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Research Report

Enhancing Democratic Governance of the Security Sector:: An Institutional Assessment Framework

Prepared by Clingendael Institute for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nicole Ball
Tsjeard Bouta
Luc van de Goor
Copyright Date: Aug. 1, 2003
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 92

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 5-8)
  2. (pp. 9-9)
  3. (pp. 10-11)
  4. (pp. 12-22)
  5. (pp. 23-28)

    Security sector reform has assumed an increasingly prominent role on the international agenda since the late 1990s. It has been linked with debates on poverty alleviation, sustainable development, professionalization of the security forces, and good governance. As such, the agenda of security sector reform is rather broad and will not be dealt with in its entirety in this institutional assessment framework.

    This framework was developed to fill a vacuum in the fields of both security sector reform and assessment tools. While tools exist to assess needs in the areas of governance and financial management, none of them focuses in particular...


    • (pp. 30-40)

      Why should governments and their partners be concerned about the quality of security sector governance? Although “good governance” has increasingly been recognized as central to consolidating democracy and to promoting good development outcomes, very little attention has been given until quite recently to the question of how the security sector is governed.

      In fact, sound governance of the security sector is crucial for the success of democratic consolidation and sustainable economic and social development. It is also essential for the quality of security, i.e., creating a safe and secure environment for the state and its entire population. If people and...


    • (pp. 42-43)

      Part One has provided background information on working on security sector governance. In particular, the key aspects of security sector governance and the main actors were explained. Part One also identified four cross-cutting issues and five entry points that are considered key for evaluating the quality of governance in the security sector.

      Part Two deals with the actual mapping and in-depth analysis of the five entry points. It consists of five chapters, one for each entry point. Each chapter explains why the entry point is important and what crucial aspects should be taken into consideration during the mapping and analysis...

    • (pp. 44-50)

      This chapter on the entry point of the rule of law helps the team of independent experts to analyze:

      Whether there are formal roles and mandates of the security bodies;

      What the hierarchy of authority is among the security bodies, the executive, the legislature and other oversight bodies;

      Whether there are clear constitutional provisions and/or legislation enshrining the agreed roles, mandates and hierarchies;

      If these provisions operate effectively; and:

      Whether there is general adherence to the rule of law, including human rights, in particular by the security bodies.

      In order to be able to map and analyze the status of...

    • (pp. 51-60)

      This chapter on the entry point of policy development, planning and implementation helps the team of independent experts to analyze:

      How governments develop security policies:

      - Assessment of security environment;

      - Development of policy papers and operational plans on the basis of a comprehensive strategy;

      How governments implement these policies.

      In order to be able to map and analyze the status of the security sector policy process, the experts are provided with background information on this process in the sections “Why the Policy Process in the Security Sector is Important” and “Focusing on the Security Policy Process”. The experts then...

    • (pp. 61-66)

      This chapter on the entry point of professionalism helps the team of independent experts to analyze:

      If there are clearly defined, widely accepted roles of the security bodies in relation to their functions and in relation to their interactions with domestic society;

      Whether there are external and internal regulations that define the responsibilities of security actors both as corporate bodies and as individuals;

      Whether the security bodies receive adequate resources (financial, training, materiel) to execute their roles as professionals;

      Whether security body personnel have the necessary expertise to fulfil their functions effectively and efficiently;

      Whether the organization and internal structures...

    • (pp. 67-73)

      This chapter on the entry point on oversight helps the team of independent experts to analyze:

      The various aspects of internal and external oversight;

      The factors that influence the quality of internal and external oversight such as independence, access to information and funding, and knowledge of security issues and governing processes.

      In order to be able to map and analyze the quality of oversight of the security sector, the experts are provided with background information on oversight in the sections “Why Oversight of the Security Sector is Important” and “Focusing on Internal and External Oversight”. The experts then apply the...

    • (pp. 74-80)

      This section on the entry point of managing security sector expenditures helps the team of independent experts to analyze:

      Whether the security sector is subject to the same rules and procedures of financial management as applied in other sectors and whether these rules and procedures reflect sound public expenditure management practice;

      The extent to which the security actors are able to act autonomously in managing financial resources; and

      Whether there is a link between policy, planning, and the budget process in the security sector.

      In order to be able to map and analyze the management of security sector expenditures, the...


    • (pp. 82-90)

      The process of assessment and strategy development is the primary responsibility of the Government.

      Once the multidisciplinary team of independent experts has submitted its mapping and analysis report, the Government, in consultation with its partners, should assess the report’s findings and determine the implications of those findings. A useful way to initiate this assessment process would be to hold a workshop at which the report’s findings can be discussed with a broad range of stakeholders.

      If the dialogue initiated at the workshop leads the Government to conclude that it wishes to develop a strategy aimed at strengthening security sector governance,...