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Case Studies

Internal Security Sector Review (ISSR) in Kosovo


United Nations Resolution 1244 placed Kosovo under United Nations administration in 1999, following the NATO bombing campaign that put an end to the conflict between the Albanian population and the Serbian regime run by Slobodan Milosevic. Since then, Kosovo has had two parliamentary and two local elections that created the Provisional Institutions of Self Government (PISG), and more control is being transferred to these local authorities. A Kosovo Internal Security Sector Review (ISSR) was undertaken to help define security needs and analyse the institutional capacity required to address threats via a consultative process involving local experts and citizens. The ISSR has been one of the most ambitious and holistic efforts at SSR undertaken in recent years, in both scope and methodology.

Entry point 

One of the main principles guiding the ISSR in Kosovo has been to firmly establish public ownership. The goal was to ensure that all of Kosovo’s communities were not only aware of, but had the opportunity to be engaged in, the ISSR process. The campaign aimed to enhance the level of public dialogue about security and to encourage the transparency of Kosovo’s security institutions and policy-making process. Under the slogan “Have Your Say on Security”, the ISSR Communications Team opened a number of channels through which the public could contribute, including: 1) public opinion surveys conducted in over 800 homes, 2) recorded commentaries from citizens gathered by the “Have Your Say” Bus, which travelled through urban and rural areas of Kosovo, 3) comment boxes located in every municipal building or in cultural centres in areas inhabited by minority groups, 4) emails sent directly to the ISSR address, 5) phone calls made to the ISSR hotline, 6) questionnaires completed by individual citizens, 7) public debates among Kosovo’s key security figures regarding issues outlined in the ISSR report, 8) television and radio programmes on national and local stations with active participation of the audience, 9) town hall meetings facilitated by the OSCE across all of Kosovo’s municipalities. 

Lessons identified

Ownership — The success of SSR will depend on the degree to which the process is driven by the local population from the initial stages. Media and outreach campaigns must reflect that ownership by featuring local personalities and key politicians who are seen as leading the process. Every outreach initiative should be sensitive to the local context and culture; the means of communication and messages must be designed accordingly. The communications strategy, designed in full co-operation with the local population, must be created and tested by a variety of focus groups representative of all ethnic populations.

Tailoring the message to the audience — The effectiveness of the communications and outreach strategy must take into account the variety of audiences — their backgrounds, interests and fears. The message and outreach modalities must be formulated and delivered in a culture- and contextsensitive manner.

Not raising expectations — A large-scale outreach initiative aimed at ensuring full public ownership of the process is likely to raise high expectations, which the international community (due to lack of funds or due to political circumstances) may not be able to deliver.


At this stage it is too early to assess the full extent of the outreach initiative’s impact. However, over 800 people participated in consultative town hall meetings, 700 took part in TV debates on the most popular television channel, 20'000 leaflets were distributed to the inhabitants of urban and rural areas, over 70 billboards were placed on Kosovo’s main and secondary roads, and over 800 television spots encouraged the public to “Have Their Say” on security. For three months an ISSR bus travelled 250 throughout Kosovo collecting input by videotaped message, sealed letters and responses to a questionnaire. In addition, 40 suggestion boxes were placed in public buildings as a method of gathering anonymous comments. Quantitative results were gained from the 1'039 questionnaires received by ISSR.

Selected Resources

Case Study

Capacity and accountability in the military: some examples from the SSD-program, Burundi


In April 2009 the Dutch and the Burundian government signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) concerning the professionalization of the police and army following SSR principles (later called: the Security Sector Development program: SSD). Although the situation in Burundi since 2015 has deteriorated significantly, this does not mean that all programs and projects executed in Burundi in the previous years have failed. This is certainly not the case of the SSD-program. There are good examples in the program of how the participating Dutch military tried to balance the reinforcement of capacity and the reinforcement of accountability and integrity.

Entry points

The SSD-program is divided into four phases of two years. From the beginning on it was decided that the first phase would be “SSR-light”. This phase was used to gain a certain status as partner country so that the program could introduce gradually the more sensitive issues and become more focused on strategic planning instead of solving the day to day, often post-conflict, challenges.

The program has three pillars: Governance, Police, and Army. The Army pillar consisted of Burundian military project-managers and was reinforced by a Dutch army officer, who acted as team leader during the 1st phase and became coach of the team in the 2nd phase.

Although the first phase was more train and equip oriented than the second phase, the first phase implicitly tried to combine capacity and accountability. Accountability is part of military daily life. It is so common that we do not see it. For example one of the projects was the delivery of cooking kettles for the kitchens, which had been constructed by UNDP but there was no budget for equipping them. The project delivered the necessary cooking kettles and introduced a system of maintaining them and how to control regularly the maintenance of the kettles and the presence of the linked kitchen equipment.

The SSD-program delivered also medium-sized trucks. The truck project foresaw the delivery of spare-parts. Spare-parts have a certain financial values, certainly the more exchangeable ones like tires, mirrors, batteries and filters. The program introduced a system of how to manage spare-parts and how to control the use of spare-parts. Through this project, the larger SSD program was able to propose a more profound project concerning the organization and management of the maintenance and repair unit of the Burundian army. This project was monitored and assisted by two additional Dutch military and reinforced the oversight and control of the maintenance and repair organization. Unfortunately the turn in political circumstances in Spring 2015 prevented the continuation of the project but the plan was that this project should become the pilot project of the entire logistical organization of the Burundian army.

Before the MoU was signed one of the PBF-projects was the project “Moralisation”. Despite the awkward name, its contents was extremely important: it concerned the revival of the lost norms and values of the Burundian army. The SSD-program continued this project and recalled it: “Military Ethics”. The project started by training 12 Burundian officers for two months. The training was executed by two additional Dutch army officers (one legal and one psychologist). They trained Burundian officers so that they could become the trainers of the Burundian army. There was an exam at the end, which only one officer failed and he was not to become a Military Ethics trainer.


After the training, the program facilitated Military Ethics training throughout the whole Burundian army resulting in some 2500 officers trained. In the meantime the trainers wrote the Manual on Military Ethics including some 25 cases which could be used in training. The manual was accepted and became a formal manual of the Burundian army. The program was asked to deliver a two-day training to all Burundian military going on mission to Somalia and Central African Republic. For years the Burundian army received positive remarks from the Somalian civil society on their behavior. The project continued in the 2nd phase leading to the first “Open doors of the Army” in Burundian history. For people in Europe this is something which happens on a yearly base but people who know Burundi or who are used to work in fragile states understand the value of this enormous breakthrough.  

The situation in Burundi as of Summer 2015 is very tense and there is an increasing number of casualties. In the media, the police is often blamed for using disproportional force or lethal force without sufficient reason. In the same media, the army has been mentioned as being more professional and moderate in their behavior. This illustrates a continued positive outcome of the efforts done within the “Military Ethics” project.

Lessons Identified

The progress made does not mean that every member of the Burundian army always performed well. There was a criminal case in Somalia in which Burundian military are said to be involved in Cibitoke-province in 2014. However, things would have been worse if the DSS-program had not conducted the “Military Ethics” project.

Comparisons judging the performance of an army of a post-conflict state only against internationally accepted norms and values are often made too soon. Consideration should be given to where this army comes from and what the context is. This is not the same as accepting the abuse of force. On the contrary, evidence of improvement in the functioning of command and control, including internal investigations and disciplinary action, are evidence of progress in governance and denouncing impunity.

The military can significantly contribute to the reinforcement of accountability and integrity, which will lead to more professional behavior of armed forces in other countries. Reinforcing accountability sounds more complex than it is: it starts at the operational level and is not always that difficult to introduce as it concerns the daily life of every member of the armed forces.

Selected Resources

Case Study


Fonctions de l'Agent de l'Ordre Judiciaire – Manuel du Formateur

Produit avec l’appui technique et financier du Programme d’appui à la bonne gouvernance « Gutwara Neza » de l’Union Européenne et la Coopération technique Belge, le présent module rappelle les tâches confiées aux agents de l’ordre judiciaire. Il reprend les généralités, les fonctions d’un agent de l’ordre judiciaire en matière civile et pénale ainsi qu’en matière d’exécution des jugements. En outre, ledit module constitue un point d’introduction à la formation des agents de l’ordre judiciaire sur plusieurs autres modules relatifs à la Gestion administrative et judiciaire, à la déontologie et les relations publiques.


Notions Fondamentales de Droit – Manuel du Formateur

Le présent module de ‘’Notions fondamentales’’ de droit répond au besoin des agents de l’ordre judiciaire de mieux connaître les notions juridiques de base qui leur permettront de communiquer aisément avec les usagers des services de la justice. Ainsi, les AOJ devraient avoir une formation de  base sur les notions fondamentales de droit et de la procédure pour accomplir valablement leur rôle.


Fonctions de l'Agent de l'Ordre Judiciaire – Cahier de l’Apprenant

Produit avec l’appui technique et financier du Programme d’appui à la bonne gouvernance « Gutwara Neza » de l’Union Européenne et la Coopération technique Belge, le module traite des principales fonctions d’un agent de l’ordre judiciaire, de son rôle dans les phases pré juridictionnelle et juridictionnelle, et de ses fonctions en matière d’exécution de jugements.


Preventing Crises, Resolving Conflicts, Building Peace

Peace and development are dependent on the ability to resolve conflicts constructively and without resorting to violence. This is precisely where the German Federal Government’s peace efforts come into play: to prevent violence as a means of resolving conflicts, to reduce fragility as a breeding ground for violence, and to create opportunities for long-term development. The Federal Government recognises the reciprocal effects between peace and development as most recently stipulated by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Respect for and protection and fullfilling of human rights, social and political participation, gender equality, social cohesion, and the rule of law are of key importance in this regard.

The German government produced this toolkit to support its efforts in implementing a new strategy towards Security Sector Reform and Sustainable Peace.

To access the toolkit, Preventing Crises, Resolving Conflicts, Building Peace, please follow the link. 



States in Transition: Ensuring Equal Rights and Participation for All

The Fifth Annual Trygve Lie Symposium on Fundamental Freedoms focused on the challenges and opportunities for countries to ensure that marginalized groups, particularly women and minorities, gain equal access to political, social, and economic institutions and decision-making processes, and how to forestall manipulation by forces opposed to democracy.


