This tool seeks to highlight the importance of parliamentary oversight of the security sector and the benefits parliamentarians derive from integrating a gender perspective into their work.
The tool includes:
- A conceptual introduction to parliamentary oversight of the security sector
- An outline of the importance and benefits of integrating gender into parliamentarians’ work on security issues
- Actions on how to integrate gender into parliamentary oversight
- Examination of gender and parliamentary oversight in post-conflict, transitional, developing and developed country contexts
The Gender and SSR Training Resource Package is a series of practical training materials to help trainers integrate gender in SSR training, and deliver effective gender training to SSR audiences.
It is designed for SSR trainers and educators, and gender trainers working with the security sector, to help you present material on gender and SSR in an interesting and interactive manner. The Gender and SSR Training Resource Package contains a wide range of exercises, discussion topics and examples from the ground that you can adapt and integrate into your SSR or gender training.
Gender-responsive parliamentary oversight of the security sector seeks to:
» respond to the different security needs of women and men, boys and girls—especially through security legislation and policy
» consult with a broad range of civil society actors
» involve female and male parliamentarians equally
» increase the representation of women within security sector institutions
» hold security sector institutions accountable for discrimination, gender-based violence and other human rights violations
» ensure equitable defence budgeting and resource management
» comply with international and regional laws, instruments and norms concerning security and gender, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Beijing Platform for Action, and UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820
ISSAT Senior SSR Advisor sheds light in this video on the main characteristics and competencies that SSR Advisors need to have inorder to carry out their activities efficiently. Besides the technical skills that are needed in any SSR Advisor, Bgen(ret) Belondrade, shares his real-life experience on what competencies he had to develop to undertake advisory activities to high level authorities on SSR.
In this video interview Bgen(ret), Bernard Belondrade, talks about the political dynamics of SSR processes between decision-making and implementation bodies. Senior ISSAT SSR Advisor lays out the complexities of interactions between security forces and political authorities when it comes to Security Sector Reform.
This presentation gives a background on the theory behind the concept Security Sector Reform, as well as an overview of the international efforts within SSR today.
What are the "politics of SSR" and how could these dynamics be managed? Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade shares with ISSAT Community members the experience of a training workshop where this aspect was predominant in how the trainees reacted to the knowledge shared with them.
Pendant cet entretien avec l'ONUCI, Dr. Mpako Foaleng parle au sujet des défis auxquels le parlement ivorien est confronté et le délai requis afin de surmonter ces obstacles.
Policy and Research Papers
The improper management of conventional ammunition and explosives poses significant safety and security risks. Frequent ammunition depot explosions and diversions from ammunition stocks of state actors testify to the relevance of the issue to Africa. Overcoming challenges to effective national ammunition management can be a formidable task in itself. This paper considers the challenges to and scope for action on ammunition management in Africa. It is argued that concerted efforts by African states and their international partners will be essential to effectively limiting risks of undesirable explosive events and ammunition diversions on the continent.
One of the key weaknesses in controls on the international arms trade is the absence or penury of national regulations on arms brokering activities. At present, only about sixteen countries in the world are known to control the activities of those negotiating, arranging or otherwise facilitating arms transfers between buyers and sellers. Moreover, unscrupulous brokers have demonstrated their ability to circumvent existing controls by exploiting differences in national approaches, or by simply conducting their activities from another country with lax or no controls at all. This weak link in arms control allows unscrupulous brokers to engage with impunity in undesirable or illicit activities such as arranging arms transfers to embargoed governments or non-state actors.
An important regional initiative to counter this phenomenon is the EU Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering. Under this instrument, EU member states have committed themselves to establishing a clear legal framework for brokering activities taking place within their territory. By creating common standards, the EU Common Position thus represents a significant step forward. However, there remain concerns that these standards still fall short of what is required to effectively combat undesirable or illicit brokering activities.
The first part of this report identifies key issues in this respect and suggests concrete measures governments should consider when deciding on what controls they deem appropriate. The second part of this report presents an overview of already existing or planned brokering controls in certain EU member states. The report concludes that despite the progress presented by the EU Common Position, there are still shortcomings regarding the controls that would seem necessary for effectively combating unscrupulous brokers and their activities. Where appropriate, governments of EU member states should therefore individually be encouraged to ensure that their national approach fully addresses arms brokering. This would also facilitate possible future efforts on the level of the EU to further strengthen common commitments. In turn, such further efforts to counter undesirable brokering will be required to strengthen member states’ abilities to combat and prevent illicit arms transfers.
This study evaluates the oversight of national security and intelligence agencies by parliaments and specialised non-parliamentary oversight bodies, with a view to identifying good practices that can inform the European Parliament’s approach to strengthening the oversight of Europol, Eurojust, Frontex and, to a lesser extent, Sitcen. The study puts forward a series of detailed recommendations (including in the field of access to classified information) that are formulated on the basis of indepth assessments of: (1) the current functions and powers of these four bodies; (2) existing arrangements for the oversight of these bodies by the European Parliament, the Joint Supervisory Bodies and national parliaments; and (3) the legal and institutional frameworks for parliamentary and specialised oversight of security and intelligence agencies in EU Member States and other major democracies.
Following the signing of the 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ending the Liberian civil war, there have been revitalized efforts for security sector reform, led principally by the United States and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of (i) the extent and effect of international support for parliamentary oversight of the security sector relative to other reform priorities, and (ii) to assess the potential impact of the reform process on preventing conflict recurrence in Liberia.
This publication contains two sections: First, an introductory text on parliamentary oversight with the aim to help parliamentarians and non-parliamentarians alike to understand what the powers of an ambitious, competent and well-prepared parliament and its committees can be and what good they can do. Secondly, the publication contains a ‘self-assessment’ kit that helps parliamentary and non-parliamentary security and governance experts understand where their parliament stands and what further improvements could be made in the light of ‘best practices’.
This report (in French) is a self-evaluation workshop report on parliamentary oversight of the security sector with the National Assembly of Burkina Faso. In June 2013, DCAF and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) organised a three-day workshop where parliamentarians and staffers from the Burkinabe National Assembly assessed their capacities and the legislative need in view of strengthening parliamentary oversight of the security sector. The parliamentarians who participated in the workshop were members of the committee specifically responsible for matters relating to security.
The workshop report highlights self-identified opportunities and challenges in the fulfillment of the committee’s mandate on oversight of the security sector by the Assembly. Challenges include the reluctance of the institution to assume such a role, the taboo surrounding security questions and the lack of technical knowledge of the parliamentarians. The report also summarises concrete recommendations made by the participants to overcome these challenges and reinforce the oversight role of the National Assembly.
On 2-3 October 2012, DCAF-ISSAT organised a High Level Panel (HLP) on Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa , in partnership with the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), the Governments of Burundi, Kenya, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Somalia and South Sudan, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN). It was attended by over two hundred SSR policy makers and practitioners.
This report seeks to take those discussions further, including more of the points raised by participants during the HLP, and adding in lessons from experience gathered from individual missions and related trainings. Three case studies featured in the HLP (Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan) and as such provide many of the examples, although the report also draws from examples beyond East Africa. An introductory section on SSR in each of these countries is provided in section one and full case studies are included in the annex.
This report, which keeps to the same thematic areas as those covered in the HLP, offers information on contemporary thinking in security and justice reform, and provides some recommendations and examples of good practice to those interested in or engaged in SSR.
Some videos interviews of the participants at the event are listed in the Related Resources column on the right of this webpage. A full list of available videos from this event are available under the documents tab on the HLP's Events page. Podcasts of all the sessions are available there also.