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Tool 2: Security sector reform programming

18 November, 2015



This Tool, authored by Mpako Foaleng and Amadou Mahamane Ousmane and published in 2015, addresses the successive programming steps enabling the development and implementation of relevant SSR programmes. These steps range from an initial needs assessment to the setting up of coordination mechanisms aimed at ensuring the overall coherence of national SSR efforts.

The Tool offers practical advice for prioritizing and sequencing reform actions, programme budgeting and mobilizing sufficient resources for the full implementation of the programme, establishing viable and efficient management, including monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, coordinating national and international actors involved in the reform process, and developing a communication strategy to support transparency and accountability, and to sustain national ownership.

The conduct of an SSR process requires translating a political, national vision of security into an operational programme and defining the different concrete actions needed to generate the desired societal change and improve security for all.

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.


Ornella Moderan