It Takes Two to Tango: Towards Integrated Development and Security Sector Reform (SSR) Assistance

*NOTE: This is an excerpt of Chapter 12 in the edited volume “Back to the Roots: Security Sector Reform and Development”, edited by Albrecht Schnabel and Vanessa Farr and published by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) as their 2012 Yearly Book. This work was written with Albrecht Schnabel and Vanessa Farr.


The main objective of this book is to contribute to ongoing discussions on the theoretical and practical relevance of SSR as a building block to facilitate the security-development nexus, with a specific focus on how SSR contributes to development. We examine SSR’s ability to foster a positive interrelationship between the security and development communities, and to support their contributions to sustainable human and economic development. The chapters in this book share insights on conceptual debates, gender approaches, regional experiences, lessons from DDR and SSR practice and evolving approaches by international organisations and the broader donor community. The analyses and suggestions presented by the contributors remind both development and security communities that they need to take each other’s experiences and concerns into account when planning, implementing and evaluating their own SSR and other reform and assistance activities.

In this concluding chapter we will capture the main arguments presented throughout the book, compare them and translate them into recommendations for the study and practice of security- and development-sensitive SSR planning and implementation. We hope that the lessons learned and arguments presented in this book will prove useful in improving efforts to synchronise security, development and SSR activities in the work of international organisations, national governments, civil society organisations and research communities working on peace, security and development. Those designing and implementing development and SSR activities in transitional societies are particularly encouraged to engage with and contribute to the discussions presented in this volume.

Continue reading: The full volume is available for download here.

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