Reforming Security Sector Assistance for Africa
Sep 13, 2018
In this report, RAND researchers analyze options to improve the sustainability of security sector assistance (SSA) in the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of responsibility, deriving insights from the development community. They recommend changes to overall SSA structures and specific practices to enhance the sustainability of partner capacity gains.
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In this report, RAND researchers analyze options to improve the sustainability of security sector assistance (SSA) in the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of responsibility. They derive insights from the development community that might usefully be modified to meet the unique challenges of the security sectors of African partner nations. More specifically, they outline five development principles (and associated "good practices") that have particular relevance to building sustainable partner capacity: local ownership; a comprehensive approach; selectivity; harmonization; and long-term, iterative adaptation. The authors review the many challenges that the U.S. Department of Defense faces in applying these principles. Finally, the authors recommend changes to overall SSA structures and specific practices to enhance the sustainability of partner capacity gains.
At the national level: Clarify U.S. government goals for SSA. Emphasize continuity. Provide additional resources for defense institution–building. Invest in the right people. Improve resources for monitoring and evaluation. Alter legislation and funding to facilitate iterative adaptation. Emphasize adaptability in approaches to partnerships.
Set realistic expectations among decisionmakers. Dedicate funds for institution-building and sustainability. Prioritize sustainability in oversight roles. Invest in the right people. Continue to align interagency efforts. Develop two-track monitoring and evaluation processes. Focus on the interconnections among programs. Conduct political risk assessments and develop risk mitigation strategies.
Invest in advisors. Organize in ways that prioritize sustainability. Resource repeated engagements. Improve collaboration with priority partners. Tailor SSA to the local context. Experiment with different approaches. Focus on interconnections among programs. Improve SSA training for headquarters staff and implementers. Improve knowledge management.
The Goal of Sustainable Capacity Development
Debating the Goal of Sustainability
Principles and Good Practices Derived from Development Experience
Challenges to Applying Development Principles to Security Sector Assistance
Conclusion and Policy Implications
U.S. Programs Relevant to Defense Institution–Building in Africa
This research was sponsored by the director of AFRICOM's J1/8 Directorate and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.
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