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Voice and accountability in the security sector

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Release date: 2002-06

Decision-making on security sectors is dominated by elites, particularly military elites, because of unequal power and knowledge relations. In strengthening the institutions of accountability it is important to give high priority to strengthening the capacity of civilians to manage and monitor the security sector. A higher level of transparency in and broader knowledge of security matters are key elements for the improving the procedures for making crucial decisions over the size and structure of security sectors.
External stakeholders can foster more accountability in the security sector. However, they need to be clear that they cannot substitute domestic willingness towards more accountability. Ownership of accountability processes is crucial. No country has yet achieved perfect accountability; there is no “one-size-fits-all” model for security sector accountability.