Through advocacy, the ASSN promotes Security Sector Reform/Governance (SSR/G) within Africa and beyond.
Much of the advocacy work is in the area of facilitation of trainings, engaging relevant stakeholders in policy dialogues, presentations at conferences and seminars, lobbying governments and donors to buy into the SSR/G agenda, availing critical SSR/G resources on the website, and publications for use by both academics and practitioners, among others.
SSANSA WORKSHOP ON SECURITY SECTOR REFORM FOR AFRICA, October, 2015
ASSN supported the South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA) and contributed experts to facilitate a three-day training on Security Sector Reforms (SSR) for civil society representatives in South Sudan. The training was themed, “Towards concerted and sustained civil society engagement in Security Sector Reform in implementation of the South Sudan Peace Agreement”. It covered normative frameworks as well as experiences of other countries in their SSR efforts. It particularly included experiences of Sierra Leone in its SSR path following the end of the armed conflict in the early 1990s. There was a spotlight on how civil society organizations engaged in that reform process. The training also dwelt on the SSR related provisions of the recently signed 2015 peace agreement, specifically Chapter 2, with the aim of mapping out areas where civil society should focus on to maximize impacts on reforms.
SECURITY SECTOR REFORM AND GOVERNANCE: ASSESSING GERMANY’S CONTRIBUTION – May, 2015
At a conference convened in Berlin by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ASSN Executive Secretary, Prof Eboe Hutchful presented a paper titled SSR at the Cross Croads? In his presentation, he argued that the world cannot continue to approach or discuss Security Sector Reform (SSR) with the same mantras, or endlessly interrogate the same familiar issues from SSR conference to SSR conference. Full text on the paper is available in the June, 2015 edition of the ASSN newsletter at http://africansecuritynetwork.org/assn/the-assn-quarterly-newsletter/
CONFERENCE TO EXPLORE NEW THINKING ON PEACEBUILDING IN AFRICA – February, 2015
Experts from the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) participated in a conference held at Wilton Park in London and organised by the African Leadership Centre (ALC) in collaboration with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). Bringing together over 40 academics and policy practitioners from around the world, the conference focused on peacebuilding in Africa under the theme “Peacebuilding in Africa: Evolving Challenges, Responses, and New Thinking.” Among other things, the conference aimed to examine the evolving challenges in the field, responses and what new thinking is emanating from the terrain. There were participants from core institutions operating in the peacebuilding terrain in Africa, including academics from universities and research centres and policy practitioners from the African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC) and the UN. Read more
INAUGURAL AFRICA FORUM ON SECURITY SECTOR REFORM – November, 2014
Hosted by the African Union (AU) at its Headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Inaugural Africa Forum on Security Sector Reform was organised by the AU in collaboration with the Slovak Republic, the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the African Security Sector Network (ASSN), the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and its International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT). The aim of the Forum was to complement and build on recent normative developments, in particular the adoption of the AU Policy Framework on SSR in 2013 which “URGES Member States to take advantage of the Policy, and ENCOURAGES the Commission to avail the required assistance to Member States in this respect”. The Forum also discussed the UN Security Council Resolution 2151 of 2014, and highlighted the role of the UN and the AU in supporting SSR in conjunction with other sub-regional, regional, and multilateral organisations. The Forum additionally offered a platform for dialogue by stakeholders and experts to consider the unique challenges and opportunities in engaging and supporting sustainable SSR programmes in Africa. Participants further explored the application of the growing myriad of lessons and good practices identified across successful SSR programmes and processes in Africa. At this forum, various ASSN members chaired panels, made presentations and crucial contributions on very pertinent issues including Hybrid Political Orders (HPOs). ASSN also provided financial support to the logistics of the forum. Read more on conclusions from the forum.
HIGH LEVEL PANEL ON THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF SECURITY SECTOR
REFORM (SSR) IN EAST AFRICA – October, 2012
A two-day High Level Panel (HLP) on Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa was held on 2-3 October, 2012 at the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON).
The HLP was organised in a partnership between the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Nairobi, the African Development Bank (ADB), the UN, DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN), as well as the Governments of Burundi, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan, the African Union (AU), the East African Community (EAC) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Full report is available at
STAKEHOLDERS’ DIALOGUE ON THE IMPACT OF AND PERSISTING CHALLENGES TO EFFECTIVE GENDER MAINSTREAMING IN AFRICAN SECURITY INSTITUTIONS – October, 2012
The dialogue was co-convened by the ASSN and the Women Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) based at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra where the event was held. The event brought together participants from West and South Africa as well as Europe, including independent consultants, representatives of security institutions, research institutions, local UN offices (UN Women and UNDP), governmental institutions on gender as well as CSOs with active involvement in women, peace and security issues. This event aimed at three specific objectives:
- Provide a platform for information and data sharing on the status of gender mainstreaming in some African Security Institutions;
- Stimulate discussion on the impact of and persisting challenges to gender mainstreaming in the African Security Sector: and
- Identify useful and timely strategic policy actions for advancing best practices and overcoming the challenges identified.
THEORY OF CHANGE WORKSHOP – November, 2011
As part of its contribution towards the operationalization of the African Union Policy Framework on SSR, ASSN commissioned a baseline study in an effort to provide evidence-based information on the status of gender mainstreaming at the national level in five project countries: South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Guinea. In order to structure the baseline study and provide a foundation for monitoring and evaluation (M&E), ASSN convened a Theory of Change Workshop (ToC) in Accra, attended by ASSN members and other stakeholders from a range of background and disciplines including security sector institutions and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
POLICY DIALOGUE ON THE AFRICAN UNION’S SSR POLICY FRAMEWORK AND THE GENDER TRANSFORMATION AGENDA, October, 2011
This dialogue was convened by the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) and FAHAMU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bringing together experts working in the broad area of gender and security sector reform, the dialogue was structured around panel presentations and working groups, which offered a critical review of methodologies, identified as central to ongoing gender mainstreaming within peace and security in general and SSR in particular:
- Gender policies and structures in security institutions
- Gender training for security personnel
- Recruitment and advancement of women in security institutions
- Women’s rights organisations engagement with SSR
The review was designed to respond to the following strategic objectives:
- To examine current methodologies to integrate gender and women’s rights perspectives into African security operations and structures.
- To review how these methodologies can be utilised as transformative tools within Africa’s peace and security structures to prevent gender discrimination in security provisioning on the ground
- To offer recommendations to improve the efficacy of these methodologies during operationalisation of the African Union Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform (AUPFSSR).