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Tool 3: Good financial governance of defence and security institutions

22 May, 2023



Tool 3 presents the issues relating to the governance of financial resources in the security sector in a simple and accessible way. The premise of the tool is that good governance of the security sector is not only about systems that enable better control and accountability of security providers or about ensuring that their behaviour respects human rights and the rule of law. Good governance also requires effective mechanisms for the allocation of financial resources to the security sector and ways of ensuring accountability for the use of these resources. To reinforce the efficiency and sustainability of the security sector within ECOWAS, there must be better management of public funds.

The tool is aimed at practitioners and policymakers involved in the governance of the security sector at the executive level, at the parliamentary level (especially committees in charge of defence and security, as well as those in charge of budget and finance matters), and civil society stakeholders with an interest in public finances and/or the security sector.

It lists good practices from the sub-region and recommendations for relevant stakeholders to implement a budgetary and financial system capable of supporting the national security apparatus while respecting good governance principles.

SSR goes significantly beyond training and equipping institutions. It places a great emphasis on efficient and transparent management and governance mechanisms.


About the toolkit

At the request of the ECOWAS commission, DCAF has developed several publications collectively entitled “The Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa". The main objective is to support the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional regulatory framework for SSR/SSG through practical advice and guidance tailored to the West African context and based on regional experiences. It specifically aims to facilitate policy development, implementation, and management of SSR processes at the national level.

This framework has been translated into practical guidance that takes into account the national contexts of West Africa and elucidates, for instance, the issues of parliamentary oversight, good financial governance of institutions, as well as the consideration of gender dimensions in SSR/SSG. One of the main challenges has been to develop tools that can be understood and used by the various stakeholders, including the Executive, the Parliament, the Judiciary, civil security sector oversight institutions, and civil society. This should contribute to the development and strengthening of a West African security strategy to support the regalian imperative of democratic governance, protection, and defence.


Fiona Schnell