The overall objective of the international community's SSR support is to assist countries to provide security and justice services to their population in a manner that is:
To achieve this objective, security and justice sector development focuses on three core principles:
Local ownership: The process must be driven by credible local leaders and the local population.
Effectiveness: Security and justice providers need to be able to provide an effective service to the population. They should have the knowledge, skills and resources to be able to carry out their allocated tasks.
Accountability: Security and justice providers need to operate within the law. They should not abuse their positions. The population should be able to trust in the fact that there are functioning measures to ensure abuse does not happen - and if it does, that there are suitable (and working) mechanisms for redress and preventing reoccurrence.
Security and justice sector development also takes into consideration three main practical challenges:
Security and justice actors and institutions do not operate in isolation. Whilst focus on support may be concentrated in one or other area, it is paramount to ensure that this fits into and interacts with the wider security and justice system. SSR practitioners must retain a holistic vision of security and justice development.
Security and justice development goes to the core of the interests of individuals, organisations and states. It is not just about creating structures and improving skills. SSR practitioners must remember that security and justice development is first and foremost a political undertaking.
There are many different elements in security and justice development: different thematic areas, and diverse processes and organisational systems. SSR practitioners must recognise that security and justice development is a technically complex process.