Thematics in Practice
ISSAT keeps abreast of developments in related fields in order to continuously improve the SSR knowledge base from different angles. Delve into what we identify as the most relevant cross-cutting themes in the field, view compilations of resources that feed into current discussions and find out about our related advisory engagements and knowledge products. Share your insights on cross-cutting themes with us via email
Customary justice is a set of norms, laws and processes that have found legitimacy in a local culture which may not be ratified by formal statutory order. In the developing world, non-state entities are the main providers of justice, a fact supported by large scale studies by OECD and UNDP. Given their significance, customary justice practices cannot be ignored by practitioners in the design and implementation phases of any security sector reform initiative.
National Security Strategies or Policies (NSS/NSP) outline the national security concerns of a country, as well as the security needs of the population in order to create a framework in which these matters can be addressed by security providers in the most effective manner. Increasingly nowadays, these structures have begun to expand and include other key aspects that enhance the country’s ability to implement its security strategies, while strengthening its ownership. Delve into the eight areas identified by ISSAT as resurfacing in recent NSS/NSPs, and the entry points through which these can be incorporated into NSS/NSPs. This principle in practice page also gives various examples showcasing each of these characteristics.
Justice Reform is a necessary pillar of rule of law in a given political entity and in most cases it is a precondition for sustainable SSR. Discover the knowledge products exploring a variety of issues, from criminal justice system development, to customary justice and legal instruments for border cooperation. View a list of methodological tools, such as case studies and example lessons, as well as a selection of relevant ISSAT mandates in the field.
Defence reform is a challenge in any country. Four key objectives underlie defence reform: maintain appropriate, adequate, accountable and affordable defence forces. Making the defence sector a more inclusive and more representative sector is an additional objective of the defence reform.
A Human Rights-based approach to SSR involves the application of Human Rights frameworks to the fundamental principles of security sector reform. Such an approach requires that local empowerment, national ownership, meaningful inclusion and accountability are central elements in programme implementation.
Ongoing armed conflicts and armed violence cause worldwide displacement of people, leading many to seek protection in neighbouring countries as well as further away. As the recent refugee crises demonstrate, the effects of forced displacement on the security and justice responses of host countries is tremendous and provide many entry points for Security Sector Reform to improve the situation of the forcibly displaced.
The prevention of violent conflict has traditionally been one of the core aims of SSR. SSR is seen as a means of progressively building resilient security and justice systems while addressing many of the root causes and drivers of conflict that stem from ineffective, poorly managed or unaccountable security and justice institutions.
The media landscape has changed dramatically over the last two decades. There has been an unprecedented expansion of access to information. The modern news cycle allows for instant visibility of local events to a global audience and increased possibilities for citizen and civil society participation in the generation of news.
‘Cattle rustling’ has developed from a cultural or survival practice to a, now often, widespread and criminal activity. In some instances, there can be up-to a hundred raiders involved. Direct physical violence often accompanies the raids which is makes it an even bigger security problem. This has often been because of the spread of small arms and light weapons (SALW).
A fragile state is characterised by one or several of the following factors: a loss of physical control of the state in its territory, a weakened monopoly over the legitimate use of force, the inability to make collective decisions and provide basic public services, including mainly security and justice services. Security Sector Reform is a necessary transformative process that tackles shortcomings in the access to relevant and accountable security and justice services.
Causes and responses to Migration are deeply anchored in SSR. However, migration is recently being confused with forced displacement. This web page focuses on the distinction between these terms which are closely related. View the international norms and policy framework on migrants and refugees, knowledge products, recent resources and challenges for the international community.
The physical and mental health of individuals fall within the scope of SSR in post conflict environments as they are linked to societal processes of transitional justice, dealing with the past and memory. View or page with resources, knowledge products and tools which address these concepts and offer practical advice.