Control over the security forces touches the heart of political power in any country. This is why external assistance in security sector reform and governance (SSR/G) is one of the most challenging activities within the portfolio of external security policy and development assistance. When it comes to the implementation of SSR/G programmes, there is a dire need for a political approach to SSR/G that is built on a thorough “change management” theory and process.
The security sector of any state is the core element of political order and statehood from where sovereign power and rule is exercised. Without exaggeration SSR/G programmes are among the most sensitive forms of engagement by third parties in a specific country or socio-political space. Unfortunately, empirical evidence over the years shows that SSR/G programmes have not produced the desired results, particularly “train and equip” programmes have not effectively contributed to inclusive security for the affected communities.
What conditions are required for the success of risky SSR/G programmes? How should strategies be designed and implemented? Those questions are addressed in a study commissioned and published by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung: ”Strategy, Jointness, Capacity. Institutional Requirements for Supporting Security Sector Reform”. The conceptional framework, individual cases of donor countries, will be presented and discussed by some of the authors. These findings will be illustrated and brought into context with the latest SSR/G project of FES in Western Africa: Security for all: Promoting inclusive security provision and democratic governance through CSO involvement.