Panel Discussion - SSR in West Africa - Introduction - 2010-12-01

Comments from Mark Downes, Head of ISSAT, to open the Panel Discussion on SSR in West Africa and to introduce the panel members.


Ambassador Rice Discusses Security Sector Reform in Africa

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, discusses security sector reform in Africa at the United Nations in New York, NY, October 12, 2011. [Go to for more video and text transcript.]


Public Expenditure Management & SSR - Nicole Ball

Nicole Ball discusses public expenditure management and security sector reforms. She talks about her extensive experience working in countries emerging from conflict about how proper public expenditure management facilitates a better connection between security and development.


Gender i SSR, uvod Sonja Stojanovic

Otvaranje konferencije „Rod i reforma sektora bezbednosti u Srbiji" (uvodne napomene direktorke Centra za civilno-vojne odnose Sonje Stojanović)


Characteristics of a SSR Advisor - Interview with Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade

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.


This is My Land: Rwanda

Visit a village in Rwanda and hear from landowners telling their story. This video documents how their lives have changed since they received a title to their own plot of land a few years ago.


eBook Intro: The Future of Security Sector Reform

At a time when the United States, Canada and their coalition partners are re-evaluating their roles and exit strategies in Afghanistan and other broken states, "The Future of Security Sector Reform (SSR)" provides a crucial understanding of the complexities of reforming and transforming the security and justice architecture of the state. In this video, the eBook's editor, Mark Sedra, discusses the state of SSR and why the book fills a crucial gap in its study. Written by leading international practitioners in the field, it offers valuable insight into what has worked, what has not and lessons that can be drawn in development, security and state building for the future. Purchase the eBook or download a free PDF copy here:


The Political Dynamics of SSR - Bgen (ret) Bernard Belondrade Interview

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.


Panel Discussion - SSR in West Africa - Brigadier General (ret) Kellie Conteh - 2010-12-01

Brigadier General (ret'd) Kellie Conteh from Sierra Leone,  Head of the Office of National Security Sierra Leone since 2002, talks about SSR in Sierra Leone, which is often seen as a success story for SSR. Specifically:

  1. Sierra Leone's historical setting - how it came to realise that it need SSR after 11 years of conflict
  2. what Sierra Leone was looking for to reform the security sector
  3. strategies developped by Sierra Leone to tackle reform.

The audio-only version of this video is available here.


Introduction to SSR

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.

Folke Bernadotte Academy

SSR Politics in Training - Interview Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade

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.


The challenges of security sector reform in Somalia.

The former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Hussein Arab Isse, talks about the challenges of reforming the security sector in Somalia, including the need for greater inclusion of women in the process. Interview conducted 3 October 2012.


Sécurité et justice. Le défi de l’algorithme

Ce colloque de l'Institut National des Hautes Etudes de la Sécurité et de la Justice se penche sur le lien entre Sécurité et Justice et sur la manière dont les forces de sécurité peuvent articuler les deux concepts en France. Les intervenants proposent une définition de la sécurité comme une relation de confiance entre Etats et population, et étudient plusieurs défis posés à l'exercice de la justice, tels que les questions de justice préventive de gouvernance du secteur, ou encore sur sa déclinaison dans un contexte opérationnel. L'ensemble du colloque, qui fait référence à la relation entre sécurité et justice comme un algorithme, vise à développer ces thèmes par une approche scientifique en faisant appel aux spécialistes français du domaine.

Pour accéder aux autres vidéos du colloque Sécurité et justice. Le défi de l’algorithme, veuillez suivre le lien.


State and non-state perceptions of Security

Dr Kwesi Sansculotte-Greenidge, Research Fellow in the Centre for International Cooperation and Security (CICS), Department of Peace Studies, discusses his research on Security Sector Reform in the context of Ethiopia and the divergence and convergence in perceptions of security across society.



High Level Panel Session on SSR (East Africa): Concluding Session (03-10-12)

Moderator: Dr. Michal Mlynár, Ambassador of Slovakia with residence in Nairobi and Chair of the ISSAT Governing Board

Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde, Director General of the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) (TBC)
Ambassador Nancy Kirui, CBS, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State for Defence, Kenya


High Level Panel Session on SSR (East Africa): the EAC and IGAD on SSR (Session 7: 03-10-12)

Moderator: Mr. Gabriel Negatu, Regional Director for the East Africa Resource Centre, African Development Bank (AfDB)

Dr. Julius T. Rotich, Deputy Secretary General (Political Federation), East African Community (EAC)
Mr. David W. Njoka,Director of Political Affairs, Ministry for the East African Community (EAC)-Kenya                                                               
Commander Abebe Muluneh Beyene, Head, IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP)
Dr. Medhane Tadesse Gebresilassie, African Security Sector Network’s Senior SSR Adviser to the African Union


ICTJ Forum October 2012: Analysis of World Events From a Transitional Justice Perspective

The latest episode of ICTJ Forum, a monthly podcast looking into recent news and events from around the world, features ICTJ President David Tolbert, Truth and Memory Program Director Eduardo Gonzalez, and Africa Program Director Suliman Baldo. They join host and Communications Director Refik Hodzic for an in-depth analysis of recent developments in Kenya, the former Yugoslavia, and Colombia.


ICTJ Forum September 2012: Analysis of World Events From a Transitional Justice Perspective

In the first ICTJ Forum, transitional justice experts discuss the upcoming peace negotiations between the Colombian government and leftist FARC rebels, the UN Security Council debate on accountability for crimes against children, the proposed ordinance on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Nepal, and the first report to the UN Human Rights Council by the recently appointed Special Rapporteur on transitional justice.


Rencontres et Profils - La coopération militaire Pays-Bas-Afrique

De la Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, Afrique, un entretien avec LTC Alwin van den Boogaard, 12 janvier 2012.

Lutter contre la pauvreté et contribuer à la pacification du pays, telles sont les idées force de la coopération militaire entre les Pays-Bas et le Burundi. Une mission noble qu’accomplit le lieutenant-colonel Alwin van den Boogaard avec engagement et philosophie. Dans cet entretien, l’officier néerlandais nous parle des actions menées pour renforcer le processus de consolidation de la paix au Burundi.

Photo: Hélène Michaud.


Security sector transformation in Sierra Leone

This podcast is the audio version of a presentation by Brig (retd) Kellie Conteh on the transformation of the security sector in Sierra Leone. It outlines the participatory approach to reach an assessment of needs, and highlights the need to encompass the remit of intelligence. Head of ISSAT, Mark Downes, provides a summary at the end of the presentation.

The video version of this podcast is available here.


Policy and Research Papers

Ammunition Stockpile Management in Africa: Challenges and scope for action

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.


Controlling Arms Brokering: Next Steps for EU Member States

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.


Building Integrity and Reducing Corruption Risk in Defence Establishments. Ten Practical Reforms

This book aims to show busy senior officials and senior officers in Defence Ministries and Armed Forces how progress can be made in defence without tackling the
problem right across government. It presents ten particular measures that are based on recent experiences of countries.


Governing & Managing the Defence Sector

This book is about understanding, managing and, as necessary, reforming the defence sector. It does not, however, treat the defence sector in isolation, but as part of government and the security sector, as a grouping of assets that can be employed in support of overall national policy. Nor does it equate the defence sector with the military alone.


Security Sector Governance in Africa: A Handbook

The handbook has been produced by a collaborative effort among researchers and practitioners across Africa. It provides guidance on undertaking a process of security-sector transformation consistent with democratic governance principles and a human security agenda. It is primarily intended for security-sector practitioners both in the security organisations and among the civil authorities charged with managing and monitoring the activities of the security organisations. It is secondarily intended to assist policy makers, civil society, and those agencies that provide financial and technical support to efforts to strengthen security-sector governance in understanding the issues involved in a transformation process.


The Socioeconomic Impact of Pretrial Detention

This report is presented as a nascent effort to catalogue the socioeconomic impact of excessive pretrial detention around the world. As discussed in Section II, precise data on pretrial detention are rare. Rarer still are rigorous cost (or cost-benefit) analyses of pretrial detention. Although there are extant studies from Mexico (summarized in Appendix 1), Chile, Argentina, and Ukraine, the literature is thin. This report, then, may be seen as both an initial foray and an appeal for additional research. 


Mapping Study on Gender and Security Sector Reform Actors and Activities in Liberia

DCAF conducted a mapping study on Gender and Security Sector Reform Actors and Activities in Liberia from November 2010 to March 2011. The mapping study was undertaken by an independent consultant, Mr Cecil Griffiths from the Liberian National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA). This research was made possible thanks to the cooperation of most gender and SSR actors in Liberia including the Ministry of Gender and Development (MoGD), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the Civil Society Organization Working Group on Security Sector Reform.

This project aimed to complement existing information on gender and SSR issues in Liberia and to reinforce information-sharing and coordination between actors.

On 31 March 2011, LINLEA and DCAF organised a workshop in Monrovia to complete and validate the findings of the study. In addition to validating the findings of the study, the participants made key recommendations related to gender and training, policy development, programmes and activities. The report was launched in Monrovia on 23 September 2011.


PfP Consortium Workshop on Gender & Security Sector Reform

The Partnership for Peace Consortium’s Security Sector Reform Working Group held a workshop entitled “Gender & Security Sector Reform” from 17 to 19 February 2010. The workshop, hosted by DCAF, was an opportunity for thirty-six practitioners, researchers and policy advisors from sixteen NATO and PfP countries to discuss and exchange on ongoing efforts and challenges to integrating a gender perspective into SSR. The workshop focused on best practices and examples from the ground in both national and international security sector institutions, including NATO peace support operations, ministries of defence, and armed forces.


Regional Security Cooperation in the Maghreb and Sahel: Algeria’s Pivotal Ambivalence

The past year has seen a ratcheting up and convergence of security concerns in the Sahel and Maghreb with the growing potency of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the influx of mercenaries and weaponry from Libya, the expanding influence of narcotics traffickers, and Boko Haram's widening lethality. Nonetheless, regional cooperation to address these transnational threats remains fragmented.  In Regional Security Cooperation in the Maghreb and Sahel: Algeria's Pivotal Ambivalence , the latest Africa Security Brief from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Laurence Aïda Ammour examines the central role that Algeria plays in defining this cooperation and the complex domestic, regional, and international considerations that shape its decision-making... 

