Justice and Security Reform
Development Agencies and Informal Institutions in Sierra Leone
By Lisa Denney
To Be Published December 15th 2013 by Routledge – 208 pages
In a context in which security sector reform has become a pervasive development strategy, Justice and Security Reform considers the necessity and difficulty of engaging with informal (as well as formal) actors in this context, whilst assessing the impact of this engagement on the effectiveness of development programming. Following a trail of poor results, development practitioners are increasingly using innovative development strategies in post-conflict states, such as security sector reform, in an attempt to create the stability needed for investment and development. One of the first attempts of this kind was conducted in Sierra Leone and projects and lessons from this experience have since been adapted to subsequent programmes around the world. Focusing specifically on this attempt, the book argues that in not engaging with the primary locus of security provision in Sierra Leone, informal actors such as chiefs and secret societies, the effectiveness of reforms has remained limited. Informal actors are a common feature of many fragile and conflict-affected states, and including them in SSR programming is, it is argued, crucial if reforms are to produce sustainable improvements.
Introduction; Chapter 1: The United Kingdom’s ‘African Albatross’: DFID policy on Sierra Leone; Chapter 2: Challenging UK policy: Thicker understandings of conflict, security and governance; Chapter 3: The thickening blue line? The challenge of informal policing for DFID’s Family Support Units; Chapter 4: Courting local justice? DFID’s Justice Sector Development Programme; Chapter 5: Security sector reform by liberal bureaucratic means; Conclusion