Institution: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Publication Date: 2007
Related Categories: Security and Justice
The key lesson of this study is, in order for security and justice service delivery to be sustainable and support stabilisation, donor countries must work simultaneously with non-state and state partners. The study describes this as a ‘multi-layered approach’ and argues it is the only way to enhance security and deliver justice in the short term, while developing the state’s capacity to provide and regulate these services in the long term. This study was undertaken in 2007 but the lessons it offers to both security sector reform practitioners and policy-makers about working in unfamiliar ways and with unfamiliar partners are still relevant.
Justice and security are key concerns in fragile states because, without justice and security, other public goods and services cannot be provided or accessed. In these countries, many people access security and justice services through non-state means. This is often because the state is not seen as legitimate by many of its citizens.
The main objective of a multi-layered approach is to develop and strengthen the relationship between service providers (state and non-state) and the users of those services. It tries to reinforce the range of choice that already exists, while developing providers’ service delivery to make it more effective, fair, accessible, accountable and rights respecting.
A multi-layered approach also tries to strengthen governance and organisational systems at the local, provincial and national levels. The state’s capacity needs to be enhanced to formulate the necessary policies, frameworks and minimum standards by which an enabling environment for service delivery can be established.
This study emphasises the importance of adapting support to each country’s specific context. However, it also shows there a several common types of issues that need to be addressed. It outlines the nature of support that can be effective in different types of fragile state.
For example, in deteriorating environments, donors have a tendency to pull out. However, it is important to stay engaged and focus on long-term development building blocks. In such situations, the non-coercive elements of the security system such as state-delivered justice can be supported to good effect, as can non-state justice and security systems, human rights activities and women’s groups.
In fragile states, and particularly collapsed states, the manner in which justice and security is provided is based upon historical legacies and intricate balances of power. Development assistance can support, disrupt and change these, creating winners and losers. Although social cohesion will have been affected by conflict, there will still be local structures, organisations and service deliverers. It is important to understand how international interventions affect state and non-state providers of security and justice. Priority security issues need to be addressed while a longer-term strategic plan is developed.
A recovering state is one in which the political situation has sufficiently stabilised so basic state functions can be re-established. In such situations, the focus should be on the sustainability of service delivery programmes. Security and justice should be a priority in both national government and donor planning. Non-state providers are often delivering more than 80 per cent of all services and should therefore be supported.