In this two-minute video Teohna Williams, an experienced security sector reform advisor, shares a story of fostering collaboration between international actors.
In my experience coordination is always a challenge and I think probably always will be for us as international actors and working on security sector reform. I think if you are going to succeed in having effective coordination, the most essential thing is to develop good relationships with those that are working on the same issues as yourself.
On one occasion when I was in the position of advisor, I was part of an initiative of setting up a coordination mechanism. We set up this initiative and one of the key questions we asked ourselves at the beginning was, who should be involved? And we realised that the first thing we needed to do was to get clarity amongst ourselves as the international community as to who was doing what and how best to work together.
So we began essentially a set of meetings, but they were structured and we had a kind of, a process that we were working through and it started to be very effective. One of our aims was also to encourage donors, who were interacting with counterparts at a strategic level, for them to enhance their own coordination. And we began to see this working through our own discussions, informal and formal, with the donors.
So we started to see this coordination kind of mechanism working at the operational level and then starting to kick in at a strategic level, it was encouraging, It was difficult of course, and I think one thing that I would say is, as an international advisor or as part of an international group, is to dare to be humble with our international colleagues. It is hard but I think it is really essential.