership and capacity to deliver priority services
  • programmatic: support needs analysis, design, planning, management, delivery, monitoring and evaluation

For more information about NSGI, or to see how we could support a project you are working on, please contact us.


NSGI’s publication, Increasing the Impact of Aid Interventions to Support Centre of Government Reforms: A Paper on the National School of Government International’s Approach explores how the emerging NSGI approach and practitioner-to-practitioner support may provide a useful framework for improving the effectiveness of the design, delivery and monitoring of aid interventions.

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