Integrating SSR into development frameworks: Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone
Security system reform issues have been integrated into national development frameworks in Burundi, Sierra Leone and Uganda. In Uganda, armed violence and insecurity — particularly in the north and northeast — were identiﬁed as primary contributors to structural poverty and inequality. The result was that the Ugandan Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) (2004-08) highlighted existing commitments to regional agreements on security promotion, including small arms control. In Burundi, the government’s 2005 Strategic Framework to Combat Poverty (CSLP) was a deliberate effort to promote post-conﬂict recovery and was based on a multi-stakeholder and multi-sector dialogue of 145 community-based and non-governmental organisations. In Sierra Leone, the recently agreed PRSP (2005-07) shifted planning and programming from direct post-conﬂict concerns to a more development-oriented agenda designed to promote inclusive civil society participation.
In all three cases, the real and perceived threat of escalating armed violence in the so-called postconﬂict period, and earlier positive experience with small arms control, catalysed a commitment to investing in accountable and responsible security sectors. In Uganda for example, the PEAP was purposefully designed to increase awareness of the costs of armed violence, but awareness also of the positive dividends of military and police reform in relation to the enhanced safety of communities. The Burundi CSLP addresses the need for a permanent ceaseﬁ re with all remaining armed groups, the demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, the professionalisation of the security forces, and civilian disarmament. The PRSP in Sierra Leone sought to build on previous successes in relation to DDR and small arms control, and to deﬁ ne the appropriate size, shape and structure of a reformed security sector.
Ensure a multi-stakeholder and multi-sector dialogue — The PRSP, PEAP and CSLP were forged after extensive and inclusive dialogue processes that emphasised the inclusion of SSR priorities in development frameworks. For example, the PEAP focuses speciﬁcally on enhancing the justice, law and order sector to improve the security of persons and property, law enforcement, and access to justice. Moreover, it emphasises disarmament and arms control as major contributors to security promotion
Use an international agency to co-ordinate a multi-stakeholder and multi-sector dialogue —International agencies had the necessary distance from local politics, legitimacy in the eyes of the governments and populations, and resources to foster successful outcomes of the dialogue processes.
Seek to include SSR in development frameworks to enhance commitment — The PRSP, PEAP and CSLP each include concrete commitments and strategies for managing public expenditures to meet poverty reduction and SSR-enhancing goals. This is valued by donors, who provide direct budgetary support.
The introduction of SSR as a priority issue in national development frameworks raised its proﬁle among partner governments and donors. It also provided an opportunity to stimulate a more inclusive public debate on security issues. While progress has been made in some areas, there is still much to be done. Including security issues in development frameworks is an important step, but government and donors then need to ensure that commitments are ﬁnanced and implemented.
Capacity development for a national defence review in Uganda
The government of Uganda carried out a defence review with UK assistance from 2002 to 2004. The comprehensive review was the ﬁ rst in Uganda’s history and a politically sensitive and risky undertaking for both countries. The review sought to lay the groundwork for changes in how Uganda formulates and delivers defence and wider security policy, by attempting to anchor this process more ﬁrmly in wider governmental planning and budgeting processes. It was undertaken at a time when Uganda was facing a number of serious security problems, both in the north and along its border with the Congo.
This marked the ﬁrst time that the United Kingdom had supported a review process of such scope and complexity. Like Uganda’s other development partners, the United Kingdom was particularly concerned about rising levels of defence spending. The methodology drew upon both the United Kingdom’s own experience with a strategic defence review in the 1990s and current SSR thinking in order to develop a more holistic and developmentally sensitive approach to analysing defence
requirements. Close collaboration was required at both political and technical levels in order to manage the immense expectations generated by the review process.
Both the government and its development partners believed that the defence sector offered the most promising entry point for addressing the country’s security problems. Priority was placed on developing an understanding of the role of defence in relation to other security actors, a clear description of the defence forces needed to fulﬁl this role effectively, and a plan for defence transformation set within the context of competing needs and resource constraints across the public sector.
Agree objectives at the outset — A clear and shared understanding of the rationale for and objectives of a defence review process should be developed by the government and its development partners before the actual review exercise is launched. Where views differ as to the objectives of a review or how it should be carried out, careful attention should be paid to managing the diverse expectations of stakeholders as to the concrete outcomes the process will deliver.
Ensure methodologies are appropriate to the local context — Experiences can be drawn on from other countries but should be carefully adapted to the local context before being applied, and adequate training for national staff should be provided.
Develop national ownership throughout the process — Where conditions for strong national ownership are not in place from the outset, a strong partnership between a government and its development partners is necessary. A successful partnership implies commitments and responsibilities on both sides, including the need for assistance to be provided in ways that enhance national leadership and political responsibility for the process.
Uganda Defence Review Process
The defence sector has long been seen by many outside observers as an obstacle to economic and social development in Uganda. Despite a major DDR process in the early 1990s supported by the World Bank, defence has continued to swallow a large share of the resources available to the country. External actors thus informally tied their assistance to a cap on military expenditures of 2% of GDP. The Ugandan government argued that this cap was not sufﬁcient to provide security to its citizens,
particularly in the North. A signiﬁcant portion of military spending went off-budget and military budget data became increasingly unreliable, which — combined with other cost overruns — resulted in total spending effectively exceeding the cap every year. At the same time, donors were critical of the involvement of the Ugandan armed forces in the DRC.
