Les éléments suivants sont un ensemble de recommandations pour aborder les nombreux défis de la RSS. Il s’agit d’une synthèse des enseignements qui ont été recueillis par des équipes RSS travaillant sur des programmes, des projets et des missions sur le terrain.
Un sommaire des détails des enseignements peut être trouvé ici. En tant que membre de la Communauté des Praticiens, vous pouvez y contribuer. Les thèmes suivants se concentrent sur trois questions clés qui sont ressorties de l’analyse des renseignements.
Ces recommandations ne proposent pas de réponses définitives aux problèmes mais elles identifient certains défis communs pour les programmes RSS en mettant en avant quelques suggestions pour y faire face.
La plupart ne sont pas nouvelles mais sont inclues car l'expérience a montré que leur importance n'a pas encore été pleinement saisie. Par ailleurs, cette synthèse contribue à établir une base de données dynamique qui sera réévaluée et développée régulièrement (tous les six mois).
Nous vous invitons à donner vos avis et réactions ou à partager des exemples pour renforcer ces recommandations.
While background research can help SSR practitioners prepare for a project or mission, team members with extensive local knowledge - ideally nationals - can provide not only a better understanding of the context, but also aid in partnership building and logistics. All team members need to be reputable and perceived as neutral to those undertaking the reform process; however, this should be addressed more explicitly with regard to local or regional team members due to their increased proximity to the process being supported.
Expertise during the Guinea National Seminar on SSR
UNOWA was a key actor in providing mentoring and capacity building support to Guinea’s National Seminar on SSR in March of 2012. One of the success factors of this project was the role played by the regional experts on the project team who strengthened the management of political dynamics and context related issues.For example, in the highly political environment of the Guinea reform process, the presence of a reputable senior figure from the region on the team allowed for effective management and timing of engagements with official stakeholders based on the senior figure’s insights and credibility. Through extensive experience and knowledge of key actors and interests, the senior figure was also able to help the team anticipate likely responses to various interventions thus, allowing for better planning and risk mitigation.In addition, while international experts brought technical and background knowledge, having experts from the region with more indepth knowledge of customs, actors, and issues allowed for improved team decision making and provision of advice to national counterparts. With more indepth knowledge of culture, actors, and issues, the regional experts were able to help contextualise recommendations and identify potential champions and spoilers fo propsals.
It is often assumed that local team members for a mission or a project have the resources and capacity to keep up with intense project work schedules filled with many interviews and working sessions. In 20% of the Lessons Identified reports, an over-estimation of local partners’ capacity created a challenge. It was also noted that this problem can occur even when constraints, such as poor transportation and infrastructure, are addressed during project design. If a team member has been seconded by a national institution, they often still have to perform their normal job functions while also contributing to the project or mission. Local team members, for various reasons, may not always inform internationals about their availability or logistical restraints, so it is important for internationals to clarify these issues through an open discussion early in the project and develop mitigating strategies.
If logistical, professional and personal constraints of the local partners are not factored in the mission's or project's implementation plan, their engagement would be negatively impacted. This would undermine the local ownership of the process. An unanticipated imbalance between the limitations and enabling factors for international and national stakeholders' engagement, would lead to an imbalance in relations and roles between the two parties.
Many lesson contributors noted that when forming project teams, over-emphasis on recruiting the right technical expertise (police or military personnel for example) can result in insufficient focus on the necessary ‘process’ or programme management skills, such as assessments, planning, change management, and M&E. This issue was also a central topic in a recent expert panel discussion hosted by ISSAT.
The lessons also recommend thinking through different disciplines that can inform a team’s research and data gathering, such as economics, sociology, and anthropology.
An anthropological perspective in Albania
During a programme design intervention on community policing in Albania, the project team organised a briefing session by an anthropologist during the planning phase. This was considered to be very valuable as it gave the team a different perspective and an enhanced understanding of the cultural setting in Albania. It also helped to shape ideas on suitable methodologies for gathering information on sensitive subjects. For example, since the project was working on community policing, the anthropologist provided detailed insights on state-citizen relations and informal security and justice networks.
