The purpose of this report (available in English and French versions) is to assess and revise the theory of change (ToC) behind the Security Sector and Police Reform Programme (SSAPR) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), from the perspective of the programme’s beneficiaries. This report is based on the findings of longitudinal ToC monitoring, in which community members not involved in any aspect of SSAPR provided initial and follow-up data on changes in their communities related to security, along with their perspectives on the causes of these changes. Data from SSAPR local state and non-state partners were also used to contextualise these changes and highlight the potential for sustainability.
As this report is based primarily on data from community members, it does not attempt to assess the elements of SSAPR’s ToC or changes related to the institutionalisation of reform, political engagement or internal dynamics of the Congolese National Police (Police Nationale Congolaise, PNC). Each of these complex processes relies on separate actors and, often, entirely separate theories of how change happens, each of which merits further in-depth discussion.
Overall, this study finds respondents feel security in pilot sites has improved since SSAPR began, attributed overwhelmingly to the introduction of the SSAPR’s community policing (police de proximité, PdP) approach. Respondents confirmed the primary areas of change in SSAPR’s ToC – police responsiveness, community–police collaboration and community trust – have been realised. In addition, these discussions highlighted the importance of understanding objective and subjective security as separate elements of the change process, as well as the importance of understanding the importance of both security and justice institutions.
Similarly, when considering intermediate changes in SSAPR pilot sites, respondents felt overall the areas of the ToC expected to bring about change – improved police capacity, responsiveness and citizen engagement with security issues – had largely seen such change. However, respondent discussions suggested a need to revise the ToC to understand the dynamics of change in terms of police motivation to serve the public, rather than primarily in terms of accountability.
Despite the many positive changes in security respondents identified, this report also highlights the concerns of SSAPR key informants regarding the sustainability of the programme’s accomplishments. These concerns are primarily related to maintaining PdP motivation, as well as to the internal dynamics of the PNC.
Palladium. Independent Evaluation of the Security Sector Accountability and Police Reform Programme - Theory of Change Monitoring Synthesis Report. Palladium, London, UK (2015) 53 pp.