◆ Efforts to counter al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) growing influence in both the Maghreb and the Sahel are fragmented because of the inability of neighbors to forge collaborative partnerships.

◆ Algeria faces inverse incentives to combat AQIM outside of Algiers as it gains much of its geostrategic leverage by maintaining overstated perceptions of a serious terrorism threat.

◆ The Algerian government’s limited legitimacy, primarily derived from its ability to deliver stability, constrains a more comprehensive regional strategy.

The full paper can be downloaded from


Afghanistan in Transition: The Security Context Post-Bin Laden

In 2011 NATO initiated the Inteqal process, i.e. the “transition” of security responsibilities from ISAF to the Afghan state and its security forces. The main pillars of this process are the build up of the Afghan Army and Police and the improvement of Afghanistan’s governance system at both national and local level. Progress has been made in this respect, although challenges remain. NATO aims to complete the transition by 2014, while reducing its military presence in the country, but a substantial Allied footprint is likely to remain in Afghanistan beyond that date. The death of Bin Laden has brought about little changes to the situation on the ground, while it may have a significant impact on the US’s attitude towards peace talks with the Taliban and thus influence the transition timeline and nature.


Linkages between Justice-Sensitive Security Sector Reform and Displacement: Examples of Police and Justice Reform from Liberia and Kosovo

This ICTJ paper explores the linkages between SSR and displacement. It looks at examples drawn primarily from two post-conflict areas undergoing SSR—Liberia and Kosovo—to understand previous experiences with these linkages. It focuses on: first, ways in which SSR initiatives either incorporated or failed to incorporate justice-sensitive approaches to durable solutions with regards to displacement; and second, whether and how these linkages enhanced or impeded the implementation of durable solutions and SSR initiatives. The focus is on rule of law reform, especially with regard to police and justice systems, set in the wider context of SSR strategies and initiatives. Police and justice reform are directly connected to durable solutions because: first, effective rule of law is essential for a secure environment, and therefore a necessary precondition for the return, resettlement/repatriation, and local integration of displaced populations; and second, they are the most visible public security institutions for local populations, and are therefore critical for demonstrating integrity and building legitimacy with displaced populations. 

Follow this link to view the publication on the ICTJ website.


The Deaf, the Blind and the Politician: The Troubles of Justice and Security Interventions in Fragile States

This article argues for an integrated, political and pragmatic approach to justice and security development as one of the key objectives of effective international support to peace building and state building in conflict-affected and fragile states. Developments since the 1990s suggest that different actors and communities have started to work on the same issues from different angles and with – perceived– different mandates. As a result, important parts of the debate on how to deal with security system reform (SSR), justice reform and the rule of law seem somewhat stuck in conceptual arguments. This article suggests moving away from such debates and instead to focus on what such justice and security engagements are meant to achieve, for whom, and which general approaches are likely to provide most added value. It argues that results require political focus, long-term processes and need to be in tune with local elite interests – whilst pursuing the aim of gradually helping to improve delivery of justice and security as basic services for all, to appropriate local standards. External and domestic objectives require careful balancing, creative compromises and strong incentives. The article also outlines a number of recurrent challenges to effective programming and suggests some ideas for improvement to achieve better results and more value for money.


Right-Financing Security Sector Reform

Security sector reform (SSR) in weak and fragile state environments encompasses a broad range of efforts to improve the capacity, governance, performance, and sustainability of the security system. Financial dimensions of SSR include the allocation of resources according to well-defined priorities, both across sectors and within the security system, and ensuring that expenditure is transparent, efficient and effective. Issues of financial management were central to the origins of SSR in the 1990s, and they are no less central to security sector reform today. Yet current SSRstrategies and programming all too often pay insufficient attention to public finance issues. As a result, the medium and long-term fiscal implications of short-run policy decisions are not factored into early post-conflict engagement processes. The negative consequences include unsustainable reforms, the squeezing out of other vital sectors, and, conversely, the under-provision of security. 

This paper argues for the “right-financing” approach to be adopted for the security sector – striking an appropriate balance between current security needs and the goal of building a fiscally sustainable security sector based on realistic resource projections.

Follow this link to view this publication.


Institutional Assessment of the Police and Justice Sectors

Institutional assessment is often considered to be a first step in the reform or development of institutions. It involves an analysis of various components and stakeholders in an institutional setting and provides a means of identifying the current situation, priority areas for intervention and the various constraints/barriers that could undermine reform efforts. Assessments of this nature usually examine both the overall institutional framework (the rules of the game) and the organisations operating within this institutional context (the players).

This report collates information, guidelines and case study material. Not all of the documents included below directly use the term ‘institutional assessment’, but the processes described, variously referred to as reviews, studies and assessments, broadly pertain to the definition of institutional assessment.

The report includes coverage of a number of donor designed frameworks for assessing the policing and justice sector. According to much of the general academic and policy literature on SSAJ programmes, substantial reform of the police force is only possible when reform of the justice system is administered at the same time. However, whilst the underlying principles for the institutional assessment of policing and justice may be similar, the specific frameworks espoused by donors appear to tackle the institutional assessment of policing and justice separately.


Reintegration Assistance for Ex-Combatants: Good Practices and Lessons for the MDRP

This working paper suggests the best practices in reintegration program design include: planning of pilot activities for reintegration support at the start of the DDR process; investing in regular communication and outreach with ex-combatants, communities and other stakeholders; ensuring specialised services and program adaptations for vulnerable groups of ex-combatants including children, women and the disabled; and building broad-based partnerships that facilitate the evolution of reintegration activities into wider development programming. 

As evidenced by the successes and challenges of reintegration programs around the world, the institutional structures and arrangements governing DDR and reintegration programs can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of these operations. Minimum institutional features of particular relevance include: strong national ownership; the separation of political oversight and technical implementation bodies; decentralized program structures; timely and regular monitoring and evaluation; rigorous financial systems and controls; and a clear exit strategy

To access the full paper, click here.


Socio-Economic Reintegration of Ex-Combatants: Guidelines

The objective of the Guidelines is to provide practitioners on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants with strategic guidance and operational direction in preparing, implementing and supporting sustainable employment-focused reintegration programmes for social reintegration and reconciliation.These guidelines are based on ILO's experience in this field in various countries. In addition, they complement and operationalise in the Integrated Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Standard (IDDRS), the Stockholm Initiative on DDR (SIDDR) and the UN Policy for Post-Conflict Employment Creation, Income-generation and Reintegration.

To access the full text, click here.


Improving Public Financial Management in the Afghan Security Sector

Security is not only a central issue for Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development, it has critical implications for the country’s management of its public finances. This paper by Peter Middlebrook, Nicole Ball, William Byrd and Christopher Ward, reviews Afghanistan’s security sector from the perspective of public finance management (PFM) and development. The Afghan security sector must be integrated into all aspects of the country’s PFM system and subject to all budgetary and fiduciary processes.

Security impacts the gamut of development issues faced by Afghanistan, ranging from state building and capacity development to revenue collection, security delivery and encouraging private sector-led growth. Both the Afghanistan government and external partners highlight security as a key enabling factor for the country’s growth and development. There is a critical need for reliable security to allow the Afghan people to conduct their daily lives in relative safety.

The Afghan security sector accounted for 40% of the country’s national budget as well as external assistance during the years under review, and raises major public finance management issues. In view of these issues, the Government of Afghanistan requested that the World Bank (WB) include the security sector in its PFM Review. This paper is one of five volumes comprising the WB Review titled “Afghanistan: Managing Public Finances for Development”.

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Willing and Able? Challenges to Security Sector Reform in Weak Post-war States – Insights from the Central African Republic

Security sector reform (SSR) is an integral part of the international community’s efforts to build peace and enhance security in weak post-war states. It has, however, proven difficult to undertake SSR in such contexts. A number of factors constitute a challenge to create security forces that are able to provide security to the population.

Based on previous research, this report highlights some of the challenges to SSR in weak post-war states. Through an analysis of the SSR process in the Central African Republic, this study shows that informal power structures, a volatile security situation and failure to understand how SSR is influenced by other political processes, negatively impact on the prospect for successful  implementation of reforms. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that weak capacity and lack of political will on behalf of the national government, is a challenge to local ownership and sustainable reforms. Despite a holistic approach to reforms aiming to improve both the capacity of the security forces and to increase democratic control of the security institutions, insufficient international engagement, scarce resources, lack of strategic direction and inadequate donor coordination have limited the prospect for implementation of reforms.


The Transition to a Just Order – Establishing Local Ownership after Conflict: A Practitioners’ Guide

This handbook and its sister publication, the policy report The Transition to a Just Order: Establishing Local Ownership after Conflict, A Practitioner’s Guide, are based on the findings of a two year long study conducted jointly by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), in partnership with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA). The study offers a comprehensive analysis of the principle of local ownership, the key dilemmas involved in pursuing local ownership and the challenges and issues that arise when local ownership is being put into practice.

It takes a closer look at strategies and mechanisms for transition in four cases studies: Afghanistan, the Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo), Timor-Leste and West Africa (Liberia and Sierra Leone).
The cases have been selected to illustrate the varying degrees of international involvement in post-conflict justice and security sector reform. Kosovo and Timor-Leste represent scenarios where the international community has taken the lead in taking responsibility for law and order, while West Africa and especially Afghanistan are illustrative of postconflict environments where primacy has rested with local authorities. The study is based on field visits by the authors to all the case study countries with
the exception of Timor-Leste and numerous interviews with local stakeholders, practitioners, policy makers and established academics working on justice and security sector issues. The study has also benefited greatly from discussions which took place in a workshop held in Stockholm in May 2006 as well as a rigorous peer review process. The handbook uses the findings in the case studies and examples from these peacebuilding processes to highlight some of the key challenges.

