Advisory support to the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Programme

04/01/2016 - 31/12/2016

Target country


Notwithstanding the contested political environment, the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Programme (ZPSP) successfully developed the pillars of an inclusive, politically resilient and locally owned security sector transformation process over five years. Despite the closed environment for debate around SST/R, the ZPSP were able to carve out the necessary political space where state and non-state actors can discuss issues around security sector transformation. This was achieved through ZPSP engaging in dialogue a wide variety of SSR stakeholders, in order to build their knowledge and information on SSR, demystify the notion of SSR as regime change (as has been patent in the internal political discourse), and to promote consensus on the way forward in terms of security reforms’ thinking in the country. This was achieved through ensuring a Zimbabwean owned and transparent process, and by utilising mediation as a methodology to ensure buy-in by all stakeholders.

The aim of ZPSP was to contribute, through impartial and professional technical assistance, to the effective and sustainable modernisation and transformation of the security and justice sector in Zimbabwe, in order to enhance democratic governance, peace and security and the national sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe.  In order to accomplish its mission in a difficult political environment, the ZPSP engaged in a very innovative process. As a result and at the request of the EU and the Government of Switzerland, ISSAT undertook a review to document the trajectory of the ZPSP with a view to identifying lessons and mapping potential good practice, which is still greatly absent from the growing academic and policy production on SSR experiences in Africa. The results of that review can be seen in

Following on from this, the ZPSP entered the third phase of its programme, which included the development of a three year national security sector transformation plan with a host of stakeholder from the state sector, academia, civil society (including the strong participation of women’s group who have developed a gendered SST strategy), traditional leaders and parliament. It also included continued SST capacity building across these sectors and in particular with the parliament, civil society, national and non-state actors. It did so in a context of limited financial support, with uncertain prospects for future funding, which required an adaptation of ZPSP institutional structures and the design of new funding modalities (project funding).  

ISSAT’s support was requested to both advise and enhance the capacity of the ZPSP in the planning, designing and implementing of the third phase of programming, which included the provision of support in developing a plan for phasing out the programme and transforming it into a state-managed unit. ISSAT’s generalist support was particularly required in the 1st quarter of 2016, period during which ZPSP concluded its second phase of programming and plan for the third phase, while adapting its institutional structure and seeking funding to implement its activities. In subsequent quarters, specialist support (Policing, Parliamentary training etc) was required.

Mandate outputs / products

The full list of outputs are still to be developed but will include contribution to the 3rd phase of programming, including:

  • the development of the SST 3-year plan;
  • a series of programme/project proposals coming out of the plan for considering by the international community for funding;
  • a M&E/performance management approach for the ZPSP;
  • an outline curricula for parliamentary training on SSR  (including an e-learning module to be hosted at the ISSAT website). 

Outcome objectives of mandate

A collective group of ISSAT core members, who have in the past or who currently have interest in supporting the SST process in Zimbabwe, requested the assistance of ISSAT's expertise to advise and accompany the ZPSP process to develop the three-year plan and oversee the initial phase of its implementation. In particular support was requested in the following areas: 

  • SSR project and programme development & design
  • The development of SSR monitoring & evaluation measures, and performance management
  • Specific sector specific expertise on policing, parliamentary oversight of the security sector, SSR training development, etc

In the first quarter of 2016 the focus was on:

a) assisting in the drafting and editing of the new Programme Document;

b) helping develop a targeted and specific donor funding strategy;

c) helping establish a donor information and briefing plan starting with a seminar to canvass “Security Sector Governance in Zimbabwe: opportunities and strategies for engagement by the international community”. This latter element would allow picking up from the efforts of 2015 and sustaining momentum with international actors by providing a one day dialogue and information sharing platform, inclusively with national SSR stakeholders.

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Explore an in-depth case study on the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Programme through a dedicated webpage.

Cours Spécifiques Identifiées