The Department for International Development (DFID) is the part of the UK government that manages Britain's aid to poor countries and works to get rid of extreme poverty. As well as headquarters in London and East Kilbride, near Glasgow, DFID has offices in around 40 developing countries and provides aid to around 90 countries.
ISSAT has been requested by DFID to provide an external team that will review progress on an annual basis for the (SSAPR) programme and a supplementary review at the six-month point for the Police Support Programme (PSP) element. Field missions were implemented between 2010 and 2014, including two missions per annum of duration up to 3 weeks each.
ISSAT provided a team of up to five persons biennially for a duration of up to three weeks to:
- Assess progress achieved since inception or the last review, including an assessment of the quality of progress. This assessment should be conducted against the project logframe, but also weighed against the evolving Congolese political environment and general best practice in SSR.
- Make recommendations and identify action points regarding any major issues and problems affecting progress.
- Assess the project’s progress during the last year against the Outputs in the logframe, (including a consideration of Assumptions and Risks), relevance, efficacy and coherence, and determine whether and what changes are required;
- Identify priorities for the coming period based on gaps or shortfalls identified in the project and taking into account the evolving Congolese political environment.
The exact methodology for the evaluation was determined by the team in consultation with the DFID office in Kinshasa prior to the first deployment.
The full annual review (involving up to five persons) will take place during the period of September-December of each year, starting 2010. The supplementary review (involving up to three persons) will take place during the period of March – June of each year, starting 2011. Reports will lay out key findings and recommendations for DFID, the management agents and where appropriate other stakeholders.
OECD-DAC member states have developed their capacities for engaging with S&J work. This includes:
- defining policies (EU/EC, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, UK and US),
- the development of standing capacities (such as the UK stabilisation unit or police deployment capabilities);
- the development of cross–government coordination mechanisms, specific training and funding support.
For many donors, project reporting systems often struggle to articulate the successes and failures of Security and Justice (S&J) programmes beyond immediate outputs. In part, this is because progress in security and justice reform is often lengthy, carried out in very complex contexts, and is very dependent on national political direction from outside the development field.
Nonetheless, many donors have commissioned evaluations and reviews of individual programmes and many examples of good practice exist. Department for International Development (DFID) would like to work with ISSAT to start the process of synthesising these lessons, identifying good practice and helping donors to learn from each other.
Policy and Research Papers
Stabilisation Issues Notes provide a short summary of what the Stabilisation Unit has learned to date. They have been developed on the basis of experience and are aimed at improving the effectiveness of our practical engagement in various aspects of stabilisation. They are aimed primarily at the Stabilisation Unit‟s own practitioners and consultants, and those of other HMG departments. They are not a formal statement of HMG policy.
1) Stabilisation planning and implementation is about identifying / addressing the specific activities required to achieve political stability in countries emerging from conflict.
2) Promoting the rule of law in stabilisation environments can help a state to increase its legitimacy, allow fairer political negotiation and uphold the implementation of political agreements. The most urgent priority is often establishing law and order, meeting internal security needs and ensuring basic functioning of the criminal justice system.
3) Security Sector Stabilisation (SSS) activities enable essential and minimum security functions to be established and maintained to achieve stabilisation objectives. They are not the same as Security System Reform (SSR) in more benign environments; they should however help create the conditions for SSR, when conditions permit.
4) The urgency of meeting security needs has often led to quick fix approaches and a singular focus on expanding the size of a single organisation often with a „train and equip‟ mentality. This will often fall short of providing the kind of support that will contribute to lasting security outcomes.
Responding to Stabilisation Challenges in Hostile and Insecure Environments: Lessons Identified by the UK's Stabilisation Unit
The lessons identified here are based on ideas that have been developing across Government and on our deepening understanding of what works and what doesn’t
work on the ground. They will hopefully be of use to policymakers, practitioners and programme managers working in and on conflict-affected environments.
The complexity of the challenges in stabilisation environments require integrated solutions at multiple levels. Rather than re-inventing our responses to each new
crisis, we need to identify relevant lessons from past experience, learn from these, and adapt them to the specific requirements of each new environment.
The identification of lessons remains just the first step. We need to ensure that the lessons are actually ‘learned’. This requires a genuine commitment at all levels to learning from the past, the dedication of resources (human and financial) to support the learning process, and the development of systems to feed lessons back into policy, planning and practice. The lessons learning process should be a continuous cycle.
This Issues Note gives readers a basic understanding of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), so that they are in a position to consider whether DDR is an appropriate stabilisation intervention. It clarifies questions, issues and articulates the decisions that the practitioner may face with when considering a DDR programme. This note should be read in conjunction with Post-Conflict Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration: A UK View, and with other Stabilisation Issues Notes, particularly those on Security and rule of Law and Economic Recovery.
Human rights are key to stabilisation - both as a means and as an end in themselves. Although we need to promote universal adherence to human rights, we need to recognise that there can be different cultural and political approaches to dealing with human rights violations, especially during a fragile peace process. Human rights need to be embedded in planning and assessment for stabilisation; the selection of specific tools will depend on needs, opportunities and constraints in any particular context.
A good results framework that enables programme progress to be effectively monitored and explained has never been more important, particularly in times of financial austerity. As a public sector organisation, DFID must have the capacity to prove that its budget is spent wisely, and the ability to demonstrate the impact and value of its programmes to core constituencies.
Governance and conflict programming form an important part of DFID’s global programme portfolio and account for a significant proportion of annual resource allocation (GPR, 2010). This is likely to grow as DFID commits to expand its presence in fragile and conflict-affected environments (DFID, 2009).
It is however widely acknowledged that the effects of governance and conflict interventions on poverty reduction or enduring peace and security are seldom direct and easy to measure. International governance datasets (such as the World Governance Index), whilst comprehensive and well-resourced, seldom have relevance at actual country level as their measurements are often set at higher objective levels, yet there is a paucity of useful programme level tools available to enhance measurement in this area.
In October 2010, ITAD was commissioned by the DFID Politics and the State Team to assess the quality of a suggested list of governance and conflict indicators as part of a wider contract to support elements of the Results Action Plan.
The indicators have been tested using a set of normative criteria that collectively aims to ensure the types of measurements included in the list and the corresponding data sources are fit for intended purpose. Although the study has to some extent been constrained by lack of time and available information, attention has given to interrogating the traction of indicators with existing programme results chains and underlying theories of change, including in contexts of fragility and conflict, such as Nigeria and Afghanistan.
In October 2010, ITAD was commissioned by the DFID Politics and the State team to conduct research and propose a way forward for Governance programmes in conducting value for money assessments as part of a consultancy on measuring the impact and value for money of DFID Governance programmes. The specific objective stated for our work on value for money (VFM) in the Terms of Reference was:
“To set out how value for money can best be measured in governance and conflict programming, and whether the suggested indicators have a role in this or not”.
This Report presents background on VFM from documentary research (section 2); explains the analytical framework that captures key concepts in VFM, and sets out options for improving VFM (section 3). It outlines one specific option, a “3 Es ratings and weightings approach to VFM” as presented to Governance and Conflict Advisers at a DFID Research Day on 25 November 2010, and includes their response plus some initial reactions from Finance and Corporate Performance Division (FCPD), particularly with regard to Business Case compatibility (section 4). Finally, the Report proposes ways in which initial findings can be refined and further developed to support Governance programming and build staff competence and confidence in conducting VFM assessments (section 5).