The African Security Sector Network (ASSN) and Oxfam Novib have signed a grant agreement to commence Phase Two of the Strategic Partnership Programme. The grant will support project activities from July 2018 to February 2019.
Titled; Engaging African Civil Society Organisations (CSO), the AU and the RECs in Security Sector Reform and Governance, the project is premised on the assumption that an empowered civil society will hold security institutions accountable and ensure a more people-centred security. The project, consequently, accentuates the need to further assess the main gaps in terms of operationalizing the AU SSR framework as well as the role of the RECs and to better identify and make more effective, the role civil society organisations can play in addressing some of the security challenges, at national, regional and continental levels.
Preliminary work towards achieving this objective was initiated in phase one of the project which had three main components: (a) a desk study of Security and Justice Sector Reform (SJSR) programmes in the project countries (South Sudan, Niger and CAR) to identify lessons learnt and gaps in the implementation of the AU and RECs SSR policy frameworks at the national level; (b) a CSO capacity enhancement training to improve their engagement on SJSR issues; and (c) partnering CSOs with the AU and RECs in a common effort to ensure more effective outcomes for community and human security from SJSR initiatives.
Niger, Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Somalia are the project countries for phase two. Activities planned for this phase include mapping of CSOs in project countries; CSO SSR needs assessment; evaluation/assessment/lessons learned from implementation of AU/REC SSR policy frameworks (including evidence capture and analysis of SSR impacts at the grassroots); and further training for CSOs on SSR and elements of Security Sector Governance and Management. A key project activity will be the Framing and Implementation of a CSO SSR Influencing Strategy.
ASSN and Oxfam will work in close collaboration with the African Union (specifically the Defence & Security Division, CIDO and ECOSOCC), and the SSR Units of ECOWAS, ECCAS and IGAD over the life of the project.