Security Sector Reform

Security sector reform (SSR) aims for a society where the security sector, including police, military and the judicial system, respects human rights and is under democratic control. It is a key component in international development cooperation.

The concept of SSR evolved during the late 1990s. It was discovered that reforms of the security sector were often crucial in a state recovering after conflict or authoritarian leadership, in order to create sustainable peace, democracy and socio-economic development.

Traditionally, the security sector in a state is seen to include four types of actors:

  • Central security actors: military, police, customs and border patrol.
  • Actors exercising democratic governance: executive and legislative power, relevant state agencies and authorities, financial institutions, civil society.
  • Judicial actors: judicial authorities, ministry of justice, investigative bodies.
  • Non-formal security actors: rebel groups, guerrillas, private security companies.

SSR touches on everything - from good governance and human rights to gender issues and equality.

What does the FBA do?

  • Policy, research and development
    The FBA offers support to the work of the EU, UN and OSCE on SSR policy development. The FBA has developed a tool for SSR needs assessment and a handbook for SSR advisers. In addition, the FBA supports international research on SSR.

  • Training
    The FBA offers a yearly SSR course as well as courses within the orbit of the European Security and Defence College. Furthermore, the FBA offers tailor-made SSR training on demand that is specially adapted to the needs of both Swedish and international authorities and institutions. 

  • International work
    As part of Sweden’s international development cooperation, FBA has the mission to work with SSR in a number of countries. FBA also seconds Swedish SSR experts to international peace missions. Please see the map about our international projects.

  • Cooperation
    The FBA coordinates a network of Swedish government agencies working on issues related to SSR. The FBA also represents Sweden on the board of the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT).


The OSCE draws attention to violence against women in Ukraine

Violence towards women is widespread in Ukraine. Every year, gender-based violence is estimated to cause three times as many deaths as the armed conflict going on in the eastern part of the country since 2014. It is crucial for the OSCE to have a gender perspective in its operations.

2018-03-07 10:55

Read our publications

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Una perspectiva de género en la construcción de la paz

This training manual has been developed to provide an introduction in Spanish to the policy framework on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and its follow-up resolutions on women, peace and security.

Gabriela Elroy



  • Posted by Robert Hall

    Russian presidential elections: observing democratic process in the world’s largest country

    Few people think about the vast expanse of the Russian Federation. Canada, the world’s second largest country, is not even half the size of the Russian Federation. Just imagine the logistics of running a country with an 11 hour difference between provinces like Kaliningrad and Kamchatka. Imagine monitoring the quality of the democratic process across such an enormous area with just 500 observers. Imagine that the country, like Sweden, is located in the cold wintry North ... Read entire post »

    2018-03-13 11:11
  • Posted by Carl Fredrik Birkoff

    The role of women in violent extremism in Kenya

    As I wrote in a previous article at the FBA blog, the impact and cost of insecurity resulting from violent extremism is enormous and is a risk to Kenya’s development agenda. The radicalisation and violent extremist phenomena are disproportionately impacting youth and women from marginalised areas. There is growing global recognition that women play multiple roles both within violent extremist organisations and in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). In a recent study of 15 countries, ... Read entire post »

    2018-02-28 10:30
  • Posted by Lotta Ekvall

    OSCE – the unknown security organization

    What is the OSCE? That is one of the most frequent questions I am asked when I tell people that I am on secondment from the FBA to the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, Austria, where I work as Gender Adviser.

    OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, was established in 1973. Today the OSCE has 57 member states, in Europe but also in North America and North and Central Asia. The organization addresses a wide ... Read entire post »

    2018-02-21 10:06

Saba Nowzari

Saba Nowzari is expert on women, peace and security, Mali and the Middle East

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