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Accountability, discourse, and service provision: Civil Society’s Roles in SSG/R and SDG 16

15 April, 2024



How can the actions of civil society contribute to Security Sector Governance/Reform and Sustainable Development Goal-16? This interdisciplinary research with a global perspective offers a comprehensive account of the role of civil society in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.                                                       

Key takeaways from the Paper: 

  • The efforts of civil society to improve SSG help meet some of the targets of SDG 16 that relate to improving accountability, transparency, and participation.                                            
  • No single factor determines the success of civil society in promoting SSG/R, but several endogenous and exogenous factors form the environment in which civil society can play an active role in influencing SSG/R and advancing progress towards SDG 16.
  • A robust, diverse, pluralistic, and democratic civil society has the potential to contribute to SSG/R, while democratic governance, a well-capacitated state, and cordial relations between civil society and security providers are elements of an external environment conducive to civil society involvement in SSG/R, and therefore, in contributing to SDG 16.
  • In so far as SSG/R and the SDGs are both discourses that seek to decenter focus on the state and sovereign power, civil society has the legitimacy to contribute to SSR as well as to the fulfilment of the SDGs.                                                                                                                            

About the Series

The SSR Papers provide innovative and provocative analysis on the challenges of security sector governance and reform. Combining theoretical insight with detailed empiracally-driven explorations of state-of-the-art themes, SSR Papers bridge conceptual and pragmatic concerns. Authored, edited and peer reviewed by SSR experts, the series provides in-depth discussion of a governance-driven reform agenda, addressing the overlapping interests of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in the fields of development, peace and security

All of the SSR Papers are available for reading and download on the DCAF website.


Gabriela Manea, Richard Steyne, Ubiquity Press