Change Management in SSR

12/01/2011 @ 18:12
par James Cohen


I am beginning to gather information on change management and theory of change in relation to SSR and I was hoping to get some input on some recommendations of where to start looking. 

Essentially as SSR is a highly political endevour with winners and losers in the process, the field, from observation, could likely stand to be more informed by methods of how to manage these shifts. 

Likewise, change management and theory of change could help for donors in tranlating lessons identified into practice. Too often the same mistakes are being seen over and over in programming, and many challanges are acknowledged, but often not fully tackled. Perhaps having a better framework in how to adapt programming could assist in making necessary changes.

Any suggestions on what has been written on these subjects in SSR or experience in these are areas would be greatly appreciated. Good refrences to management books would also be appreciated.

Many thanks

12/01/2011 @ 18:24
by Fraser Hore

The following are a few books on Change Management that I have found useful:

  • Transitions: making sense of life's changes by William Bridges
  • Managing transitions by William Bridges
  • Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future--Today by George Land and Beth Jarman
  • Managing change and transition by Richard Luecke
15/02/2011 @ 17:11
by Gordon Hughes

James - try this web site.  It has a useful bunch of change managment tools.

I think that SSR policymakers and practitioners have much to learn from the wide variety of change management  tools that are already in place - many are out there in the private business sector.  Afterall, SSR or security sector transformation is essentially about the management of change which has both "hard" and "soft" components.  From my experience we all tend to focus too much on the hard/technical aspects of change (within our comfort zone and we can measure progress by numbers)  rather than dealing with the most important challenges - political will, national ownership. trust and confidence, cultural awareness and coordination - which have significant soft strands.  I am not suggesting that we need to breed SSR advisers from a pool of psychiatrists and psyscologists, but I think it would help if we gave a higher priority to promoting an environment (based on trust and confidence) that is conducive to the planning and management of change in a security sector.  

So, I encourage the development of a set of SSR Change Management Tools that can assist national and international actors to create a conducive SSR environment based on clear open and honest communiactions.  This will lead to better coordination and hopefully constructive collaboration between the wide range of SSr actors.

I am not clear on the difference or distinction between Change Management and the "Theory of Change".  I am not sure that the latter is a helpful addition to the SSR vocabulary. 


05/04/2011 @ 11:07
by Megan Bastick

Hello James,

I've similarly been looking for good material on change management that could be applied to security sector institutions, but in this case thinking in particular of gender transformation. How can one best initiate and develop a process that seeks to improve how men and women relate to each other professionally, how decisions are made and how issues related to gender roles, family responsibilities etc. are addressed in the workplace? Then, how can we integrate this thinking into broader reform processes within the security sector?
One useful reference is: Rao, Stuart and Kelleher, Gender at Work: Organisational Change for Equality (Gender at Work, Washington: 1999)

best wishes

08/04/2011 @ 14:38
by James Cohen

Thank you all for the helpful resources. 

Megan, could you provide a link of upload a file for your reference. I can't seem to find it on-line. Many thanks,


06/09/2011 @ 14:53
by Megan Bastick