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Background

Security Sector Reform: Applying the principles of good governance to the security sector

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Abstract

This SSR Backgrounder is about security sector reform. SSR is the political and technical process of improving state and human security by applying the principles of good governance to the security sector. SSR means making security provision, oversight and management more effective and more accountable, within a framework of democratic civilian control, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Since the late 1990s a number of countries have undergone national SSR processes, and SSR has become a pillar of international assistance in the fields of security, development, democracy promotion and peacebuilding.

This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions:
What is security sector reform?
Why reform the security sector?
What makes SSR different from other kinds of security reform?
What types of situations might call for SSR?
What difference does a name make?
Where did SSR come from?