Security Sector Assessment was a topic of discussion during the first day of the Transnational Security Cooperation Course held at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu. Cyril P. Cusi, a Philippine alumnus of the Advanced Security Cooperation Course (09-1), presented his perspective on security sector assessments.
Over the last year, Cusi developed a methodology for compiling open source data to assess the quality of the security sector in the region. To index rank countries with the best and worse security sector development, he used 50 different indicators that took into account factors such as: control of corruption, gender equality, human rights, military strength, disaster preparedness, and much more.
Asia-Pacific region countries which ranked the highest included New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. The lowest ranking included: North Korea, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Pakistan.
He summarized that this index tells us that: It is essential for the country’s leadership to have a strong Vision for Security Sector Development; Security issues are interconnected making SSD complex and multi-faceted; Security is everyone’s concern and governments should be includes all parts of society in the dialogue to improve the security sector; and, that SSD is long term commitment and that governments should tread carefully to ensure balance in the complex equations that bring about stability.