2014 SCID Symposium – Anthony Welch – Inter-Agency Co-operation in Security Sector Reform and Development

In this presentation, Anthony Welch examines the evolution of Security Sector Reform (SSR) and the limited success of SSR to date. Part of the reason for this lack of success is the inherent difficulties of dealing with states in transition or affected by the aftermath of conflict.  However, Tony suggests that there are also inconsistencies in the approaches made by donor states and intergovernmental organisations when attempting to carry out SSR.  This is predicated on a lack of consensus on what constitutes the security sector and how best to reform it.  In addition there is competition within and between intergovernmental organisations and inter-personal rivalry among their staff, which all serve to detract from the work of reforming the security sector. Tony argues that the successful implementation of SSR is often undermined by this confusion and competition within and between the intergovernmental organisations undertaking the reform processes. It is suggested that confusion, rivalry and competition are not confined just to the security field, but exist in all human activity, which perhaps explains why their impact have not been analysed in any depth. Tony also argues that other obstacles in the way of successful implementation of SSR programmes include lack of genuine local ownership and lack of meaningful monitoring and evaluation methodology, which can effectively measure SSR outcomes and impact to the satisfaction of both the donor and local communities. To close the presentation, Tony suggests ways in which these obstacles can be overcome and how the success rate of SSR could improve.

Dr Anthony Welch OBE has over twenty years’ field and academic experience in international development and the security sector. A former military officer and with a doctorate, he has worked around the world with the UN, EU, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He taught Security Sector Management and Reform at Cranfield University, both in the UK and abroad, and is currently engaged in security and development matters on behalf the UK and Swedish Governments, including acting as an advisor on international development and security in Parliament.

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