Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Security Sector Governance (SSG)


Security Sector Reform (SSR) and more specifically Security Sector Governance (SSG) in Somalia over the last four years has been a key Peace- and State-building Goal (PSG) objective of the New Deal Somali Compact, with delivery of SSR under the purview of the PSG 2 (Security) Working Group. An estimated USD$1.5 billion per year is spent by international partners on peacekeeping, counterinsurgency and support to the Somali security sector. This figure is much larger if one accounts for the international maritime anti-piracy measures. With regard to domestic resourcing, in 2014 and 2015 the FGS spent USD$67.5 million and USD$44 million respectively on security (representing 45 percent and 33 percent of the national budget2). Generally, efforts in Somalia to rebuild the security sector have been met with only limited success for many reasons, including fighting an ongoing insurgency while trying to reform, a lack of capacity within the institutions, a lack of coordination by donors and partners, and the lack of a coherent government security policy.

The UN’s role in SSR is undertaken through an integrated mission with UNSOM and UNDP. UNSOM is currently working with a range of UN entities (e.g. UNDP, UNMAS, UNOPS, UNODC and UNIDIR) on security sector related issues to build further on the respective comparative advantages. The SSR Section in UNSOM has also worked closely with the World Bank to deliver improved financial awareness through its ‘Security and Justice Public Expenditure Review’ and played a major role assisting the FGS to comply with the conditions of the arms embargo by providing strategic and policy advice, and in linking partners and donors with key Somali officials and interlocutors. UNDP is actively engaged in capacity-building and in rule of law, operates a fully Integrated Rule of Law team with UNSOM, and co-leads regular interagency Global Focal Point meetings (GFP)5. UNDP's Constitutional Review and Parliamentary Support Programmes offer cross-sector linkages to deliver the Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace and security. UNDP also works on local governance relevant to local security sector governance. UNDP has experience in developing civilian oversight, community policing initiatives, small arms and light weapons management and other security institution development related reforms, all of which are imperative for well-functioning security sector governance across Somalia.


The overall objective of this programme is to support the FGS and the FMS security institutions to function better in order to improve peace, security and safety, enhance political and civilian oversight, and the rule of law for Somalis. The programme reflects UN and International Partners’ programmatic support to security sector governance and reform aimed at the following outputs:

1. Somali federal security institutions have increased professional capacity to exercise political and civilian oversight, deliver security services and coordinate the federal approach to security in accordance with their mandates and in compliance with human rights standards.

2. Federal Member States’ security institutions have increased professional capacity to exercise oversight and deliver security services in accordance with their mandates and in compliance with human rights standards.

3. Federal and Federal Member State legislatures have increased professional capacity to exercise oversight in accordance with their mandates.

This programme directly seeks to contribute to this pivotal political discussion by being inclusive and taking into account the end beneficiary i.e. the Somali people, who will benefit from a professional, capable and accountable security sector. The programme also seeks to make a contribution by bolstering the technical capacity of the FGS and FMS coordination and decision-making processes. National ownership of the proposed activities will be ensured throughout its implementation. The programme will ensure that security is to be seen from a people-centered view and as public good. This ensures that the structures put in place are established through consultative processes and respond to the needs of the population, not least regarding the protection of women and children.