Knowledge Transfer: Third Training on Security Sector Reform (SSR)

Participants of the third training session on security sector reform.

The federal government has set ambitious goals for its commitment to peace and security worldwide. A compass for this commitment is the recently adopted "National Security Strategy". One of these objectives is to support partner countries in implementing security sector reforms. This so-called security sector reform (SSR) aims to create efficient and democratically controlled security sectors as a prerequisite for peace, security, and sustainable development, particularly in fragile and crises-affected countries. Therefore, the SSR wants to place these security institutions under civilian control while at the same time focusing on the rule of law, transparency and human rights in line with the concept of human security. Besides traditional security and political actors, civil society actors, non-governmental organisations and media also play a central role in SSR processes. Inside the federal government, various ministries are involved in the field of SSR, especially the Federal Foreign Office (AA), the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Ministry of Defence (BMVg) and the Ministry of the Interior (BMI).

In 2019, the Federal Government developed a “Joint Departmental Strategy to Support Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the Context of Crisis Prevention, Conflict Management, and Peace Promotion“ (only available in German), in order to better coordinate the cross-departmental actions. This paper identifies the political objectives, fields of actions and instruments but also measures to strengthen the cross-departmental approach. Within this framework the IFSH has been commissioned by the Federal Government to conduct another joint training on SSR topics with these objectives.

Training sessions have already taken place in March 2021 and August 2022. The third joint training took place from 4 to 8 September 2023. The event was designed by Jessica Noll and Phillip Neubauer as part of the project Research and Knowledge Transfer Office Security Sector Reform SSR Hub and conducted in cooperation with the Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS) at its premises in Berlin/Pankow. Considering the current geopolitical developments (Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, developments in the Sahel region, global system rivalry), the training offered its participants, who came from different departments and related fields, an excellent opportunity to explore the different facets of SSR in depth. There were panel discussions, presentations, group work and practical exercises. Numerous national and international experts from practice and academia shared their expertise and boosted the event. This allowed participants to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation of security sector reform measures. Last but not least, the five-day training was also a great networking event with time for exchange and dialogue.

Click here to visit the project website SSR-Hub.