Evaluation: Dutch Mandate in Burundi

Burundi and the Netherlands have cooperated on SSR issues since 2004. This cooperation was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in 2009 to support a Security Sector Development (SSD) programme for a period of eight years (2009-2017). This programme was divided into four phases, each lasting two years, and a strategic plan was developed for each phase. While the SSD programme is currently suspended due to the political turmoil in Burundi, this programme is still worth mentioning as it gathered many of the SSR principles the international community is promoting. The programme took a holistic approach and included three pillars: support to the Ministry of Public Security (including the Burundian National Police), Ministry of Defence (including the Burundian Defence Forces), and Security Sector Governance. The SSD programme was developed with the main SSR principals in mind, including how to integrate local ownership into the programme design, balancing its support for greater effectiveness with more accountability of the security forces, as well as ensuring the link between the political and technical dimensions of a reform process. One of the programme’s particularities was its level of flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as they arise or to adapt to a changing environment.

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