Strengthening Democratic Governance of the Security Sector: Indonesia and Mongolia

APCSS & HDAC Partnered Outreach

23 April – 1 May 2008 Honolulu, HI and Washington, D.C.

Background. The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) is a U.S. Department of Defense academic institute addressing regional and global security issues through executive education programs.  The mission of APCSS is to educate, connect, and empower security practitioners to advance Asia-Pacific security.

The House Democracy Assistance Commission (HDAC) is comprised of 20 Members of the House of Representatives who directly participate in the critical work of promoting and supporting the development of democratic governments around the world. Specifically, HDAC works through peer-to-peer partnerships with emerging democratic legislatures to assist in the development of the fundamental building blocks of legislative government: oversight, transparency, accountability, effective legislation, and responsiveness to constituents.

Outreach Objectives. The purpose of the workshop was to provide parliamentarians from Indonesia and Mongolia (1) an opportunity to reflect on the current state of democratic governance over the security sector in their respective countries, (2) identify initiatives through which such governance may be enhanced, and (3) consider some practical next steps that may be taken to begin this process.  Additionally, the outreach sought to provide (4) an opportunity to gain insights into how security sector governance is exercised in the United States, (5) interact/network with members from key committees/agencies with a bearing on security sector governance, and (6) engage in a dialogue on anticipated next steps in their respective countries and the potential role of the United States in assisting in these.

Survey Analysis. The intention of this evaluation is to assess the impact of this joint APCSS/HDAC outreach event on the participants as well as the programs effectiveness in achieving the stated objectives.  The following section provides a synopsis of the results.

  • Current State of Democratic Governance over the Security Sector.
  • Remarked the workshop provided a comparison of security sector governance enabling them to review the current state in their own country.
  • Clearly stated they now have more extensive knowledge and understanding of security sector reform.
  • Indonesian participants confirmed the Honolulu portion of the workshop provided the necessary information to organize their current knowledge on security sector reform.


  • Identification of Initiatives to Improve Security Sector Governance.
  • Identified challenges and weaknesses in their countries’ security sector governance.
  • Parliamentarians acknowledged the need to build capacity by enacting more precise laws.
  • Practical Next Steps to Begin Improvements.
  • Plan to train and educate personnel in the military and civilian sectors on security sector governance.
  • Indonesian delegates plan to strengthen democratic governance in the security sector by establishing a structure for democratic civilian control and oversight.
  • The workshop provided analytical tools and systematic methods to develop and implement security sector governance.
  • Gain Insight on Security Sector Governance in the U.S.
  • Representatives now understand the “working mechanisms of the security sector in the USA” through effective and informative discussions and interactions.
  • Increased their understanding and insight into the U.S. government appropriations process.
  • Network with Members from Key Committees/Agencies.
  • Gained useful information and insight into the relationship between Department of Defense and the House of Representatives through interacting with key members.
  • Dialogue on Next steps and the Role the U.S. can take in Assisting.
  • Plan to increase parliamentary capacity in their countries.
  • Send more participants to APCSS courses/events to help further their countries’ efforts to improve security sector governance.
  • Indonesian participants desire APCSS to further their country’s effort to exercise better security sector governance by organizing bilateral and multilateral workshops between Parliamentarians in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Will train their parliamentarian staff to better implement security sector governance.

Combined Workshop Results. Overall, the analysis of participants’ feedback indicated the workshop achieved all its stated objectives.  Participants increased their understanding on security sector reform (SSR) in their respective nations and other nations; organized and systematized their knowledge on SSR; and identified their countries’ challenges and weaknesses.  They also had effective interaction and discussions; exchanged views with key officials; and plan to take next steps in their respective countries to develop Parliamentary capacity, build and improve legislative infrastructure, and train Parliamentary staff.  Additionally, participants want APCSS to continue their role in SSR through existing courses and the development of bilateral and multilateral workshops.

Contact Information.  For more information, please contact Assessment and Evaluation at (808) 971-8911 or email mcdonaldd@apcss.org.


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