The purpose of this article is to look more deeply at why the principle of local ownership has so often been disregarded in justice reform and security sector reform (SSR). In doing so, it identifies various dilemmas that account for this lack of regard, including issues relating to local vs. international norms; donor vs. local interests and representational issues at the national and local level. Subsequently, it will examine how local ownership dilemmas impact on programming including during the assessment, implementation and monitoring and evaluation stages and then consider how local ownership can be strengthened particularly in fragile states.
* Project Officer, International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT), Geneva, Switzerland. firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Senior Justice Advisor, International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT), Geneva, Switzerland. email@example.com.