Advanced Course on Security Sector Reform

Monday 27 November 2017 Session

27 November - 01 December 2017

The international community is increasingly focused on the challenges of insecurity and conflict as a barrier to political, economic and social development. It is clear that if states are to create the condition in which they can escape from a downward spiral wherein insecurity, criminalisation and under-development are mutually reinforcing, socio-economic and security dimensions must be tackled simultaneously.


The traditional concept of security is being redefined to include not only the security of states but also a clear focus on the safety and wellbeing of their peoples With the recognition that security and development are inextricably linked, this has resulted in greater focus and scrutiny of how security and justice are provided in countries. Security Sector Reform (SSR) has now become a central component of efforts to overcome the cycle of conflict and the causes of fragility, from Sudan to Sierra Leone and from the Honduras to the Solomon Islands.


However, a key challenge faced by actors supporting the implementation is to ensure that the necessary capacity is available. The reform of security and justice institutions is both a political and technical exercise, and often takes place against a background of resistance to change. It requires expertise in a number of disciplines and a diverse mix of skills and knowledge. Above all, it demands sensitivity to the need for a coherent, coordinated institutional approach that will help translate SSR policy into effective programmes on the ground. Although the concept of SSR has made considerable progress in recent years, there still remains an important gap in the practical knowledge and expertise relating to the subject.  It is for this reason that the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the European Union, will conduct an “Advanced Training on Security Sector Reform (SSR)” from 27 November – 1 December 2017 in The Hague, Netherlands.


This five-day intensive residential course will be carried out in collaboration with the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).


Through a combination of practical, hands-on exercises, this advanced course will aim to enhance the skills, capacity and strategic thinking of participants on SSR principles through the sharing of views and experiences in SSR trends and practice. It will highlight issues such as the principles and characteristics of SSR, enhancing governance and oversight of security and justice institutions, the linkages between justice and police reform and the development of national security strategies. The course will also develop soft skills and will focus on the role of an SSR advisor. Throughout the course, participants are encouraged to engage in the collective sharing of experience and reflections on specific topics.  Participants will be exposed to many of the tools and techniques used by SSR practitioners on the ground. Focusing on practical exercises, case studies and role plays, this intensive course helps participants understand the challenges relating to SSR and helps elaborate possible solutions to common roadblocks.

Course Objectives: 

At the end of the training participants will be able to:

  • Build a practical understanding around the concept and key characteristics (1-2-3) of SSR, based on debate and discussions, exercises and case studies;
  • Enhance skills required for effectively support the implementation of SSR programmes;
  • Examine various aspects of SSR including justice, police and defence reform and the interlinkages between these components;
  • Identify key lessons and latest trends from practical SSR experiences;
  • Engage in dialogue and experience sharing with fellow participants, facilitators and external experts.  

Target Audience

This advanced training is aimed at those who are just about to be deployed in support of a bilateral, regional or multilateral mission to support security sector reform programmes or those who work in the area of SSR with programme design or at the policy level. More specifically, the course targets senior practitioners and professionals – including civilian, military and police personnel, as well as civil society representatives and professionals from the private sector – who are working closely on issues related to Security Sector Reform such as governance, rule of law, police reform, defence reform, justice reform, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration etc. The course also targets those involved in programming, programme management, mission conduct and planning and/or in political/policy dialogue. The organisers intend to select a highly diverse group of participants in terms of professional and organisational background, age and nationality, as well as with regards to gender balance.


The course will be conducted entirely in English.



All candidates accepted into this advanced course on SSR should have successfully completed a Pre Course Questionnaire by Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Additionally, as preparation for the course participants are expected to undertake the “Introductory course on SSR” as well as some pre-course reading that can be found on the training course page under the documents tab.


The course will use interactive, co-learning methodology aimed at encouraging participants to share knowledge and experience with each other, and to adopt a problem-solving approach through a series of hands-on practical exercises, case studies, simulations and group activities. Participants are expected to contribute actively during the course.

ENTRi Certification

The Advanced Course on Security Sector Reform is certified by European New Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management (ENTRi). This proves that this Course is coherent with the minimum standards approved by ENTRi. Through the certification process, ENTRi aims at ensuring harmonisation of training standards among training providers working on civilian crisis management training. The Standards of this Course can be downloaded from Should you notice any significant difference between the ENTRi standards and the Course provided you are kindly invited to send an e-mail to ENTRi ( indicating specifically the problems faced. Your e-mail will be treated in a confidential manner! Thank you for your cooperation and enjoy the Course.

Additional information

A pre-course questionnaire will be sent to applicants once acceptance has been confirmed. This will enable the course-organisers to better understand participant expectations and experience and thereby ensure that the course meets participant expectations. 


27 November - 01 December 2017 (5 days)