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Security Sector Financing and Fiscal Sustainability in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is emerging from decades of strife, and the new Government faces several challenges. Arguably the most daunting of these is to make Afghanistan secure, and establish the rule of law. Approximately $9 billion of foreign assistance has been spent on the security sector from 2003 to 2007, underscoring the important role the security sector plays in the wider reconstruction agenda. From 2007–10 a major scale-up to over $14 billion is planned, to be funded largely from external assistance. This resource expansion should be accompanied by heightened scrutiny of how foreign assistance is spent and whether it is delivering the desired outcomes of peace and a stronger, more accountable Afghan state. One important question to ask is whether the current financing model employed is the correct one, and how it affects the incentives around the reform process.

This paper takes an aid effectiveness approach to judge whether the financing model is appropriate for Afghanistan and it finds that the current financing model falls short of good aid effectiveness practice.


Security Sector Expenditure Review Sourcebook - Concept Note

The objective is to strengthen policy and operational dialogue on security sector issues by providing national and international stakeholders with the information needed to engage in dialogue on security expenditure policy. The Sourcebook will help inform this dialogue by providing public finance practitioners with a framework for the analysis of financial management, financial oversight and expenditure policy issues in the security sector. The primary audience for the Sourcebook is the staff of international organizations working on public expenditure management and security sector issues and high level government officials. The Sourcebook is expected to reach a broader audience through the process of policy dialogue and training. The audience includes World Bank staff asked to assist in expenditure analysis related to the security sector and the staff of international organizations and development agencies directly involved in security sector reform. However, taking into account World Bank policy the Sourcebook will clearly define the role of World Bank staff in the expenditure review process.

The Sourcebook will be jointly developed by the World Bank, the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) within the United Nations Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with each partner relying on their respective mandates, competencies and experience.

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Security Sector Reform and the Management of Defence Expenditure - A Conceptual Framework

This discussion paper stems from growing recognition of the linkages between sustainable development and security. It proposes a conceptual framework for addressing one aspect of security sector governance: the management of defence expenditure.

Specifically, the paper suggests that:

  • an approach based on strengthening the process by which defence expenditure is managed and monitored will be the most effective means of achieving appropriate levels of military expenditure;
  • policies, laws and structures in the security sector will reflect each country’s history, culture, legal framework, and institutions;
  • despite each country’s unique situation, a set of generic public sector management principles exist which should be applied to all components of the public sector, including the security sector, and consequently strengthening governance in the security and non-security portions of the public sector should proceed simultaneously, to the extent possible;
  • the pace and sequencing of efforts to strengthen the management of defence expenditure will vary across countries;
  • efforts to improve the efficiency of defence expenditure management should be set in the broadercontext of security sector reform; and
  • national ownership of the reform process and the strengthening of capacity to manage and oversee the defence sector are essential to ensure sustainability.
  • A number of next steps are proposed for considering the integration of security sector governance and better defence expenditure management into development policy.

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Management of the Security Sector: A Note On Current Practice

Management of the security sector is the implementation, direction, and operation of security policies, decisions, and practices. Management requires horizontal and vertical capacities, and often structural reorganization, among and within security sector actors to improve efficiency and effectiveness. These capacities include, for example, building and maintaining professional security forces, allocating scarce resources, reducing corruption, and engaging with civil society, all of which promote enhanced security and justice delivery. Improving managerial capacities is critical to the ownership and sustainability of good governance initiatives, national security strategies, defense sector reform, and all other elements of the security sector reform process.

Management is intractably linked to security sector governance and oversight mechanisms. Incorporating the principles of good governance (transparency, accountability, compliance with international law, and human rights) into management policies and procedures will help to generate efficiency, effectiveness, and legitimacy. Furthermore, because all management bodies (ideally) wield a great deal of authority over security forces, management bodies and their policies, decisions, and practices must themselves be subject to effective oversight. This practice note looks at these management capacities of security sector institutions from the perspective of three categories: executive authorities that manage the development and implementation of national security policy and strategy, the legislative and ministerial independent oversight bodies charged with oversight of the executive and security forces, and security force command authorities that direct and manage security forces and operations.

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Informal Conclusions of the Chair: High Level Panel on the Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa

The overall purpose of the High Level Panel (October 2nd-3rd 2012) was to take stock of the challenges when implementing security and justice reforms at a national level; to identify lessons that could be applied to other SSR processes in the Eastern African region; and to look at what role regional and international actors could optimally have in SSR initiatives. The High Level Panel brought together over 200 SSR policy makers and practitioners to unpack the key issues faced by both those implementing and leading SSR. Those attending the event were experts responsible for leading and implementing processes in Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan, as well as key donors, regional and multilateral organisations and representatives from the African Security Sector Network and other civil society organisations. 

This report reflects the informal conclusions drawn from the selected country-case studies as well as thematic debates at the High-Level Panel. 


The Interior Ministry's Role in Security Sector Reform

In international peace and stability operations, reform of the interior ministry and the police forces under its control is critical to success. This is also an essential element in reforming the wider security sector, which includes the defense ministry and military forces. Yet surprisingly little has been written on the subject, and efforts to reform the interior ministries in Iraq and Afghanistan were done only on an ad-hoc basis. This report explains the role of the interior ministry, the needed steps in ministerial reform, and the role of foreign advisers in this process. It then describes the consequences of the U.S. failure to reform the interior ministry in Iraq and recommends changes in infrastructure and staffing that would enable the United States to conduct better ministerial reform in future operations.

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Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Capacity Building to Counter Terrorism in Fragile Institutional Contexts: Lessons From Development Cooperation

Rule of law–based criminal justice responses to terrorism are most effectively ensured when they are practiced within a criminal justice system capable of handling ordinary criminal offenses while protecting the rights of the accused and when all are equally accountable under the law. Building the capacity of weak criminal justice systems to safeguard mutual rights and responsibilities of governments and their citizens is essential for the alleviation of a number of conditions conducive to violent extremism and the spread of terrorism. A new wave of multilateral counterterrorism initiatives has the opportunity to recalibrate how criminal justice and rule of law–oriented counterterrorism capacity-building assistance is delivered to developing states with weak institutions.

This policy brief argues that aligning counterterrorism capacity-building agendas within a framework informed by the Paris Principles and the development cooperation experience could greatly enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of criminal justice and rule of law capacity-building assistance in general and in preventing terrorism specifically.


Justice Under International Administration: Kosovo, East Timor and Afghanistan

This report will examine some questions relating to the delivery of justice in countries and territories under international administration through the experiences of United Nations administrations in Kosovo (1999— ) and East Timor (1999-2002) and the assistance mission in Afghanistan (2002— ). Though the United Nations had exercised varying measures of executive power in previous missions, notably West Papua (1962-1963), Cambodia (1992-1993), and Eastern Slavonia (1996-1998), Kosovo and East Timor were the first occasions on which the UN exercised full judicial power within a territory.

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The Security Sector in Cote d’Ivoire: A Source of Conflict and a Key to Peace

A new IPI report identifies the security sector in Côte d’Ivoire as a root of a decade of crises there and discusses how comprehensive security-sector reform is a key to preventing a return to armed conflict in the future. 
The report provides a historical perspective as to how the Defense and Security Forces in Côte d’Ivoire were at the root of the 2002 crisis, why successive peace accords failed to produce security sector reform, and how the failure to reunify the Ivoirian security forces prior to holding the 2010 presidential election was a key factor behind the recent crisis and contributed to its escalation into a military confrontation. 
The report also includes recommendations on how to focus reform on changing the relationship among politicians, security institutions, and the larger population, as part of a broader reconciliation process among Ivoirians themselves.

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Reform without Ownership? Dilemmas in Supporting Security and Justice Sector Reform in Honduras

Honduras’ security and justice sector suffers from severe deficiencies. It remains largely inefficient and unable to safeguard security and the rule of law for its citizens. Criminal investigative units are plagued with serious problems of incompetence, corruption and progressive penetration by organised crime. The judiciary lacks independence and is subject to systematic political interference. Inter-institutional coordination is poor and flawed by a climate of mutual mistrust and rivalry over competencies.

This report describes and analyses the EU’s contribution to strengthening security and the rule of law in Honduras through a major security sector reform (SSR) programme earmarked with a budget of €44 million. The report underlines the crucial need for increased local ownership as a sine qua non condition if the EU’s endeavours are to trigger sustainable institutional change and thus further human security in Honduras. The report also examines prospects for the creation of an international commission against impunity, following the example of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).


Consolidating the Security Sector in Post-Conflict States: Polish Lessons from Iraq

This chapter examines the security sector reform in Iraq after the end of major combat operations in April 2003. The author discusses the Polish contribution to stabilization and reconstruction as member of the US-led 'coalition of the willing.' He draws the conclusion that an augmentation of NATO capabilities in post-conflict reconstruction, particularly security sector reform, would enable it to better face the challenges of the strategic environment in Iraq.


Middle East and North Africa - Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index 2013

This Index provides governments and citizens with information on how their defence ministries and armed forces compare to others in tackling defence corruption. It measures the degree of corruption risk and vulnerability in government defence establishments – the defence ministry, the armed forces, and other government institutions in that country (such as auditing institutions) that may influence levels of corruption risk in the sector. It forms a basis for reform for concerned governments, and serves as a tool to identify where to concentrate efforts.

This MENA report joins the overall Index report, available at, as an analytical summary of the detailed


Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index 2013

This is a brand new tool and is the result of a major two-year study. This Index provides governments and citizens with information on how their defence ministries and armed forces compare to others in tackling defence corruption. It measures the degree of corruption risk and vulnerability in government defence establishments – the defence ministry, the armed forces, and other government institutions in that country (such as auditing institutions) that may influence levels of corruption risk in the sector. It forms a basis for reform for concerned governments, and serves as a tool to identify where to concentrate efforts.

As a part of this Index, 82 countries across the globe were subject to expert, independent assessment. These countries accounted for 94 per cent of global military expenditure in 2011 (USD 1.6 trillion). 

They were selected according to the size of their arms trade, the absolute and per capita size of their militaries, and a proxy of the size of their security sector. Each country was assessed using a comprehensive questionnaire of 77 questions, clustered into five risk areas: political risk, finance risk, personnel risk, operations risk, and procurement risk. Each of these five areas in turn has specific risk areas, as shown in the diagram below.

