Although the concept of SSR has developed recently, it has attracted significant interest from the international community. It is recognised, however, that in order to provide effective support to local SSR programmes, the international community will itself need support to develop its SSR capacity and improve its processes for coordination.
Some bilateral and multilateral actors have developed high levels of capacity to engage in supporting security and justice reform programmes, while others actors still lack a policy-level understanding of what SSR entails. So, while some bi-lateral donors have national SSR strategy papers, committed departments, and multiple engagements in security and justice reform, others are only beginning to realise that many of their programmes touch upon security and justice reform. Within this context of varying levels of understanding of and engagement in SSR processes, a growing percentage of ODA is going towards SSR.
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action provide an important policy framework on which all SSR support should be based. The reality is; however, that to apply the principles and ambitions set out in those guiding documents, technical inputs are needed from practitioners with diverse backgrounds and skill-sets. In reality no single country is able to mobilise all of the needed capacities and very few practitioners are capable of bridging the gaps between SSR's many sub-sectors, such as policing, the courts, prisons etc. In addition, the technical capacity to provide support must be coupled with sufficient process capacity, which allows supporters of SSR to plan, monitor and evaluate effective SSR programmes.
In order to help achieve the commitments made in the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda, ISSAT is responding to the need for capacity building and greater coordination within the international community.