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 3: Undertaking security system reform assessments

International support for SSR should be based on a comprehensive understanding of local contexts, actors and priorities. Those involved in supporting security and justice development need to understand the opportunities for change, the constraints and any potential obstacles. It is also important to understand who drives change and who resists it, as well as the factors that may affect the receptiveness of external support for SSR reform processes. Because security and justice development programmes taking place in conflict-prone countries may impact on the balance of power, it is important to assess what the potential effect of international assistance will be on conflict dynamics and the security situation. An understanding of how poor and vulnerable people experience safety, security and justice is also required in order to determine priorities for external assistance aimed at helping countries improve safety and justice for their people, not just for states. Without such knowledge, external interventions are likely to be ineffectual or counterproductive.


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