Governing Board - Membership of ISSAT

ISSAT is a Member-based organisation that brings together 15 bilateral donors and a range of multilateral and regional actors active in supporting SSR processes, including the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), European Union (EU), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). All are part of ISSAT’s Governing Board and attend its annual meeting.

Membership is further divided into four categories, namely:

  • Full pooled funding members: France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom
  • Project funders: Austria, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and the EU
  • Multilateral partners who are direct beneficiaries of ISSAT's services (on a cost-sharing basis)
  • Observers: Belgium, Canada, Estonia, the United States, the AU and the AfDB.

Full membership of the Governing Board is reserved for those countries that actively engage with, and provide support to ISSAT (i.e. those who provide core funding, project funding, or second personnel). Other Members participate in the annual meetings of ISSAT’s Governing Board but do not have authority over policy or budget decisions. Observers can also request ISSAT services subject to resource contribution and the availability of resources.

The benefits of being a Member of ISSAT

ISSAT has proven itself since its foundation in 2008 to be a viable partner in assisting its Members by reinforcing their capacity to undertake SSR assessments, design SSR programmes and to develop their own national SSR capacity. ISSAT provides one of the only forums where bilateral donors, multilateral and regional organisations can meet to discuss and coordinate operational activities related to SSR. ISSAT’s role of coaching both headquarters and field staff on specific technical and political challenges of SSR has been regarded as an increasingly important role for its Members, particularly those just beginning to develop their SSR capacity.

Since its inception, ISSAT has provided support to its Members’ training programmes, and support to SSR country programmes from assessment assistance, to strategic programming guidance and in-field coaching, through to end-of-programme evaluations. The team has been deployed in support of its Members, throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southeast Europe including: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Moldova, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor Leste, Uganda
The key services which ISSAT provides to its Members include:

1. Advisory Field Support 
2. Training Support
3. Knowledge Services
4. Advocacy and Outreach

How ISSAT is funded

ISSAT is funded through two mechanisms Pooled Funding and Project Funding. Some members use both mechanisms to fund ISSAT’s work. Through contributing core funding to ISSAT’s pooled fund, Members gain access to ISSAT key services and a host of SSR expertise, get to call down support for their SSR programmes and benefit from reduced transaction costs. In addition, all funding given to ISSAT is ODA eligible given the fact that DCAF is named an ODA eligible organisation under Annex 2 of the ODA Directives.

ISSAT’s Pooled Funding

Pooled funding is divided equally between:

Bilateral drawdown

Up to one third of the pooled funding contribution can be used by the bilateral donors for use on services which they request of ISSAT from any of our services lines, subject to mandate and capacity constraints. Once, this one third has been drawn down, Members will be asked to top-up pooled funding, should they wish to receive additional support.

Multilateral use

One third of pooled funding is used to fund the request from our multilateral members on a cost-sharing basis. Under cost-sharing, ISSAT pooled funding covers ISSAT advisors costs, while the multilateral actors, such as the UN, AU or EU, cover costs associated to the deployment of ISSAT advisors (flights, accommodation and daily substance allowance/per diem).

Knowledge, Development, Advocacy & Outreach

The remainder of pooled funding contributes to knowledge development, lessons identification, dissemination through a Securty and Justice Sector Reform Community of Practice (CoP), guidance development and advocacy and outreach activities (such as the High Level Panel series). ISSAT knowledge development is aimed predominantly at the practioner level, but also at the policy-to-practioner guidance divide. Coordination, and collaboration through joint mandates on mapping studies, assessments, design identification and long-term sustainable practices is where ISSAT brings particular insight due to its close knit Governing Board.

ISSAT Top-up Project Funding

The Governing Board has agreed that only in rare circumstances should ISSAT accept project funding, as it increases the administrative burden to manage such funds. In exceptional cases where bilateral members are unable to provide pooled funding due to legal reasons, or where it is used in tandem with pooled funding, it can be accepted. In these cases funding can be provided directly towards a specific project. Under such circumstances, all costs need to be taken into account, including project staff costs (support and deployment) and costs associated with any reporting requirements additional to ISSAT’s standard procedures.

This mechanism also allows for non-members to draw on ISSAT expertise, providing capacity is available. Our primary focus always remains with our Members.

Responding to Members’ Requests

All ISSAT support is demand-driven and triggered by Member requests. Once a request is received, due notice is given to all Members to provide them with an opportunity to join or support a given mission or programme. ISSAT does not have a specific list of priority countries, but will consider support to any security and justice programme in a country from the DAC List of ODA eligible countries, as long as the following criteria are taken into account:
• The activity should be proposed by an ISSAT Member, a multilateral organisation or a country that is undertaking SSR
• The scope of the request lies within the core service areas of ISSAT, as defined in this Strategy; 
• The activity does not place ISSAT in a politically compromised position that could undermine its neutrality;
• The activity aims to contribute to a nationally driven SSR process;
• Sufficient capacity is available within ISSAT’s core team or from the expert roster; financial resources must be available as well.

Once these initial criteria have been met, Members are requested to draft clear Terms of Reference (ToRs) and ISSAT circulates a project summary to all Members. Each Member must assume political responsibility for the task/mission in question.

Priority support will be given to full Members and multilateral organisations, particularly the UN, the AU, the EU, and other regional organisations. Further priority will be given to Members proposing joint activities, and/or activities that provide ISSAT an opportunity to engage with one or more Members on an on-going basis throughout the entire programme cycle.

Governing Board Chair

Since 2000, Michal Mlynar has been serving as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. He was elected in May 2011 as Chair of the Governing Board of ISSAT in Geneva, Switzerland, re-elected to the second term (2014-2016) in December 2013 and to the third term at the Governing Board Meeting held on 30 September 2016. Representing the Eastern European Group of States in the UN, on 4 December 2013 he was elected Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to UN-Habitat for the 2014-2015 biennium.

Ambassador Mlynar was previously Head of the Project Team for Security Sector Reform (SSR) within the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2010-2011). As Deputy Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations in New York (2004-2009), he was the Political Coordinator of Slovakia's diplomatic team on the UN Security Council (2006-2007), including in the context of the Slovak chairmanships of the UN Group of Friends of SSR, the UN Security Council Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Issues and Ad Hoc Committee on Mandate Review. In addition, he twice served as Deputy Chef de Cabinet for the Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs (2002-2004 and 2010-2011) and head of units at the UN Department and at Diplomatic Protocol of his Ministry

Governing Board Members