1. Launch National Dialogue Process

General Description

The formulation of a written National Security Policy should result from a full national dialogue: a thorough and inclusive process of consultations with all national (and in some cases regional and international) stakeholders, to form a common understanding of the vision, values, interests, objectives and needs of society and the threats they face. Thus, it should incorporate not only a top-down state-centric approach (emanating from the views and perceptions of the government) but also and importantly a bottom-up human-security approach (based on the perceptions and wishes of the people).
It is for this reason that the first step after the Phase A National Assessment is to articulate clearly key messages that convey the importance of the national security and justice policy and tailor those to various stakeholders that we intend to engage with:

  • Individual community members (men, women, boys, girls and elderly) 
  • Local Civil Society Organisations
  • National security and justice actors (state and non-state)
  • National political actors (in government and opposition)

The strategic assessment should have generated a set of issues, challenges and opportunities to work from. From those, key messages need to be developed to articulate the importance of a national inclusive process for the development of the policy. These messages should be used to secure support for the upcoming national security and justice forum.

The objective of the national dialogue process is to build consensus and clarify a shared vision for the State’s security and justice commitments to its citizens. Wide consultation rounds with the above categories of stakeholders are key to secure support and engagement for the development of this policy, as well as strengthen its chances to be translated into realistic operational reform plans. These consultations should also generate key issues to be included in the National Security and Justice Forum. The national dialogue could take a year or more to clarify and de-conflict views across sectors and authority levels before the national forum could be held.