Advisors have become an integral and important part of the diplomatic, development and security landscape that is put in place by bilateral and multilateral donors in developing and conflict-affected countries. There are many different types of advisors. These include:
political advisors; development advisors specialising in many disciplines from governance through education and health to conflict prevention; security and justice advisors, encompassing national security, defence, security sector transformation and justice sector reform. Some focus in highly technical fields such as human resources or direct budget support. Others, depending on their responsibilities and levels of advice, are designated “strategic”, “senior” or “special” advisors. Although the organisational and security-development contexts within which advisors work may vary, there are a number of common and unique qualities, attributes and characteristics that set them apart from their counterparts working in political, diplomatic, development or security staff appointments. Like any professional a good advisor also needs good advice and guidance.
By Defence Transformation (DT), we mean major and long lasting changes to the structure, functioning and ethos of the defence sector of a country. DT is therefore more extensive than simple incremental improvement to a country’s defence sector, such as happens all over the world. It also typically occurs after a major political conflict or crisis, usually involving violence, and often on a large scale. DT is thus more ambitious than the reorganisation of defence sectors following peaceful transitions, such as those in Eastern Europe after 1989. DT should be viewed as a component of a whole security and justice transformation process.