Timothy Donais

Policy and Research Papers

Inclusion or exclusion? Local ownership and Security Sector Reform

In this document, Timothy Donais shows the importance of and offers tips for identifying a local solution and privileging the development of sustainable and viable approaches to issues that local actors wish to address.

(Studies in Social Justice, Volume 3(1), pp.117-131)

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Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform

Over the past two decades, in response to the underwhelming results of international development efforts across the Third World, arguments concerning the importance of local ownership have been gaining currency within the international development community. At its core, the discourse around ownership revolves around fundamental questions of agency: who decides, who controls, who implements, and who evaluates. The growing emphasis on local ownership, then, emerged as a critique of mainstream development practice and the broader cult of Western expertise which underpins it. As Joseph Stiglitz argued a decade ago, a vision of development in which all the answers and all the agency are seen to lie in the hands of foreigners is inherently problematic and ultimately self-defeating: ‘We have seen again and again that [local] ownership is essential for successful transformation: policies that are imposed from outside may be grudgingly accepted on a superficial basis, but will rarely be implemented as intended’. Since then, the principle of local ownership has been viewed increasingly as a precondition for effective development assistance, even if
the translation of the principle into actual practice remains an ongoing challenge.

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Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform

The sixth edition in the DCAF Yearly Book Series is dedicated to an imperative that underpins all of DCAF’s analytical and operational activities: local ownership. This concept has become a sine qua non of good practice in the field of security sector reform (SSR). It is prominent in such important points of reference as the recent report of the United Nations Secretary-General on SSR and the OECD DAC Handbook on Security System Reform: Supporting Security and Justice. However, it is widely recognised that local ownership is less evident in terms of its implementation on the ground in concrete SSR programming. This gap between policy and practice provides the point of departure for the 2008 DCAF Yearly Book on Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform.

To access the full book, Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform, please follow the link provided. 

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Books

Local Ownership and Security Sector Reform

Over the past two decades, in response to the underwhelming results of international development efforts across the Third World, arguments concerning the importance of local ownership have been gaining currency within the international development community. This book dwells on the concept of local ownership and the challenges it faces in SSR practice in terms of implementation and donor-national stakeholder relations. Finally it  adds a number of case studies that exemplify these issues.  

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Defence and Security Sector Governance and Reform in South East Europe

This volume analyzes the Stability Pact South East Europe Self-Assessment Studies with the three-fold aim of enhancing the relevance of the original papers, examining their findings for the benefit of local, national, regional and international decision-makers, and preparing the ground for a possible more comprehensive phase of the Stock-Taking Programme. Western and regional contributors were asked to assess the quality of the papers, address any omissions, add contextual information they perceived to be relevant, and, on the basis of those findings, make constructive suggestions and recommendations for enhanced international institutional engagement in the region. Three types of analyses were commissioned: analyses of the self-assessment papers by country; region-wide analyses of the topical papers; and a conclusive chapter surveying not only the self-assessment papers in the original volumes but also the thematic and national analyses in this volume, data from the Swiss MFA Stabilit

Book