Democratically governed security and justice sectors are a core objective of the Security Sector Development (SSD) agenda. But few such programmes put governance front and centre.
The Burundi-Netherlands Security Sector Development Programme has broken new ground in the promotion of democratic security sector development. It has begun to break down barriers to security-sector secrecy, increase dialogue on governance aspects, enhance security-sector accountability to civil authorities and its adherence to (inter)national law, although many hurdles still remain.
It has achieved these results by proactively addressing the politics of change at all levels and on a daily basis, establishing results progressively, prioritizing the gradual development of national ownership and matching timeframe with ambition and environment, recognizing that small steps can be important milestones in countries setting out along the road to democratic governance.
In this report, senior visiting fellow Nicole Ball of Clingendael's Conflict Research Unit analyzes the Dutch SSD program in Burundi, its governance achievements and its challenges going forward.