Reform in any public policy sector is challenging but in fragile states and post-conflict countries these challenges are multiplied and test even the most skilled leaders and operatives. Increasingly there is a demand for political and field operators to not only have the theoretical knowledge but also the complimentary practical skillset. Operatives interested in a career in post-conflict state-building and public-sector management in fragile settings need to not only bring their academic credentials to bear but are increasingly required to demonstrate practical skills to enable effective mandate implementation.

Using a pedagogical approach the course offers an overview of the concept of Security Sector Reform (SSR) and through the use of case studies will consider the key international actors, operating challenges and good practices from SSR and other international missions and the specialist skills required to operate effectively in those environments.

The focus of the course is practical application and will incorporate practice sessions on areas including; policy development, engaging communities in post-conflict areas, advising, communications, negotiation and also the ‘soft skills’ relating to people engagement and team management.

Learning Outcomes:

After the successful completion of the course, the students shall:
• Have knowledge of the principles that underpin security sector reform (SSR) and international and interventions in post conflict environments
• Recognise the main international actors and policy challenges in the area of Security Sector Reform
• Have considered and identified attributes and approaches that are helpful when acting as an advisor in an international reform context
• Have practised a range of individual and team skills required to operate effectively in post conflict environments.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

The students will be assessed according to the combination of the following criteria:
• Class participation and pre-session assignments: 40%
Students will be expected to fulfil pre-session reading assignments as listed in the course schedule. The pre-session assignments will include the requirement to read the mandatory readings and be ready to discuss them during the sessions (graduate seminar style), identify specific materials or develop short presentations on a topic relevant for the session. This could be about an organisation/institution, a specific policy area or situation or an emerging trend.
• Course Exercises: 30%
Each student will require to prepare for and practice a minimum of four individual and/or team skill exercises in the areas of; policy analysis and development, working within a team, preparing and writing a speech, advising a Principal, communications and negotiation. Students will be responsible for individual, pairing or group preparation, followed by classroom exercise and/or presentation. (Presentation and/or written paper to be submitted for assessment purpose)
Final Exercise: 30 %. In groups students will research an identified fragile/post conflict situation, identify the political and security context, stakeholders, the challenges facing international SSR actors and propose a range of options, which could be addressed. Presentations will be made in groups. (Presentation and written paper to be submitted for assessment purpose).