The analysis was subjected to multiple levels of peer review to minimise the risk of bias and inaccuracies in the responses. Governments were given opportunities to comment on the draft and to provide additional commentary if they desired. Each government has received a comprehensive report outlining our findings for each question, with references to all the sources we used. These assessments are made public on our website.

A second index has also been developed that addresses defence companies, analysing the anti-corruption systems of 129 major global companies. This index, the Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index (, was published by Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme, on 4th October, 2012.


Multi-layered Justice and Security Delivery in Postconflict and Fragile States

This paper examines the value of an alternative approach to SSR policy, namely a multi-layered one in post-conflict and fragile state environments. It begins by arguing that there is a state-centric bias in current SSR policy and practice. This contradicts development principles of a ‘people-centred, locally owned’ approach in post-conflict and fragile state contexts. The SSR's state-centric approach rests upon two fallacies: that the post-conflict and fragile state is capable of delivering justice and security; and that it is the main actor in security and justice. The paper goes on to present the outline of a multi-layered strategy. This addresses the issue of who is actually providing justice and security in post-conflict and fragile states. The paper continues by describing the accountability mechanisms that could be pursued by SSR programmes in support of this approach. The conclusion is that the advantage of the multi-layered approach is that it is based not on the state's capacity, but on the quality and efficacy of the services received by the end user, regardless of who delivers that service.

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Security Strategies Today : Trends and Perspectives

There have been considerable developments in security-policy thinking since the end of the Cold War, and a complex set of transnational threatsand challenges necessitates new security policies and strategies. Not only the attacks of 11 September 2001, but also the dark side of globalisation such as climate change, the global spread of dangerous technologies and international organised crime have changed the security perspective and policy procedures in recent years. Consequently, new
national-security strategies, white papers and security-policy documents have been drafted in order to take into account the changing security landscape.

On 6 April 2009, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) welcomed a group of leading security experts for a seminar entitled “Security Strategies Today : Trends and Perspectives”. The goal of the seminar was to provide a forum for experts from different European states, major international powers and regional and international organisations to take stock of current security polices in the European region and beyond. The participants had an opportunity to assess the direction of security-policy thinking by analysing a number of key security-policy documents such as national-security strategies, defence concepts and white papers, among others. Assumptions regarding future threats were considered, as were a variety of drafting processes and methodologies.

More than 30 participants attended the seminar, including representatives of the Defence Ministries of Finland, Germany and Sweden, as well as representatives of the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In addition to faculty members from the GCSP, regional and international experts from a range of academic and policy institutions participated, including speakers from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the International Affairs Institute (Rome), the Institute for International Strategic Studies (Beijing), the Royal Institute of International Relations (Brussels) and the Foundation for Strategic Studies (Paris).


Strategic Planning in Fragile and Conflict Contexts

The primary audience for this research paper is the strategic planner in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS), understood broadly as any actor involved in either the formulation of national priorities to mitigate or recover from conflict, or the design of international strategies to support such priorities. The paper explores the tensions and tradeoffs incurred throughout the planning process on a range of engagement principles, including national ownership, prioritization, and sequencing. It aims to serve two purposes: i) provide a broad concept of key elements of planning and ii) identify key recommendations for engagement as well as policy and capacity gaps in the international community’s support of strategic planning processes

The first section of the paper offers general considerations related to i) the tradeoffs and tensions inherent to strategic planning processes in FCAS, and ii) the challenges and opportunities that planners face, as a means to set the context and rationale for the guidance and recommendations presented throughout the paper. The second and third sections discuss the prerequisites for and the actual steps of the strategic planning process, with a focus on current practice and its range of tradeoffs and tensions, including challenges in formulating results for greater accountability and issues related, inter alia, to ownership, prioritization, and funding. The conclusion presents a summary of findings, along with key policy recommendations drawn from the analysis and the case studies, as well as suggested areas where further research could strengthen the international community’s capacities to support strategic planning processes.


Defence White Papers in the Americas

In preparation for the October 2000 Defense Ministerial of the Americas (DMA) in Manaus Brazil and at the request of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) studied the global trend toward the creation of Defense White Papers. The study aimed to understand the nature of these documents in order to prepare the U.S. delegation to discuss the tendency in Latin America and the Caribbean during the DMA. The INSS study team found no agreement about what constitutes a 'white paper' other than each is a consensus statement on a topic. The team examined 15 defense documents worldwide and interviewed participants in the development process and independent analysts. The results suggest that the formative, often difficult, process through which governments must move to solidify their approach to national security defense policy, and the structure to implement it and build consensus for it is the essential part of a 'white paper,' providing a constructive experience that benefits the country. Governments tended not to want a template for this process, although at the working level there is some interest in the experience of other states. Defense White Papers become highly stylized nationalistic documents that reflect a state's unique domestic circumstances and international geopolitical situation. The attached chart provides an overview comparison of the Defense White Paper processes of Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa. Past efforts by U.S. agencies to design templates have failed.


Slip-Sliding on a Yellow Brick Road: Stabilization Efforts in Afghanistan

The ongoing transition process in Afghanistan will deliver three shocks in the coming few years: foreign forces will complete the handover of security responsibility to their Afghan counterparts, aid volumes and international spending in the country will decrease and, lastly, the political dispensation will be upended by presidential elections in which President Hamid Karzai is not supposed to run again. These challenges are mounting at a time when, due to inconsistent international approaches and a lack of appreciation for the Afghan context, Afghanistan is dealing with rising insecurity, dysfunctional governance, rampant corruption, and ethnic factionalization within the society and the domestic security forces. Based upon a review of the security sector, governance, social and economic conditions, regional relations and negotiation efforts with the insurgents, this article finds that fundamental questions about the efficacy of stabilization efforts in Afghanistan continue to lack clear answers. Regardless, significant room for improvement – both in policy and execution – appears to exist. It remains to be seen whether, as many Afghans fear, a civil war will engulf Afghanistan once again in the post-transition period or whether the international community will take those steps – re-energizing governance reform efforts, maintaining financial support and continuing to strengthen the Afghan army and police – which could help to bolster stability.


Post-Conflict Peacebuilding in Liberia

This publication is the result of a Seminar with participants from varied sectors of the Liberian government. Its main findings show that despite good beginnings in the security sector, several challenges in terms of prioritization, resources, training and strategizing remain.  A section on the country's DDR efforts highlight the accomplishments and challenges of the program at the time (2007)Furthermore, this publication formulates a series of open questions with regards to the issues of gender sensitivity in DDR, verification of actual disarmament, reintegration of adult ex-combatants as well as the geographical imbalance of reforms.


State-Civil Society Interface in Liberia’s Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Post-conflict peacebuilding demands concerted efforts from all stakeholders to ensure its success; particularly, civil society must complement the capacity of the conflict-weary state. A successful peacebuilding, however, requires a harmonious relationship between the state and civil society. This paper analyses state-civil society relations at different phases of Liberia’s protracted post-conflict peacebuilding process. The paper argues that civil society groups have played and continue to play important role in the peacebuilding process in Liberia and therefore need the support of the Liberian state and the international community to continue their watchdog role. The paper concludes by drawing lessons from the Liberian experience for other post-conflict states.


Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces in Francophone Africa: Burkina Faso, Burundi and Senegal

Under the aegis of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) DCAF undertook three case studies in Burkina Faso, Burundi and Senegal each of which was prepared by country experts. Each study seeks to identify and facilitate the exchange of good practices and experiences between the states concerned, as well as among similar institutions around the world. Each study examines relevant national institutions, as well as their legal status, shedding light on their strengths and weaknesses and contributing to an evaluation of their capacity building needs. Each study also includes details of their complaints handling procedures and of standards that may be relevant to other similar institutions, contributing as a result to a deepened understanding of their mandates, remit, and functioning. Furthermore, these case studies provide a snapshot of the state of security sector governance in each of the three countries, as well as the progress of ongoing reforms.


Methodology for Long Term Defence Planning

Long term defence planning is a complex, multi-stage, iterative process. The main stages defined  in this report are:

  1. Political Guidance Analysis
  2. Environmental Assessment
  3. Mission Analysis
  4. Planning Situations Development
  5. Capability Requirements Determination
  6. Capability Assessment
  7. Options Development
  8. Solution Selection

Long term defence planning is never just a technical procedure. That is also a highly political process that needs to be discussed in political terms.


US National Security: Policymakers, Processes & Politics

The fourth edition of "US National Security" reflects the strategic landscape as it has evolved in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The ongoing US military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, the focus on homeland security, the significant organizational changes in the intelligence bureaucracy, and the impact of the Bush Doctrine are among the current issues that inform the authors' presentation and appraisal of US security interests, politics, and processes.


Belize 2021 National Security Framework: Strengthening the Links between Policy, Resource Allocation, and Execution

This publication briefly describes the formulation process of Belize's national security framework.


The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation - Building a Progressive Kenya - Our Common Vision: Vision of Stakeholders

This document reflects the discussions of the “Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation: Building a Progressive Kenya” conference, which took place in Nairobi on 5 – 6 December, 2011. Held in the aftermath of a process of nationwide dialogue and at the invitation of the AU Panel of Eminent African Personalities, various stakeholder groups representing a wide cross-section of views and perspectives of Kenyan society participated at this conference so as to coalesce these views around the implementation of the objectives and goals of the KNDR process


Report of the Liberia National Dialogue on Security Sector Reform

The National Dialogue, co-hosted by the Liberian Transitional Government and UNMIL, brings together all statutory security agencies of Liberia to help address the critical problem of Security Reform, which is attributed to the main causes of the Liberian conflict. This report summarizes the discussions that took place among these stakeholders


From Bad Cop to Good Cop: The Challenge of Security Sector Reform in Egypt

Successful democratic transitions hinge on the establishment of effective civilian control of the armed forces and internal security institutions. The transformation of these institutions from instrumentsof brutal repression and regime protection to professional, regulated, national services – security sector reform (SSR) – is at the very center of this effort. In Egypt, as in other transitioning Arab states and prior cases of democratization, SSR is an acutely political process affected by an array of different actors and dynamics. In a contested and unstable post-revolutionary political sphere, the reform of Egypt’s security sector requires urgent attention.

