The CSG has released a new publication in its CSG Papers Series titled, Exploring the Transition from First to Second Generation SSR in Conflict-Affected Societies. Authored by CSG Executive Director Mark Sedra and Jinelle Piereder, the paper is a product of a multi-year CSG research project funded by Sweden’s Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA).The paper synthesizes the results of extensive case study research conducted in countries that have been subjected to at least of decade of externally-supported SSR, Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste.

Taken together the case studies made a clear argument for a second generation SSR model, one that is more locally orientated, eschewing donor-driven templates, and more inclusive of a of local stakeholders. Looking at numerous embryonic second generation initiatives in the case study countries as well as emerging entry points for alternative programming, a broad outline of a second generation model begins to emerge. That model features a number of notable characteristics: it is pragmatic; people-centred; politically-attuned; deeply contextualized to local history, culture and political norms; long-term in outlook; and impact-focussed. The second generation SSR model that begins to come into view through this synthesis of the case studies promises to be more locally owned and attuned, meeting the demands for greater agency by local actors, but also more cost-effective and economically sustainable for donors. The paper does not end with a broad outline of a second generation SSR model, but proceeds to identify a number of steps that global SSR champions can take to hasten its emergence and fundamentally change the way they do business.

While the days are numbered for the orthodox SSR model, the concept itself is still badly needed. The transformation of security and rule of law systems in accordance with democratic and good governance principles remains one of the most stable pathways to stability and prosperity for fragile and conflict affected countries. This paper shows that a reoriented, second-generation SSR doctrine can narrow the conceptual-contextual gap that has undercut SSR implementation and deliver better outcomes for recipients on the ground.

Download the paper here