The defence review process was triggered by the recognition among a number of donors, including the World Bank and UK DFID, that the spending cap was not having the desired effects. They were willing to go along with the view of the Ugandan military and political leadership that higher expenditures were needed to improve security, but they also were concerned about the ways in which money was spent. A 1998 expert Defence Efﬁciency Study provided suggestions for improvements in transparency and management but could not solve the underlying issues of the appropriateness of Ugandan military spending. The logical next step in facilitating a rational debate between donors and the Ugandan government about the appropriate level and spending of defence funds was a detailed assessment of security threats to Ugandan citizens and defence needs. This was initiated
by the Ugandan government in the form of a thorough defence review process supported by UK DFID
Broadening the process — The defence review process involved more than the military — it was a cross-governmental initiative and included some civil society organisations. It started out with an overall assessment of threats to the security of Ugandan citizens and territory, including an assessment of all potential policy responses available to the government, before focusing on options and issues for defence reform.
Professional approach — Sequencing of the various steps within the defence review process was well deﬁned in advance. Implications for force planning and structure, as well as procurement and personnel, were logically derived from the threat and capability assessments.
Limited transparency — The military refused to provide transparency on all of its relevant activities; for example, some sections of the budget would remain classiﬁed. Outside observers, including external actors, thus were sceptical of the results of the review process, particularly of the proposals to greatly increase spending on equipment and to improve military capabilities.
Underestimating the fundamental nature of the problem — The main objective of the defence review, namely to improve the quality of dialogue on military spending, was undermined by a lack of common understanding about the main reforms necessary: those to improve military capabilities and governance reforms.
While the defence review process has not resulted in an agreement between donors and government about the appropriate level of military spending in Uganda, it has laid the groundwork for additional reforms in the Ugandan defence sector. Work has been done on a Defence Corporate Plan, and the Defence Reform Unit established as part of the Review has now become the Defence Reform Secretariat.
Policy and Research Papers
Traditional Justice and Reconciliation after Violent Conflict Learning from African Experiences
The report is intended to serve both as a general knowledge resource and as a practitioner’s guide for national bodies seeking to employ traditional justice mechanisms as well as external agencies aiming to support such processes. It suggests that in some circumstances traditional mechanisms can effectively complement conventional judicial systems and represent a real potential for promoting justice, reconciliation and a culture of democracy.
In addition, even in situations where communities are more inclined to demand straightforward retribution against the perpetrators, traditional justice mechanisms may
still offer a way both of restoring a sense of accountability and of linking justice to democratic development.
Customary Justice and Legal Pluralism in Post-Conflict and Fragile Societies
While there has been a growing interest in customary justice systems among rule of law practitioners, it has remained very much at the margins of justice reform strategies. This session will challenge us to view customary justice and other forms of legal pluralism not as a side issue, but as a fundamental part of the justice landscapes in which we work. It will take a critical stance in reviewing the current range of overall policy approaches to legal pluralism and the preconceptions and assumptions that underlie those approaches. It will seek to identify and critically review how different approaches (rights-based, developmental, expanding access to justice, peace-building, state-building etc.,) tend to “frame the problem” when it comes to engagement with legal pluralism and will reflect specifically on how these approaches affect a range of key post conflict objectives. Finally it will consider the building blocks needed to define strategic objectives for engagement with legal pluralism.
Cattle Rustling and Insecurity in Africa: A Comparative Perspective
Cattle rustling is on the rise in various African countries, with the associated number of deaths, both amongst cattle rustlers, security forces and affected populations reaching problematic proportions. Yet, there is limited policy-oriented research on this matter ranging the security-development continuum. This ISSAT brief, developed as part of the mandate Reinforcing African Union SSR Unit support to national SSR processes draws on existing literature, and provides an overview of cattle rustling in Madagascar, Lesotho, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya. A brief contextualisation is provided for each country, before outlining the security measures implemented to tackle the challenge, and deriving recommendations.
For full access to the paper, Cattle Rustling and Insecurity in Africa: A Comparative Perspective, kindly follow the link.
Monitoring and Evaluation Arrangements for the Justice Law and Order Sector in Uganda: A Case Study
This case study report presents research findings on the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) arrangements of a long-running justice sector development programme in Uganda (hereafter JLOS – Justice Law and Order Sector). It is one of five case studies carried out as part of the Saferworld project, 'Evaluating for Security: Developing specific guidance on monitoring and evaluating Security Sector Reform interventions’.1 Together with a wider desk review and supplementary research into the broader M&E systems used by the major SSR donors, the case studies provide an evidence base from which specific guidance on monitoring and evaluating SSR can be developed.
Uganda - Legal and Judicial Sector Study Report
This study examines and evaluates developments in the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) institutions, noting both the achievements and continuing challenges of reform under first phase Sector Investment Plan (SIP I) and SIP II. It pays particular attention to the SIP guidelines and objectives and to the outstanding challenges described in various reviews of the JLOS institutions, more specifically: (a) the commercial court; (b) the impact of the establishment of the centre for arbitration and dispute resolution on case backlogs; (c) the adequacy of legal education to meet the needs of the sector in view of recent reforms, and (d) the provision of legal aid services to the poor to increase their access to justice. The study also touches on the challenges identified by the JLOS Medium Term Evaluation (MTE), which warranted detailed study and which informed the development of SIP II. They include law reform, legal education, and access to justice for the poor and particularly in the conflicted areas of Uganda.