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The National Security Policy Process: The National Security Council and Interagency System

This annual report by Dr. Alan G. Whittaker, Frederick C. Smith and AMB Elizabeth McKune describes the national security decision-making process of the US government.


Draft Guidelines on Developing National Defence Policy and Doctrine Papers

The countries of the Americas have identified the development and sharing of national Defense White Papers as a useful confidence- and security-building measure for the promotion of security in the Hemisphere. This paper is intended to provide a brief outline of essential characteristics of Defense White Papers and to explain the rationale and the process for their development.  A listing of elements commonly contained in White Papers is also provided. 

It is important to note that there is no agreed standard format for White Papers in the Americas. This is perhaps a logical reflection of the differing historical, geographical, cultural, political and fiscal contexts in which the countries of the Americas define their security threats and defense objectives, capabilities and constraints.  However, there are elements which are common to many White Papers.  This paper focuses on basic principles and raises issues that Governments could usefully consider in the formulation of their own White Papers, based on the experience of OAS Member States which have already undertaken that process.


Squaring the Circle: Security Sector Reform and Transformation and Fiscal Stabilisation in Palestine

This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development in order to explore the linkages between security-sector reform and transformation, including downsizing of the Palestine National Security Forces, at a time of political instability, on the one hand, and fiscal stabilisation and financial management over the medium term under conditions of significant economic uncertainty, on the other hand.

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La Réforme du Secteur de la Securité en la République Centrafricaine: Quelques Réflexions sur la Contribution Belge à une Expérience Originale

Du 14 au 17 avril 2008, la République centrafricaine a connu un événement qui a été qualifié d’historique par ses participants, la tenue d’un séminaire national sur la réforme du secteur de la sécurité. Pour la première fois de son histoire, le pays a en effet vibré au rythme d’une discussion et d’une analyse fouillée sur un sujet des plus sensibles dans un contexte de sortie de conflit récent : celui du secteur de sa sécurité, et des réformes qu’il requiert à court, moyen et long termes.

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La Décentralisation en RD Congo: Enjeux et Défis

Plus d’une décennie de conflits incessants, des millions de victimes, un état déliquescent, une partition territoriale de fait… Devant un tableau aussi sombre, peu auraient parié, il y a cinq ans, sur la possibilité d’initier un processus de pacification régionale et de reconstruction de l’état congolais. En dépit de redoutables difficultés, depuis la signature à Sun City, le 2 avril 2003, de l’Acte final du dialogue intercongolais, le Congo n’a pourtant cessé d’avancer dans la bonne direction. Bon an mal an, avec le soutien de l’ONU et des bailleurs de fonds internationaux, les Congolais ont traversé avec succès le parcours d’obstacles qui débuta par une longue et périlleuse phase de transition pour s’achever par l’organisation des élections législatives et présidentielles en 2006. Entre-temps, une nouvelle constitution avait été adoptée qui modifiait profondément les structures de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC). Le choix du constituant congolais en faveur d’un état fortement décentralisé constitue à cet égard une évolution décisive de l’organisation politique et administrative de la RDC. Cette orientation institutionnelle – qui transforme la RDC en un état fédéral qui ne dit pas son nom – résulte autant de considérations pragmatiques que d’un rapport de force politique entre « centralisateurs » et « décentralisateurs ». Quoi qu’il en soit, l’état des institutions publiques congolaises interdit de raisonner en terme de réforme de l’état. La tâche à laquelle s’attèlent les acteurs politiques de la RDC consiste plutôt à la reconstruction par le bas de fonctions étatiques qui avaient, pour l’essentiel, disparu depuis longtemps. L’importance des enjeux ne laisse pas d’autre choix aux Congolais que de réussir ce défi. Certains indices laissent penser qu’une prise de conscience est en cours. Il n’en demeure pas moins que les risques sont à la hauteur des enjeux. Ce rapport s’efforce de synthétiser les uns et les autres, sans oublier de poser la question de l’adaptation des partenaires internationaux de la RDC – Belgique en tête – à la nouvelle architecture institutionnelle congolaise.

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Problems of Power in the Design of Indicators of Safety and Justice in the Global South

This paper explores the possibility that governance indicators can be harmonized across three levels (within an individual ministry or government department, across government as a whole, and at the level of global governance) and that doing so will produce effective governance. Specifically, the author argues that those operating on the global level -- particularly in the domain of safety, justice, and the rule of law -- might design their indicators from the bottom up, supporting local ambitions and building on the legitimate sources of authority close to the operations they seek to influence, rather than starting with ambitions and power at a global level.

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Supporting Criminal Justice System Reform in Mexico: The US Role

This report gives an overview of Mexico’s 2008 judicial reforms and looks at the extent to which these reforms have been implemented. It then analyzes US support for the reforms and raises issues for Congress to consider as it oversees current US justice sector programs and considers future support to Mexico.

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A Unified National Security Budget?

This report looks at a proposal for “unified national security budgeting” (UNSB). In recent years a number of observers and practitioners have identified various facets of US government national security practice as inherently “cross-cutting.” In order to encourage holistic consideration of national security issues, they have called for UNSB. To be clear, the authors argue, their goal is not to refine the US federal system of budgeting, but rather to use budgetary mechanisms to drive changes in US national security practices.

To view this article, please follow this link.


Gender and Security Sector Reform in Serbia

The report, co-drafted by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (formerly known as the Centre for Civil-Military Relations) and the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence with the support of DCAF, presents the findings of the needs assessment on gender and SSR in Serbia.

• Generates a detailed baseline for the current state of gender mainstreaming in security sector institutions at the central, provincial and municipal level;
• Identifies local needs, gaps and shortcomings of current SSR processes, and prioritizes needs which should be addressed by national authorities and civil society, with the support of the international donor community, including DCAF’s gender and SSR project.

The needs assessment is built on desk research, interviews, and a series of local stakeholder consultations conducted in Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Novi Pazar, Bujanovac and Belgrade in the course of March and April 2010. It forms the building block of DCAFs dedicated and long term gender and SSR project in Serbia.



These Principles were developed in order to provide guidance to those engaged in drafting, revising, or implementing laws or provisions relating to the state’s authority to withhold information on national security grounds or to punish the disclosure of such information.

They are based on international (including regional) and national law, standards, good practices, and the writings of experts.
They address national security—rather than all grounds for withholding information. All other public grounds for restricting access should at least meet these standards.

These Principles were drafted by 22 organizations and academic centres (listed in the Annex) in consultation with more than 500 experts from more than 70 countries at 14 meetings held around the world, facilitated by the Open Society Justice Initiative, and in consultation with the four special rapporteurs on freedom of expression and/or media freedom and the special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights:

 the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression,
 the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights,
 the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information,
 the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, and
 the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media.


Codes of Conduct in Defence Ministries and Armed Forces

Corruption risk in defence and security establishments is a key concern for defence officials and senior military officers, as corruption wastes scarce resources, reduces operational effectiveness and reduces public trust in the armed forces and security services. Part of the solution to these risks is clear guidance on the behaviour expected of senior officers and officials, and strong application of those standards of behaviour. 

The report presents the conclusions of an analysis of the written codes of conduct and related documents from 12 participating nations: Argentina, Australia, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Kenya, Lithuania, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities of SSR 2013

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.


Putting governance at the heart of Security Sector Reform - Lessons from the Burundi-Netherlands Security Sector Development Programme

Democratically governed security and justice sectors are a core objective of the Security Sector Development (SSD) agenda. But few such programmes put governance front and centre.

The Burundi-Netherlands Security Sector Development Programme has broken new ground in the promotion of democratic security sector development. It has begun to break down barriers to security-sector secrecy, increase dialogue on governance aspects, enhance security-sector accountability to civil authorities and its adherence to (inter)national law, although many hurdles still remain.

It has achieved these results by proactively addressing the politics of change at all levels and on a daily basis, establishing results progressively, prioritizing the gradual development of national ownership and matching timeframe with ambition and environment, recognizing that small steps can be important milestones in countries setting out along the road to democratic governance.

In this report, senior visiting fellow Nicole Ball of Clingendael's Conflict Research Unit analyzes the Dutch SSD program in Burundi, its governance achievements and its challenges going forward.


European Union Assistance to Kosovo related to the Rule of Law

Kosovo is the largest per capita recipient of EU financial aid in the world. Much EU aid aims to strengthen the rule of law. This report examines the effectiveness of the assistance provided by the European Commission and by EULEX, the largest civilian crisis management mission ever launched by the Union. It concludes that the EU’s rule of law assistance to Kosovo has not been sufficiently effective: Kosovo’s authorities accord insufficient priority to the rule of law, disagreement over the recognition of Kosovo jeopardises the incentive of EU accession, and EU assistance must be better managed.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Localising Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone: What Does it Mean?

Contemporary peacebuilding processes increasingly propose and adopt local ownership as a fundamental prerequisite in sustainable peacebuilding. Local ownership presupposes the application of an organic and context-specific approach to peacebuilding. Localisation also assumes the active participation of local actors, including national governments, civil society groups, community organisations and the private sector, in achieving a common purpose in peacebuilding processes.

Following years under the trusteeship of the international community, including the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC), Sierra Leone’s post-conflict peacebuilding processes continue. Within this context, this paper examines how questions of local ownership have been understood and operationalised in Sierra Leone since the end of the civil war.

The first part of the paper explores the evolution of both the discourse and practice of local ownership in recent years.The second part of the paper pays particular attention to the implication of local ownership, and the relationship between international and domestic actors. The third part discusses the challenges of implementing locallyowned peace processes, particularly in countries like Sierra Leone where peace is still fragile. The last part of the paper argues that despite the challenges, local ownership remains essential to Sierra Leone’s achievement of sustainable peace.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Tintin is no longer in the Congo – A Transformative Analysis of Belgian Defence Policies in Central Africa

This study examines Belgium’s involvement in Central Africa over the last two decades, with a particular focus on the role of the Belgian Defence. The objective is twofold: on the one hand to analyse Belgium’s changing policies towards its former colonies during the last twenty years, and on the other hand to take an in-depth look at the military collaborations on the ground and establish an empirical and practical take on what role they fill, how they function and what aims they achieve through interviews and field observations. The analysis is made through the adoption of a transformative approach which includes evolutionary explanation factors, such as national political-administrative history, culture, and style of governance and static factors like national polity features, visible in constitutional and structural factors.

