Informed by national security strategy objectives, a defence policy review followed by joint strategy implementation, allows defence forces to coherently
- Assess the strategic environment to identify the threats, risks and challenges facing a country over the short- to long-term;
- Review the operational roles and objectives of the armed forces and civilian defence sector institutions;
- Reconsider the tactical relationships between the defence sector and other security providers as well as the institutions involved in managing and overseeing the defence sector;
- Develop appropriate priorities, action plans and reform programmes for armed forces and defence institutions within their financial budget;
- Ensure that new capability development is matched by adequate external governance structures and appropriate internal accountability mechanisms, as well as a functioning interface between the two.
Making the defence sector more inclusive and more representative of the population is an additional cross-cutting goal in defence reform. In due course, this is likely to include a commitment to promoting gender equality, due to the tactical advantages that come with being able to operate with all genders in a target society, the operational advantages of being able to conduct gendered analysis of the operating environment, and the strategic advantages that full diversity brings to decision making. As nations renew efforts to commit to international obligations on Women, Peace and Security, and to the revised Sustainable Development Goals, the ability of armed forces to recruit women into their forces and so to serve in peacekeeping has become central to defence development goals.
Key Selected Resources
- UN Defence Sector Reform (DSR) Policy - This policy is designed to guide the United Nations support to National Defence Sector reform (DSR) efforts. It outlines the parameters and components of this support, including principles, elements for any mission concept, core tasks and constraints.
- NATO Defence and Security Related Capacity Building Initiative (DCBI) - The DCB Initiative was launched in September 2014 at the NATO Summit in Wales and reinforces NATO’s commitment to partners and helps project stability by providing support to nations requesting defence capacity assistance from the organisation
- NATO Building Integrity - The Building Integrity (BI) Programme provides practical tools to help participating countries strengthen integrity, transparency and accountability and reduce the risk of corruption in the defence and security sector.
- Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index - This index by Transparency International assesses the existence, effectiveness and enforcement of institutional and informal controls to manage the risk of corruption in defence and security institutions.
- Securing Development: Public Finance and the Security Sector - The publication by the World Bank highlights the role played by public finance in the delivery of security and criminal justice services. It seeks to strengthen policy and operational dialogue on security sector issues by providing national and international stakeholders with key information on security expenditure policy and management.
- Sustainable Capacity Building - USIP's handbook offers practical guidance for planning, program design, and decision making for building the capacity of host country institutions, ensuring that lasting capacity is built and new processes remain in place over time.
- Effective, Legitimate, Secure: Insights for Defense Institution Building - This publication by the Institute for National Strategic Studies of the National Defense University offers an introduction to the concept of DIB and argues that establishing effective and legitimate defense institutions to undergird a partner’s defense establishment is the only way to ensure long-term security.
- Before Military Intervention: Upstream Stabilisation in Theory and Practice - This book explores the natures of recent stabilisation efforts and global upstream threats. As prevention is always cheaper than the crisis of state collapse or civil war, the future character of conflict will increasingly involve upstream stabilisation operations.
Repositories of Military Lessons in Security Capacity Building
- Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre - NATO
- Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence - NATO
- Peacekeeping Training - United Nations
- Centre de Doctrine et d'Enseignement du Commandement - Ministère de la Défense
- Direction de la coopération de sécurité et de défense - France Diplomatie
- Stability Operations Lessons Learned & Information Management System - Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute
- 2019 Peace and Stability Operations Training and Education Workshop - Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute
- Lessons Learned & Analysis - Civil-Military Cooperation Centre of Excellence
ISSAT Defence Sector Reform Resources
- Defence Sector Reform - Infographic
- Training of PSO Personnel in SSR - Video presentation
- Gender Perspectives in Military Operations - Forum Discussion
- SSR and Clausewitz's 'remarkable trinity' - Blog
- The Case for SSR as a Conflict Prevention Measure - Blog
- Fundamentals of Strategic Advising in Reform Environments - E-learning
- The Military Contribution to SSR - More than Train and Equip -Presentation
- Good examples of Military Reform - Forum Discussion
- Evaluation Framework Experience - Forum Discussion
- Lessons from Iraq: Building an Inclusive Armed Forces and Engaging Informal Actors - Video
- UN Introduction to Defense Sector Reform - Video (in support of UNITAR and the UN SSR Unit)
ISSAT Defence Sector Reform Mandates
- Presentation at “Integrated Programme on Mainstreaming Gender in UN Peacekeeping to end Conflict Related Sexual Violence” in India - Mandated by FDFA/UN Women, 2018
- Security and Justice Sector Analysis in the Sahel - Mandated by the EU, 2017-2018
- SSR Support to Understand to Prevent - Mandated by Germany, Sweden and the UK, 2015-16
- Defence Sector Reform (DSR) Expert Workshop - Mandated by Belgium, 2016
- Advanced French Level 2 Training on SSR in Tunis - Mandated by the Netherlands and France, 2016
- Security Sector Development and Defence Transformation Programme in South Sudan (SSDDTP): Programme Completion Review (PCR) - Mandated by the UK, 2013-15
- SSR/Peace Support Operations Training BIPSOT - Mandated by Norway, 2015
- Africa Union DDR Conference - Mandated by the African Union, 2015
- Advanced French Level 2 Training on SSR in Mali - Mandated by France, 2015
- Evaluation Phase 2 of the Security Sector Development programme in Burundi - Mandated by the Netherlands, 2014
- Support to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in the Libyan Defence White Paper process - Mandated by the UN, 2012-13