While no assessment, review, or evaluation will paint a complete picture of a situation it is trying to capture, sufficient time should be invested into capturing as detailed a picture as possible. As Dr. Mallika Joseph from the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies describes it, investing more time in an assessment can lead to fewer mistakes during programme implementation.
This might mean that the team needs to review the allocated time with the donor during the planning phase once initial analysis has been undertaken.
SSR processes usually take place in politically-charged environments such as post-conflict or transitional countries. They are also linked to high-level political governance structures. SSR activities whether mostly technical and limited in scope (trainings, briefings, etc.) or strategic and wide in scope (national security design, army restructuring, etc.) touch upon the distribution and balance of power in a country.
This might cause expected and unexpected political repercussions which should be anticipated when planning an activity.
As an example several projects highlighted that while transparent communications is important to a programme, the release of assessment findings or programme design recommendations to relevant stakeholders should be done early enough to have adequate time for managing (and waiting for) feedback, political clearance and buy-in.
Timelines in programme planning need to incorporate inputs from local partners on when they can realistically accomplish certain tasks based on time and resource constraints and other commitments. Remembering that inclusive invariably requires engagement outside of teh capital. A locally driven process can be slow, frustrating, and it might fail. However, if adequate time is not allowed for a locally driven process, then failure becomes an even greater possibility.
Lessons have shown that new concepts introduced into an already-established national process may seem like an irrelevant interruption to nationals, or worse, an undermining of work already underway. To mitigate such a negative reaction, first, assess whether the introduction of a new concept truly adds value to a process that is underway and assess the adverse effect of not introducing the concept. If there is value added, then be sure to develop a communications strategy to convey why new concepts are being introduced and what the benefits are compared to the costs of interrupting the workflow. Empathise with your counterparts and do not just presume a rational explanation will suffice to bring them on board. Take into consideration that you are not the first international to present new concepts and approaches and ensure that there is sufficient commitment on behalf of the donor to see the changes through the process of their conception, communication and adoption.
The concepts of security , state , institutions , and population and the relationships among them are different in different cultural and linguistic contexts. "Politique de defence" across the Francophone world might not be restricted to the military dimension but also include what the Anglophones would call security. Still, different usages of both terms can be observed across different francophone countries in Europe and Africa. While some have adopted a more flexible approach and use both terms security and defence others have maintained the umbrella term of politique de defence . In each case the same term might refer to different aspects of the security system. Experience has shown that they need to be redefined on case-by-case basis.
Germanophones for example use one word to refer to "security" and "safety".
When conducting a programme that introduces a new concept, try to develop the methodology based around the complexity of the concept and utilise, where possible, existing structures or institutions. This may mean planning additional time or phases of a project to accommodate different levels of capacity to absorb and apply new concepts. Even for highly skilled local and international partners, some concepts may involve a steep learning curve, and rushing a concept’s implementation before it has been properly absorbed may undermine local ownership.
Lesson contributors recommend being creative when considering capacity building approaches and trying to develop innovative approaches, of a more learning-by-doing, to be as a complement or alternative to traditional stand-alone training sessions. While standalone sessions can be useful to introduce new concepts, they often don’t sufficiently address local needs and objectives or enable robust methods of evaluating impact.
Learning governance by doing governing
In one particular fragile conflict environment, traditional tribal chiefs were regarded as key actors to take forward reforms in local governance, while managing peaceful transition. To aid the chiefs in the new roles and responsibilities they would undertake, a capacity building exercise was designed with international support. Training sessions were designed to develop skills for specific tasks required of the chiefs. After an initial training, the chiefs were given time to perform the task in the context of their daily work, with mentoring support from project staff. This practical experience and the results from performing the task were then built upon in the next training session, which focused on learning new skills required for more sophisticated tasks. In this iterative way, participants learned the skills required for their roles by progressively learning from the training room and practical experience.Logistically, this process required sufficient project staffing for extensive and localised support, for instance one-on-one mentoring. However, the process quickly demonstrated its success by maintaining strong interest from participants and enabling effective monitoring of participant progress on a case-by-case basis.