The author argues that the divided nature of Belgian internal politics, which is noted both in its polity features and its political-administrative history, influences its foreign policy towards Central Africa in an inconsistent manner. This is exemplified in the absence of a long-term strategy for the region. Yet, Belgium shows a strong desire to remain involved in the region, which, in the absence of a comprehensive and coherent strategy, results for the most part in a variety of one-dimensional short-term projects. It is recommended that Belgium, as one of the most trusted partners in the region, exploit its expertise in a more efficient manner and develop long-term three-dimensional projects, involving the three D’s (Defence, Diplomacy and Development), which would both benefit the reform processes under way in the partner countries, and Belgium’s visibility in the latter.


Community Policing in Sierra Leone – Local Policing Partnership Boards

What can we learn from how community policing has evolved in Sierra Leone? This report answers the question by presenting an in-depth analysis of Local Policing Partnership Boards (LPPBs), the main institutional response to community needs by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP).

A general understanding of how LPPBs operate is available, but there is a dearth of concrete and systematic analysis of how LPPBs in Sierra Leone’s 33 police divisions operate. The report is based on data collected in 17 of Sierra Leone’s police divisions and makes the following broad observations:

  • One of the key strengths of the LPPBs is that they are built around already existing actors of authority at the local level such as traditional leaders, quasi-vigilante groups and secret societies. This is also one of the reasons why it is difficult to ascertain if these actors would have played a central role in local order-making, regardless of whether LPPBs had been established or not. It is clear, however, that LPPBs have supported the (re)formalization of relations between the police (state) and local communities (population).
  • There is an important difference between the interplay of local authorities and community in rural and urban areas. Involvement of the community in rural areas tends to mean involvement of paramount and lesser chiefs. There is often a complete overlap between the chiefly hierarchy and LPPB members, and as such the latter act both as representatives of local authorities and as police proxies. In urban or densely populated areas the establishment of LPPBs has expanded the range of actors involved in defining and responding to local security, incorporating teachers, youth and women’s leaders, among others. As such, Sierra Leone’s LPPBs have in fact supported the democratization of security.
  • Because LPPBs are still evolving as a concept and as a set of practices, it should be considered carefully how and under what conditions they are formalized in legislation. It is essential that it is not done prematurely so that the LPPBs have the space to develop and respond flexibly to context.
  • The voluntary nature of LPPB membership is one of the cornerstones of the LPPBs. This status is central to maintaining the status of these boards as connected to, but not as formal components of the police. 
  • Whatever activities the police and LPPB leadership pursue in the future to strengthen LPPBs, their ‘in-between’ status should not be altered. LPPBs help an overstretched police force resolve cases at the local level, and as such, they act as a non-threatening, mediation-oriented police force multiplier. LPPBs should continue to be seen as part of the community in the broad sense of the term, while they remain in a position to liaise with the police when necessary. This is fundamental to the original vision of LPPBs and to the concept and practice of community policing in Sierra Leone.

Limits to Supporting Security Sector Interventions in the DRC

Since 2003, the international community has invested considerable resources in keeping the peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Many interventions were focused on supporting security sector reform (SSR) and on the stabilisation of the volatile ‘militia belt’ in the eastern DRC, but these only achieved limited impact and the security context remains volatile. To explain why international efforts did not bring about the expected changes, the authors examine issues such as the peculiar relationship between the armed forces and local communities, and the neopatrimonial incentives of the Congolese elite. A largely technical approach that ignored the bigger political picture underscores the failure to fundamentally change the DRC’s security context. The defeat of the M23 rebellion in 2013 was a rare success, but it now threatens to take away the necessary pressure for meaningful reform.


Audit de l'inspection générale de la sécurité publique du Burundi - Rapport Final

Cette mission d’audit a été demandée par l’inspection générale de la sécurité publique (IGSP) du ministère de la Sécurité publique (MSP) du Burundi en liaison avec le programme de Développement du Secteur de la Sécurité (DSS) des Pays-Bas. Elle s’inscrit dans le contexte du nouveau plan stratégique du MSP 2013-2016, du plan d’action 2014 de l’IGSP et la préparation de la phase III du DSS.

L’objectif principal de cette mission était d’analyser l’organisation, la structure et le fonctionnement de l’IGSP afin de définir des recommandations pour l’amélioration de son service et du contrôle interne de la police en tenant compte du contexte politique, économique et social actuel du Burundi et des principes fondamentaux de démocratie, d’intégrité et de contrôle interne de la Police du Burundi.

En savoir plus.

To find out more.


The Regionalisation of Peace Operations in Africa - Advantages, challenges and the way ahead

Published by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), this report analyses regional peace operations launched by the African Union and sub-regional organisations, identifying advantages, challenges and trends. It argues that there is currently an international division of peacekeeping, whereby African operations have come to act as a first responder, providing initial stabilisation missions in operational environments where the UN cannot yet go, or to allow the UN time to mobilise a broader operation. The authors also address the lack of predictable and sustainable funding, and further issues of division of roles and responsibilities between actors. Finally, the report highlights some considerations for partners.


The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing: Interim Report

Mr. Obama presents the recommendations of a White House task force created in the wake of the Ferguson killings. In this interim report, the panel  offered 63 recommendations, including the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to guide a broad overhaul of the criminal justice system. Led by Charles H. Ramsey, the commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department and president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and Laurie O. Robinson, a former Justice Department official who is a professor of criminology and law at George Mason University,  the panel also offered more specific recommendations. It recommended that police departments be required to collect and post on their websites information about stops, frisks, summonses, arrests and crimes, broken down by demographics. It called for less confrontational practices by the police and steps to “minimize the appearance of a military operation” when dealing with large protests. That could include wearing “soft look” uniforms and removing riot gear “as soon as practical,” the panel said.

Read the report


Civil-Military Working Paper 1-2013 | Police–military interaction in international peace and stability operations

In this document, the focus is on the interaction between the civilian police forces and the militaries of countries with Anglo–Peelian traditions of civilian policing, with a strong consent-based tradition and a tradition of professional volunteer military forces; examples are Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. The document identifies the appropriate divisions of responsibility for the various forces, taking into account the hostility of the environment, in order to show areas where coordination, cooperation or collaboration might be beneficial and to point to ways in which such interaction might be profitably pursued.

Read more about the research project and download the report here.


National Security Decision-Making Structures and Security Sector Reform

This report was prepared for the UK’s Security Sector Development Advisory Team in June 2005. Its aim is to act as a basis for discussion and to provide an opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of intelligence and security legislation in various countries. Drawing on the body of academic work in this field and the knowledge of RAND staff, this report: provides a definition of intelligence; describes in detail how intelligence is produced; examines the role of intelligence in security sector reform; highlights the importance of control and accountability in intelligence structures; examines how six countries have developed and implemented intelligence legislation and associated reforms; and, finally, draws out a number of key lessons to be considered in any future security sector reform activity encompassing intelligence structures. The report outlines the choices that need to be made when designing or implementing legislative oversight on intelligence and security services. The report will be of interest to policy makers in countries seeking to reform their security sectors and to practitioners in the international aid community seeking to support security sector reform.

View National Security Decision-Making Structures and Security Sector Reform


Formulating Sierra Leone's Defence White Paper Process

This paper outlines the process of producing Sierra Leone’s 2002 defence white paper. Unique to this process was the document’s explicit aim of explaining to the general public both the progress and the shortcomings of security sector reform (SSR) in Sierra Leone’s defence system. The white paper was produced on the assumption that without making this information publicly available, opportunities to engage ordinary people in future reform initiatives would be limited. 

The paper also describes some of the challenges faced in the white paper’s production, including those from military counterparts in the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) and from international military and civilian advisers.

After a complex process of consultation and debate, the defence white paper is a strong statement of where Sierra Leone’s defence sector stands today and the direction it should take in the future. It is obvious that all this chapter’s recommendations will not necessarily be implemented in practice. It is also clear that while Sierra Leone has come a long way in building up a strong and democratically accountable defence system, there are still many challenges ahead.


Peace and Conflict Assessment of South Sudan - 2012

This report is an assessment of peace, conflict and peacebuilding in South Sudan, conducted between June 2011 and March 2012. It analyses how local, national and international dynamics around independence in July 2011 and the end of the six-and-a-half-year formal Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) process with Sudan have impacted on peace and conflict in 2011–2012 and how they are likely to influence peace and development over the next decade. Utilising International Alert’s Peacebuilding Framework, it assesses the dynamics, structures and opportunities for building a positive peace under five Peace Factors: Power, Economy, Safety, Justice and Well-being. It also analyses some of the challenges and impact of peacebuilding actors, institutions and strategies over the CPA period and provides a series of recommendations on improving peacebuilding programming beyond 2012 in terms of prioritising approaches, target locations and actors/partners. It concludes that, while the enjoyment of peace is highly variable across South Sudan, the nation as a whole and few if any of its constituent peoples or counties have yet experienced a positive, sustainable peace. Conflictual and rapidly worsening relations with Sudan as well as uncertainty about the length of suspension of oil exports (and thus revenues) appear likely to aggravate longstanding deficits in governance, security, economic opportunity, justice and reconciliation. This in turn increases the risk that South Sudan will become more violent in 2012 and beyond. Follow this link to view the publication.


What Works in International Security and Justice Programming?



This preliminary scoping study was commissioned by the Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of considering the security and justice sector reform efforts of 19 of the main Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – Development Assistance Council (OECD-DAC) donors. It focuses on the efforts of each nation’s foreign affairs, development, defence, and justice agencies, and provides an initial assessment of how policy and programming are linked, what evidence of good practice has been collected, and what knowledge and programming gaps exist currently.


