Ukraine

Democratic Security Sector Governance

Security sector governance refers to the process by which accountable security institutions transparently supply security as a public good via transparent policies and practices.  Accountability of security institutions is affected by democratic oversight performed by a range of stakeholders including democratic institutions, government, civil society, and the media. Security sector reform is the process by which security institutions are subordinated to oversight mechanisms, vetting, and lustration in order to deliver transparent and accountable public services as a public good. Security sector governance reinforces the rule of law.

Democratic Governance and Oversight of the Security Sector

 

Democratic governance of the security sector comprises the active performance of individual and cooperative oversight functions by:

  • Democratic Institutions
  • Independent Oversight Institutions / Ombuds Institutions
  • Civil Society
  • Media
  • Executive
  • Government
  • Security Sector Institutions

 

Credible oversight and management of the security sector remains vital in order to ensure democratic and economic development. The overall rationale for ensuring substantive democratic governance of the security sector is to:

 

  • Enhance citizens’ safety and public security;
  • Strengthen security provision;
  • Enable democratic institutions to monitor and amend security sector policies and practices and ensure compliance with international standards;
  • Embed transparency and accountability mechanisms across the security sector;
  • Encourage the development and maintenance of a democratic culture rooted in respect for the rule of law and human rights within security institutions;
  • Provide effective checks and balances to ensure that security sector actors cannot commit abuses or human rights violations;
  • Manage the security sector cost-effectively in order to avoid a financially resource-heavy security sector; and reduce the possibilities for corruption;
  • Manage human and financial resources effectively, including effective disciplinary measures and career management structures, and encourage professionalism and respect for authority among security sector officials;
  • Promote the security sector as representative institutions of the society at large, ensuring equitable participation of women, and minorities.

 

Democratic governance of the security sector must ensure that security agencies and their staff meet expected standards of performance and behaviour as defined through laws, policies, practices and relevant social and cultural norms. These principles apply not only at management level, but also that of the individual staff member. In particular, security institutions should:

 

  • Prevent abuses of power and authority (by security actors themselves or by other interest groups);
  • Use resources appropriately and effectively through appropriate budgetary management;
  • Be as transparent as possible, making appropriate information available to other government agencies, oversight bodies and the general public;
  • Uphold human rights both by preventing abuses within the security sector itself and by preventing and investigating abuses in society as a whole;
  • Address the security needs of all people for whom they are responsible, regardless of sex, ethnicity, religion, age, or income.

 

Effective governance of the security sector is based on sustaining security institutions that are:

 

  • Governed internally and externally by a legal and institutional framework;
  • Accountable to the authorities and to the population;
  • Transparently managed according to codified standards and practices;
  • Based on, and responsive to, people’s needs;
  • Based on fair and equitable representation.

 

Resources

UN SSR Guidance Note on Democratic Governance of the Security Sector

DCAF Security Sector Reform Backgrounder

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Criteria for Good Governance in the Defence Sector: International Standards and Principles

This publication was, originally, developed in order to provide assessment guidelines in the systematic evaluation of the integrity systems of nine countries. The international standards and principles contained in this publication cover a broad spectr … read more

Building Integrity Self-Assessment Questionnaire and Peer Review Process: A Diagnostic Tool for National Defence Establishments

This Building-Integrity handbook contains a questionnaire, guidance on organising the process in-country, a sample note which can be used to brief the Defence Minister or Head of the Armed Forces on how to introduce the peer review process, and an outl … read more

International Standards of Financial Oversight in the Security Sector

This Toolkit provides readers with easy access to internationally-adopted guiding principles, standards, and best practices of financial oversight of security sector institutions. The toolkit allows readers to access key international standards on budg … read more

SSR: Applying the Principles of Good Governance to the Security Sector

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 … read more

SSR Backgrounder: The Police: Roles and Responsibilities in Good Security Sector Governance

This SSR Backgrounder is about the roles and responsibilities of police in the context of good security sector governance (SSG). Because of their special powers and their proximity to the population, police work directly affects the security of individ … read more

Global Anti-Corruption Initiative (GAIN)

The objectives of GAIN are to integrate anti-corruption solutions in service delivery to contribute to Millennium Development Goals acceleration and post-2015 development goals; to strengthen state/institutional capacity to implement UNCAC and prevent … read more

UN Security Council Resolution 2151

Unanimously adopting resolution 2151 (2014), the Council reiterates the centrality of national ownership for security sector reform processes, recognizing the need to consider host-country perspectives in the formulation of peacekeeping and special pol … read more

Integrating a Gender Perspective into Internal Oversight within Armed Forces

This guidance note is an essential resource for those working at the strategic or management level in the armed forces; gender units, as gender advisers and gender focal points; as equal opportunities officers and others responsible for human resources … read more

Integrating Gender into Internal Police Oversight

Designed as a complement to the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN-INSTRAW Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit, and DCAF’s Gender Self-Assessment Guide, the guidance notes focus on integrating gender into systems and processes within police services and armed … read more

Oversight and Guidance: Parliaments and Security Sector Governance

This third version of the DCAF-NATO PA ‘Vademecum’ underlines the essential role that parliaments must play in ensuring democratic oversight of the security sector. Updating key information on best practices related to parliamentary oversight and guida … read more

Securing States and Societies: Strengthening the United Nations Comprehensive Support to Security

This report reviews the United Nations support to security sector reform, and includes recommendations on how best to strengthen the Organization’s comprehensive approach in this area, pursuant to the statement by the President of the Security Council … read more

Training Manual on Policing Urban Space

The Training Manual on Policing Urban Space has been designed to assist police working in urban areas within low and middle-income countries to develop crime-prevention knowledge and skills. The Manual focuses on the importance of prevention and multi- … read more

Building Integrity: Process and Impact Montenegro

The BI Programme is a NATO-led, capacity-building programme which provides practical tools to help nations strengthen integrity, transparency, and accountability and reduce the risk of corruption in the defence and security sectors.  The toolkit includ … read more

Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector

This paper represents a further addition to the series of publications on issues in parliamentary practice from the Office for Promotion of Parliamentary Democracy (OPPD). The main objective of this publication is to provide an overview of the main iss … read more

Almanac on Security Sector Governance in Ukraine 2012

This Almanac presents different views and assessments of the state and prospects of Ukraine’s security sector development. The Almanac is structured into four sections and annexes. The first section reviews general issues dealing with the national secu … read more

Toolkit on Police Integrity

The Toolkit on Police Integrity aims to assist police services in designing effective measures to curb police corruption, increase their ability to fight crime, improve public security, and strengthen the rule of law and public trust in the police. The … read more

Security Sector Reform: Integrated Technical Guidance Notes

The UN SSR Integrated Technical Guidance Notes are a useful tool for anyone interested in Security Sector Reform and Democratic Security Sector Governance. The purpose of the Integrated Technical Guidance Notes (ITGNs) is therefore to foster a “One Uni … read more

Overseeing Intelligence Services Toolkit

DCAF’s toolkit on overseeing intelligence services is a compendium of booklets (tools) that provides policy-relevant information on the establishment and consolidation of independent bodies to oversee state organisations involved in the collection, ana … read more

The Role of Good Governance in the Promotion of Human Rights

The concepts of good governance and human rights are mutually reinforcing. Human rights principles provide a set of values to guide the work of governments and other political and social actors. They also provide a set of performance standards against … read more

Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces: A Handbook

This handbook examines Ombuds institutions for the armed forces and their role in the promotion and protection of human rights as well as in the prevention of maladministration. Developed in cooperation with the International Conference of Ombuds Insti … read more

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