This edited volume accumulates more than a decade’s worth of lessons learned and best practices on SSR. The book is divided into three parts: The first part on the ‘origins and evolution of the SSR concept’ charts the development of SSR over the past decade and details the variety of approaches to it that have emerged in that period. The second part, “from concept to context: the implementation of SSR’ shifts from analyzing wider trends in the concept’s development to the practical challenges surrounding its application in the field. The third part of the book identifies and breaks down the myriad challenges that confront SSR program, with the issues of local ownership and civil society engagement chief among them. Chapters on gender, human rights, financing, the private sector, coordination and sequencing are also included.
Security sector reform has come to be viewed as the foundation for the state-building project in Afghanistan. Although the process has made important strides since its launch in the spring of 2002, the prevailing conditions in the country, notably high levels of insecurity and limited institutional and human capacity, have not been conducive to reform. Attempts to adjust the SSR agenda to reflect these conditions and meet immediate security challenges have deprived the process of its holistic vision. Its onus has shifted from ensuring democratic governance and accountability of the sector to maximizing security force effectiveness, a slide towards expediency that has threatened the underlying goals of the process.