Several lessons identified reports emphasised the importance of building local partner capacity during assessments or programme design, even if that is not a stated objective of the project. As one lesson framed this approach, "Assessments should not be considered as only extracting information, but can also provide a valuable capacity-building experience".
Police partnership for an assessment in Guatemala
In Guatemala an assessment team of international experts conducted a baseline assessment of homicides in the criminal justice system by supporting local police work on homicide investigations. This assessment approach was regarded by local police as less intrusive than standard interviews. By working with the local police, the assessment team was able to document the process of homicide investigations and map areas where support was needed while also providing capacity support.
If capacity building is a secondary project objective, short-term missions supporting these projects could focus efforts on stakeholders who are most likely to be engaged in the reform process on the medium to long term and who are in the appropriate position for quick absorbtion of new concepts and practices for later dissemination among wider circles of stakeholders.
This should not be done on the detriment of the universal and nation-wide aspect of the project's main activities. The risk here would be to plunge it into an elite-focused ownership. Targeting appropriate agents to act as multipliers for acquired knowledge should be done while being aware that it is only a measure to mitigate the limited impact of short term interventions but not to undermine the universal and national aspect of SSR processes.
Lessons noted that having the highest possible authority figures across different stakeholder groups within a reform process is key to gaining the political will necessary to undertake reforms. In addition, when these figures evoke concepts such as gender and human security, they strengthen legitimacy for the concepts, which in turn provides entry-points for international organisations to work with lower-ranking officials.
Political will for the National Defence Review in South Africa
In undertaking a National Defence Review in post-apartheid South Africa, the commitment of the President, the Defence Minister and the chairperson of the parliamentary defence committee to open discussion and dialogue, this was crucial to forging a national consensus on defence. In particular, the policies of the ruling party were not imposed
The majority of analysis for this report has derived directly from inputs to ISSAT’s lessons identified process between September 2010 and June 2011. The lessons identified process involves both written reports and personnel interviews.
The reports are completed after a programme, project or event, and identify what worked well, what did not work well, and what should be changed in the future. There are seven specific ‘project elements’ which ISSAT seeks to gather information on:
• Planning and logistics
• Approach/methodology used for project
• Monitoring and evaluating project progress and results
• Use of ISSAT OGN (Operational Guidance Note)
• Fostering local Ownership
• Collaboration (with team, with international community, with local partners)
• Addressing gender considerations
Contributors can also add any additional lessons that do not fall into these categories (i.e. context specific observations; thoughts on leadership; concepts of SSR, etc.) as well as note relevant resources that contributed to their programme or project.
Lesson contributors are encouraged to frame comments in a way that maximises general learning rather than venting or blaming. Specific names are not to be mentioned in reports and direct accusations cannot be made. This facilitates a focus on structure, practice and process learning. Lesson contributors are also encouraged to go beyond simple descriptions of effective or ineffective actions to explain how these actions came about. This includes the conditions, decisions and actions that preceded them.
Twenty lessons identified reports were reviewed for this paper, with an even split between ISSAT submitted and non-ISSAT submitted reports.
The review and analysis of the lessons identified reports was supplemented by follow-up interviews with some of the lesson contributors to probe specific questions raised by their report and explore the general themes identified during the overall review exercise. Existing documentation, such as ISSAT case studies, Operation Guidance Notes, and videos, were also used to reflect on the findings.
It should be noted that the majority of lessons reflect experiences from short-term projects (under 1 month). By the nature of its structure, most ISSAT projects are short support projects to members of the ISSAT Governing Board. Some of the external lessons identified were based on longer-term programmes of many months or years and do have lessons reflected in this paper.