Evaluation Framework Experience

04/12/2015 @ 10:18
by Ian Westerman

I am undertaking a research degree looking at whether the models of good civil-military relations (CMR) that we espouse when considering SSR programmes are perhaps too western liberal democratic, and therefore sometimes generate unachievable objectives and unreasonable timelines. I am looking at other, atypical models elsewhere, in particular that of Israel. As part of this I need to find a practical, auditable way of assessing Israel's current CMR and am considering the ISAAT assessment framework.  My question therefore is, are you using the framework now or have you used it in the past and might you be prepared to share your experience with me?

09/01/2017 @ 13:59
by Thammy Evans

Ian - good to see you are still keeping an eye on the site. Our conversation on Western liberal models has digressed from your original question on finding an evaluation framework. Have you found a suitable framework? You might also want to consider the Capacity, Integrity and Sustainability (CIS) Framework as a simple model, and there is another forum conversation ongoing on indicators that might be worth following. I fear, however, that if you use a 'Western' framework, you will end up with answers that favour a 'Western' model.

Back to 'liberal' models, however, some values, such as the moral component of fighting power, values, standards, and integrity, are more universal than we sometimes give credit for. I try to tease this point out in a Small Wars Journal on the Moral of Mali and Mosul. I'm trying to find further non-Western military doctrines which echo similar 'universal' values. Apparently, the military doctrine of Ethiopia also puts great store on the moral component, although I have yet to get hold of a copy of their doctrine.

Sun Zi wrote:

Therefore in laying plans compare the following elements, appraising them with utmost care: If you say which ruler possesses moral influence, which commander is more able, which army obtains the advantages of nature and the terrain, in which regulations and instructions are better carried out, which troops are stronger; … which has the better trained officers and men; … And which administers rewards and punishments in a more enlightened manner; I will be able to forecast which side will be victorious and which defeated.

Sun Tzu The Art of War, trans, Griffith, S.B. (London : Watkins Publishing, 2005) p.96-6.
06/01/2017 @ 17:02
by Ian Westerman


I have only just seen your post (I have obviously been remiss in keeping an eye on the ISSAT website) so I apologize for this rather belated response.

I take your point entirely and, although I would still argue that there is more of the 'orthodox' CMR model in SSR than you suggest (at least in much of the defence reform aspects), I do accept that the real issue lies with the implementation not the guidelines. I am currently following a line of reasoning that suggests that one of main reasons for this is that, again certainly within the defence reform strand, we really have no useful alternative models to draw from. The main thrust of my research will be to critically examine the Israeli model to see where it differs from the Western liberal democratic norm, and if it has anything to offer in terms of informing the development of other, more culturally relevant models in post-conflict situations.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to engage with me on this. I hope to continue to publish my thoughts as I progress and would welcome any further views that you might have - whether supportive or critical! Please feel free to make contact with me directly at i.d.westerman@cranfield.ac.uk.

24/08/2016 @ 14:44
by Thammy Evans

Dear Ian,

I note your article which came out in the Spring 2016 Issue of the British Army Review, and must question your line 'In general, guidelines for security sector reform have tended to draw from theoretical work in the field of civil-military relations, which in turn have focused on Western, liberal democratic models of governance...rather than one that references the specific context and cultural background of the state under consideration' (p.51).

The early guidelines on SSR, both bilateral and those of the OECD-DAC (2005, p.45), stem from the development side of donor nations, in which local ownership and context is the clearly put forward as a fundamental tenet of SSR, in contrast to more traditional state-centric diplomatic and defence foci. This has been further consolidated (inter alia) in

The guidelines therefore are quite clear. But like good doctrine, it is rarely read or adhered to. Rather, it is the guidelines as well as the context which are ignored. UNSCR 2086 (2013) 'underlines the importance of deploying peacekeepers with professional skills, training, experience, [and] excellence' (paragraph 11). However, this is consistently not the case. Applying the Western model from 'home' is the lazy way of avoiding the hard work of understanding context and of avoiding the courtesy of talking to the key stakeholders, something in which MODs in particular often do not have the mandate, training nor (perceived) time to do.

So your work's highlight of 'a new model for SSR' is welcome in moving towards breaking away from tempo-driven Western processes and frameworks. However, each context is unique, and as you mention at the end of your article 'replacing one set of inappropriately prescribed norms with another' will not work either. The devil, as always, is in the detail (and the implementation).

I look forward to 'a robust and methodological investigation' and case study of the applicability of the Israeli model, which I hope will emerge from your work.

07/12/2015 @ 20:36
by Antoine Hanin

Hello Ian,

Thank you for posting your question on the forum. ISSAT has developed and used on several occasions a thorough evaluation methodology framework for SSR policies, programmes and projects. You can find a short presentation here: http://issat.dcaf.ch/Learn/SSR-Methodology-Guidance/Support-Programme-Cycle/Evaluate#activity-presentation

And then dig further if it fits your purpose.

You will also find in this methodology examples of intermediary and final evaluation reports carried out by the ISSAT team in Albania, Burundi, Uganda.

Happy to discuss more.


Richard in Afghanistan
04/12/2015 @ 13:50
by Richard Cavagnol

My name is Richard Cavagnol and I served in Iraq as a civilian government contractor in 2007 and in Afghanistan as a USAID Field Program Officer in 2009-2010, working closely with the military (embedded with the Marines in Afghanistan). I have attached several documents that we used to train Department of State, USAID, Department of Agriculture, DEA, DoJ and others as PRT and DST members prior to their deployment to Afghanistan. I can be reached at rmcav.stabops@gmail.com or (517) 618-7161 if you would like to discuss this further.

DSF Simplified_RMC V2.pptx (١ MB)