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The OECD DAC Handbook on Security System Reform

Supporting Security and Justice

image of The OECD DAC Handbook on Security System Reform
The OECD DAC Handbook on Security System Reform: Supporting Security and Justice provides guidance to operationalise the 2005 DAC Guidelines, Security System Reform and Governance, and closes the gap between policy and practice. It largely follows the external assistance programme cycle and contains valuable tools to help encourage a dialogue on security and justice issues and to support a security system reform (SSR) process through the assessment, design and implementation phases. It also provides new guidance on monitoring, review and evaluation of SSR programmes, and highlights how to ensure greater coherence across the different actors and departments engaged in SSR.

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Section 2: Fostering a supportive political environment

Security system reform and international assistance to support it are inherently political processes. The ways in which justice and security are provided and governed by state and non-state institutions underpin a country’s balance of power. Box 2.1 on Afghanistan illustrates the point. Security system reform has an explicitly political objective — to ensure that security and justice are provided in a manner consistent with democratic norms, human rights principles and the rule of law. Reform processes inevitably create winners and losers as they challenge vested interests and existing power relationships. Justice and security reform is therefore best approached as a governance issue and not simply as a technical activity.

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