SSR Assessment Framework

The Assessment Framework provides guidance on options and specific tools based on suggested stages of the assessment process. These stages include:
• Planning
• Background Analysis
• In- Country Assessment
• Report and Recommendations

Each stage of SSR assessment contains different potential approaches, issues and processes to consider. While it may not be possible to conduct a SSR assessment according to the suggested stages, it is possible to pick and choose sections and/or tools relevant to the SSR task at hand.

With a general aim to conduct informed SSR analysis in third countries, this assessment framework is, more specifically, targeted for:

Desk Officers – Staff tasked with planning and designing an assessment; identifying entry-points, needs, and assessing the risks/benefits of SSR engagement with the goal of supporting long-term development strategies, including monitoring and evaluations.

 Planners – Operational staff tasked with assessing and planning practical SSR support in a crisis response/crisis management operation or peace building context, including monitoring and evaluation.

Technical Experts /Advisors – These experts can include military, police, rule of law, prisons, border, democratisation, development advisors, gender advisors or officers, tasked with looking at specific sectors and wanting to place this analysis within a wider system context.

A selection of tools is presented in the Assessment Framework. Each phase will have a suggested tool or methodology, which can be used during that stage of the SSR assessment. However, this does not mean that a specific tool is only useful at a set stage of the assessment process. The Matrix of Relevant Tools for SSR Assessment found in annex D provides an overview of available tools, indexes, and indicators. The matrix summarises whether the tool is better suited for a desk-study or for an in-depth analysis in-country. It also reviews whether the tool analyses specific sectors or adopts a wider contextual focus.

The main purpose of the framework is to ensure that SSR assessment are carried out in a comprehensive manner in order to avoid sector fragmentation and to address Security Sector Reform from a wider societal perspective. The framework provides practical guidance on SSR assessments, with suggestions of sequence and content. It is based on international best practices, acknowledging some of the current issues and debates in conducting assessments, and it incorporates recognized tools and methodologies for assessing SSR in third countries.

This assessment framework guides policy-makers and practitioners to analyse SSR:

Context – including the underlying causes for conflicts; factors of tension; overall set-up of governance framework in society; influence of local, regional and global contexts on domestic governance.

Actors and Institutions – stakeholders; both key players and excluded actors; their respective power, authority and relative relations; their incentive to maintain status quo or for change.

Governance and accountability – the characteristics of relations between different sectors; between the state and its citizens; external non-state actors; transparency of the decision making, linkages within the security system.

This assessment framework is also to help identify how the civil sector/non state sector are providing their own security and justice.

No single tool can fulfil all purposes of an SSR assessment or provide a complete picture of the SSR context.


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Programme Element