Tool 1 : Political Leadership and National Ownership of Security Sector Reform Processes

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Tool 1 of the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa by DCAF addresses political will and national ownership, fundamental requirements of SSR processes.

Without the strong political commitment of national authorities, SSR will fail, regardless of the material resources and technical expertise invested into it. SSR must be home-grown, designed to meet country-specific needs, and led by national stakeholders who take full responsibility for it. For SSR to produce sustainable results, it is also essential to ensure the active involvement of a critical mass of citizens - men and women - from all strata of society in the definition and implementation of a reform agenda that reflects a shared vision of security. Unless it relies on an inclusively defined and widely shared vision of security, SSR cannot succeed.

Acknowledging the challenges that may arise in the process of operationalising these principles, Tool 1 offers practical guidance on how to reinforce national ownership and leadership while defining an inclusive, national vision of security as a basis for a security sector reform. It provides an overview of potential entry points for SSR in the broader framework of national governance in a West African setting. It also suggests how to institutionalise the national leadership and coordination of an SSR process, including through strategic communication.

The Tool is primarily intended for policy and other strategic decision makers, government officials involved in security sector governance, national SSR advisers and practitioners. It will also provide members of parliament, other oversight institutions, civil society organisations and development partners with an overview of the responsibilities of the executive in SSR and how to uphold national ownership throughout the process.

For more information on the tool Political Leadership and National Ownership of Security Sector Reform Processes, kindly follow the link to the DCAF website.

Follow the links to access the other documents in the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa: 

Tool 2: Security Sector Reform Programming

Tool 4: Effective Management of External Support to Security Sector Reform

Tool 6: Civil Society Involvement in Security Sector Reform and Governance

The publication is also available in français and português.