Governing Board - Membership of ISSAT

ISSAT is a Member-based organisation that brings together 16 bilateral donors and a range of multilateral and regional actors active in supporting SSR processes, including the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), European Union (EU), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). All are part of ISSAT’s Governing Board and attend its annual meeting.

Full membership of the Governing Board is reserved for those countries that actively engage with, and provide support to ISSAT.

ISSAT’s membership is divided into:

  • Core Members : those who contribute to ISSAT’s pooled fund, and also inform ISSAT’s priorities;
  • Other Bilateral Members: who are able to access direct ISSAT support (subject to available capacity) through providing project funding;
  • Multilateral Members: who may be supported by ISSAT through the pooled fund on a cost-sharing basis.

Being a “Member” of ISSAT does not imply any legal obligations beyond any stipulated in contractual arrangements.

The benefits of being a Member of ISSAT

ISSAT has proven itself since its foundation in 2008 to be a viable partner in assisting its Members by reinforcing their capacity to undertake SSR assessments, design SSR programmes and to develop their own national SSR capacity. ISSAT provides one of the only forums where bilateral donors, multilateral and regional organisations can meet to discuss and coordinate on issues related to SSR. ISSAT’s role of supporting both headquarters and field staff on specific technical and political challenges of SSR has been regarded as an increasingly important role for its Members.

Since its inception, ISSAT has provided support to its Members’ training programmes, and support to SSR country programmes from assessment assistance, to strategic programming guidance and in-field capacity support, through to end-of-programme evaluations. The team has been deployed in support of its Members, throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southeast Europe. The key services which ISSAT provides to its Members include:

1. Advisory Field Support 
2. Training Support
3. Knowledge Services
4. Advocacy and Outreach

How ISSAT is funded

ISSAT is funded through two mechanisms Pooled Funding and Project Funding. Some members use both mechanisms to fund ISSAT’s work. Through contributing core funding to ISSAT’s pooled fund, Members gain access to ISSAT key services and a host of SSR expertise, get to call down support for their SSR programmes and benefit from reduced transaction costs. In addition, all funding given to ISSAT is ODA eligible given the fact that DCAF is named an Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible organisation under Annex 2 of the ODA Directives.

ISSAT’s Pooled Funding

Pooled funding is divided equally between:

Bilateral drawdown

Up to one third of the pooled funding contribution can be used by the bilateral donors for use on services which they request of ISSAT from any of our service lines, subject to mandate and capacity constraints. Once, this one third has been drawn down, Members will be asked to top-up pooled funding, should they wish to receive additional support.

Multilateral use

One third of pooled funding is used to fund the request from our multilateral members on a cost-sharing basis. Under cost-sharing, ISSAT pooled funding covers ISSAT advisors costs, while the multilateral actors, such as the UN, AU or EU, cover costs associated to the deployment of ISSAT advisors (flights, accommodation and daily substance allowance/per diem).

Knowledge, Development, Advocacy & Outreach

The remainder of pooled funding contributes to knowledge development, lesson identification, dissemination through a Security and Justice Sector Reform Community of Practice (CoP), guidance development and advocacy and outreach activities (such as the High Level Panel series). ISSAT knowledge development is aimed predominantly at the practitioner level, but also at the policy-to-practitioner guidance divide. Coordination, and collaboration through joint mandates on mapping studies, assessments, design identification and long-term sustainable practices is where ISSAT brings particular insight due to its close knit Governing Board.

ISSAT Top-up Project Funding

The Governing Board has agreed that only in rare circumstances should ISSAT accept project funding, as it increases the administrative burden to manage such funds. In exceptional cases, where bilateral members are unable to provide pooled funding due to legal reasons, or where it is used in tandem with pooled funding, it can be accepted. In these cases funding can be provided directly towards a specific project. Under such circumstances, all costs need to be taken into account, including project staff costs (support and deployment) and costs associated with any reporting requirements additional to ISSAT’s standard procedures.

This mechanism also allows for non-members to draw on ISSAT expertise, providing capacity is available. Our primary focus always remains with our Members.

Responding to Members’ Requests

All ISSAT support is demand-driven and triggered by Member requests. Once a request is received, due notice is given to all Members to provide them with an opportunity to join or support a given mission or programme. ISSAT does not have a specific list of priority countries, but will consider support to any security and justice programme in a country from the DAC List of ODA eligible countries, as long as the following criteria are taken into account:
• The activity should be proposed by an ISSAT Member, a multilateral organisation or a country that is undertaking SSR; 
• The scope of the request lies within the core service areas of ISSAT, as defined in this Strategy; 
• The activity does not place ISSAT in a politically compromised position that could undermine its neutrality;
• The activity aims to contribute to a nationally-driven SSR process;
• Sufficient capacity is available within ISSAT’s core team or from the expert roster; financial resources must be available as well.

Once these initial criteria have been met, Members are requested to draft clear Terms of Reference (ToRs) and ISSAT circulates a project summary to all Members. Each Member must assume political responsibility for the task/mission in question.

Priority support will be given to full Members and multilateral organisations, particularly the UN, the AU, the EU, and other regional organisations. Further priority will be given to Members proposing joint activities, and/or activities that provide ISSAT an opportunity to engage with one or more Members on an on-going basis throughout the entire programme cycle.

Governing Board Chair

Michal Mlynár is the Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations in New York. He was elected in May 2011 as Chair of the Governing Board of ISSAT in Geneva, Switzerland, re-elected to the second term (2014-2016) in December 2013 and to the third term at the Governing Board Meeting held on 30 September 2016. 

On 14 December 2017, Michal Mlynár was elected Vice President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Chair of its New York Working Group for 2018-2020. Together with the Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations in New York, he is co-chairing the UN Group of Friends of Security Sector Reform (SSR). From August 2015 to August 2017 he was Director General for International Organisations, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. 

In 2013 he was elected Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in Nairobi for the 2014-2015 biennium. Then he also served as President of the 25th session of the UN-Habitat Governing Council from December 2016 to May 2017. He has been part of Slovakia's Foreign Service since September 2000. He twice served as Deputy Chef de Cabinet for the Slovak Foreign Minister (2002-2004 and 2010-2011) and head of units at the UN Department and at the Diplomatic Protocol of his Ministry. He was also Head of the Project Team for SSR (2010-2011). 

Governing Board Members