By Mark Downes, Head of ISSAT
Returning from a recent mission in Rwanda where I was involved in undertaking a scoping study for one of ISSAT’s Governing Board members, I was reflecting on the constraints of, and presumptions made in, designing programmes to support SSR. It was precipitated by a discussion with a Dutch colleague, who in the course of the conversation quoted General Colin Powell in saying that ‘hope is not a planning tool’.
It struck me that much of SSR planning is based on hopeful assumptions: of political will, capacity, the ability to change behaviour and the eventual impact of the programme. Besides the obvious tendency for people to be overly optimistic, it is worth reflecting on whether there are institutional reasons for the lack of realism in SSR programming and what the potential consequences are as a result. One reason is no doubt ...
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