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Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa


Ornella Moderan



The Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa is a set of eight publications that provide practical guidance on how to implement the regional normative framework for security sector reform and governance of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It was developed by DCAF at the request of the ECOWAS Commission, in the framework of long term collaboration to strengthen the democratic governance of security institutions across the region.

Building on the lessons learned from past experiences and relying on the analysis of emerging security challenges in West Africa, ECOWAS has made good security governance a key feature of its conflict prevention strategy, as reflected in several milestone regional instruments, including the Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001), the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (2008), the Code of Conduct for Armed Forces and Security Services of ECOWAS (2011); and most recently the Policy Framework for Security Sector Reform and Governance (2016).

Drawing on regional examples and good practices, the Toolkit offers action-oriented and context-relevant advice on how to move from theory to practice in implementing these regionally agreed norms at the state level. It has been developed as a resource for the ECOWAS Commission and all national stakeholders within ECOWAS Member States, including the executive, the parliament, the judiciary, statutory oversight institutions and civil society. It can also be useful to other actors involved in West African security sector reform processes, such as international partners.

The Toolkit is available in English, French and Portuguese and comprises eight complementary standalones:

Tool 1: Political Leadership and National Ownership of Security Sector Reform Processes

Tool 2: Security Sector Reform Programming

Tool 3: Good Financial Governance of Defence and Security Institutions (forthcoming)

Tool 4: Effective Management of External Support to Security Sector Reform

Tool 5: Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector (forthcoming)

Tool 6: Civil Society Involvement in Security Sector Reform and Governance

Tool 7: Non-State Justice and Security Providers and Security Sector Reform (forthcoming)

Tool 8: Integrating Gender in Security Sector Reform and Governance