An Increased Spotlight: Australia in Timor-Leste

With the departure of United Nations peacekeepers, Australia becomes the largest international presence in Timor-Leste. It does so at not necessarily an easy time: despite the stark development challenges that remain, the government in Dili is tired of outside advice. Australia’s past actions over oil and gas in the Timor Sea still cast a shadow over the present. Although Australian aid in Timor-Leste is wide and varied, drawing broad conclusions about its effectiveness and impact is difficult owing to the relative absence of independent evaluations of these programs. Decisions made by each country’s leaders can impact detectably upon the bilateral relationship and complicate the work of Australian government personnel in Dili.


The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action

The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agena for Action agreed upon in 2005 and 2008 respectively by over a hundred Ministers and senior official of both developed and developing states. The Paris Declaration initially focused on: ownership; alignment; harmonisation; results; and mutual accountability. The Accra Agenda for Action built on this by focusing on: predictability; counrty systems; conditionality; and untying.


The EU Strategy for Central Asia says 'security'. Does this include Security Sector Reform?

This policy brief assesses in what aspects of Security Sector Reform the EU is engaged in with Central Asia andin what context these possible activities should be viewed. The main focus will be on direct engagement on security topics such as the EU Border Management project BOMCA.
However, indirect activities such as education programmes that might be beneficial to security and stability in Central Asia will not be ignored. After an exposé on EU security interests in Central Asia, in the second paragraph attention is devoted to national and regional threats to the security of Central Asian republics and engagement of the EU. The paper concludes with a few recommendations for EU institutions and member states that could help to strengthen EU–Central Asia security cooperation including aspects of Security Sector Reform.


Fixing Iraq's Internal Security Forces: Why is reform of the Ministry of Interior so hard?

This paper examines the charge laid out in the US Marine Corps General Jim Jones report, explains why institution building and reform at the MOI have proved so difficult, and notes flaws in the international capacity building effort that need to be addressed. The central argument is that Iraq’s political dynamics, combined with the unprecedented burdens being placed upon the MOI, will continue to make institutional development and reform terribly difficult. However, assessments such as the Jones report ignore the fact that the ministry is more functional than it may at first appear. Furthermore, there are signs of incipient, MOI-led reforms; these provide hopeful pointers. In order to take advantage of these incipient reforms, the international assistance effort needs to significantly raise its game. If this can be achieved, then, gradually and painfully, the ministry could become a more positive force in Iraqi society. However, even if technical institutional reforms are successful, it will be important to understand that the ministry will reflect Iraq’s political make-up; it cannot stand above national politics.


Security Sector Reform in the Democratic Republic of The Congo: Strategic Issues

The aim of this issue paper is to provide some ideas regarding how best to create suitable conditions for security sector reform (SSR) in DRC. Throughout the last decade, SSR has become a key component of the international agenda in states affected by conflict. There is a growing consensus amongst donors regarding the necessity of implementing SSR for effective stabilization and reconstruction. Since 2003, this has resulted in DRC in several donor-supported initiatives to strengthen the police, military, and justice sectors. Although some of these efforts may have initially shown must promise, progress on SSR in DRC remains very limited.


The Security Sector in Southern Africa

The Security Sector Governance (SSG) Programme of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) conducted baseline studies of the security sector in six Southern African countries, namely Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as the Southern African Development Community’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (SADC Organ). The results of this research are reflected in this monograph.


Democracy and the Chain of Command: A New Governance of Africa’s Security Sector

Serious political crises in Niger, Honduras, Turkey, Bangladesh, Guinea, Madagascar, Thailand, and Mauritania in recent years illustrate the continuing influence of security forces on the political trajectories of countries around the world. Examples of such instability are particularly recurrent in Africa. When Africa’s political crises turn into coups, armed insurrections, or tragic confrontations, the defense and security forces (DSF) are invariably key players. For many years, such military actions were justified as an established right of state sovereignty over domestic issues. Often, they were even recognized as such on the international level.


Summary of lessons learned from Mozambique. Justice support

This reflection seeks to address Mozambique’s public sector reform in the post-conflict period and in particular activities in the specific component "Legality, Justice and Public Order". It starts with the political context of the peace process in Mozambique, presenting a brief diagnosis of the post-conflict public sector and the government’s programme immediately after the conflict. It covers generically the global strategy for public sector reform and then describes aspects of the "Legality, Justice and Public Order" component of the reform.


Roundtable on Security Sector Expenditure Reviews; Nairobi, Kenya 1 October 2012

On 1 October 2012 the roundtable on Security Sector Expenditure Reviews, hosted by the World Bank Global Centre on Conflict, Security and Development in Nairobi, Kenya and organised in partnership with DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team, brought together economists and Security Sector Reform (SSR) practitioners and experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities for supporting the conduct of expenditure reviews and enhancing financial management in the security sector. 

The roundtable considered past and ongoing security sector expenditure reviews, in particular in Afghanistan and Liberia.  It sought to examine the challenges, trends and prospects of including similar reviews in other post-conflict countries.  It also provided a platform for economists and SSR practitioners to discuss how they can better collaborate to promote and enhance security sector expenditure review processes.  In addition, the roundtable included discussions on how such expenditure reviews can enhance ongoing SSR efforts and how to ensure that financial management becomes more integrated in SSR processes.


Understand to Prevent: the military contribution to the prevention of violent conflict

"Understand to Prevent" (U2P) is a multinational project conducted under the auspices of the Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC). The aim of the project was to determine what contribution defence forces of the world can make to the prevention of violent conflict. The first cycle through 2013/2014 brought about the Foundation Studies first report, "Understand to Prevent: The Military Contribution to the Prevention of Violent Conflict", which was split into two parts. In Part 1, Foundation Studies , the authors review some of the established academic and practitioner knowledge relating to the human domain, conflict, violence and prevention. In Part 2, The Understand to Prevent Concept , they review the potential contribution of military and look conceptually at how that engagement could take place. 

The second version, published in 2017 in a handbook, adds three parts to the report, and defines the Pillars of Understand to Prevent (part 3), develops Other Understand to Prevent themes (part 4) and makes an overview of several potential tools in Supporting material (part 5).The handbook is intended to support strategic and operational military planning for the prevention of violent conflict, especially violent intrastate and transnational conflict. It is also relevant to thinking and planning at the policy and tactical levels, so can be used across the range of military activity.

For full access to the short guide and report (2015), as well as the handbook (2017) of Understand to Prevent: the military contribution to the prevention of violent conflict, kindly follow the link. 


Violence contre la police : quelle protection ?

L’année 2016 a été pour la police française parmi les plus difficiles à vivre depuis plusieurs décennies. La menace terroriste est devenue une réalité installée qui s’est démultipliée en agressions ciblées et répétées contre des policiers. L'institution policière a eu à faire face aussi à une tension des mouvements sociaux et à gérer également des évènements nationaux extrêmement lourds en matière de mobilisation d’effectifs, comme la COP 21 ou l’Euro 2016. Ce contexte a produit des réactions de colère interne à l’institution et posé de manière concrète la question de la protection de ses agents. Ce numéro des "Cahiers de la sécurité et de la justice" (publié par l'Institut national des hautes études de la sécurité et de la justice) revient sur cette situation en proposant une série d’analyses sur la problématique de la protection des policiers dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions, en abordant le problème au plan du droit pénal et du droit public, mais aussi avec une réflexion d’ordre sociologique et historique.

Pour accéder à Violence contre la police : quelle protection ?, veuillez cliquer sur le lien.


Foreign Aid: International Donor Coordination of Development Assistance

Many experts believe that improved coordination among donor governments and multilateral aid organizations could make global development assistance more efficient and effective. Proliferation of donors in recent decades, and fragmentation of aid among an increasing number of countries and projects, has increased calls for coordination. More than 45 countries and 21 multilateral organizations reported providing official development assistance (ODA) in 2010. An estimated 150 countries received this assistance in 2010, with the United States alone providing aid to 139 countries. Many developing countries host officials from dozens of bilateral and multilateral aid agencies each year. This diffuse aid structure, reformer advocates argue, leads to redundancy, policy incoherence, inefficient use of resources, and unnecessary administrative burdens on host countries. While some observers argue that there are benefits to pluralism in foreign assistance, donors and recipients alike have expressed support for improved donor coordination and consolidation of aid activities. A series of high-level forums sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, between 2002 and 2011, established widely accepted goals for key aspects of coordination, or harmonization, as well as mechanisms for evaluating progress toward those goals.

For full access to Foreign Aid: International Donor Coordination of Development Assistance, kindly follow the link.


Tajikistan: Revolutionary Situation or Resilient State?

Since 2008, after a period of relative growth and social stability, the situation in Tajikistan has been steadily deteriorating, leading to increased speculation that the country could emerge as a failing state. Given its proximity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the role it plays in the Northern Distribution Network (a line that funnels military supplies from Europe to NATO ISAF troops in Afghanistan), the ramifications of potential instability in Tajikistan would resonate beyond the country. The current briefing assesses to what extent such danger is in fact real by outlining developments in the key areas of economy and security, and examining the regime’s capacity to cope with emerging challenges. The briefing concludes with recommendations for the EU and an outlook for future.

For full access to Tajikistan: Revolutionary Situation or Resilient State?, please follow the link. 


National Security Strategies and Policies: A Note on Current Practices

A national security policy (NSP) is a government-wide analysis and description of the strategic level concerns a country faces; it addresses how the government plans to deals with these concerns. A national security strategy (NSS) is a government's overarching plan for ensuring the country's security in the form of guidance for implementing a country's national security policy. In several contexts, an initial national security strategy may play an important role in determining a comprehensive strategy for security sector reform. The NSS can be a tool for building legitimacy of security actors in the eyes of a population. This practice note discusses the challenges to reforming national security structures, as they relate to drafting appropriate national security strategies, and provides examples of ongoing efforts in Afghanistan, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Sweden’s Regional Strategy for the Syria Crisis 2016 – 2020

The aim of the activities within the scope of this strategy is to contribute to strengthening the resilience of the Syrian population and of vulnerable groups in Syria's neighboring countries that are being severely affected by the conflict. The strategy will also contribute to strengthening democracy and gender equality and to greater respect for human rights in Syria and for refugees from Syria in neighboring countries. The strategy will apply to the period 2016–2020 and will comprise a total of SEK 1.7 billion.