Project Evaluation for United States Institute of Peace’s (USIP) Security Sector Training Reform Project in Tunisia
Tunisia, since the 2010 uprising, has made significant strides in adopting international human rights conventions and treaties. However, the nation grapples with ongoing instability and terrorism despite the Tunisian government’s efforts to address these security challenges. Balancing these security concerns with the commitment to a stable transition into democracy necessitates substantial progress in security sector reform (SSR). SSR involves multiple actors and is critical to instilling civilian trust in the police forces through increased transparency and accountability in security governance.
In response to these challenges, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) initiated its SSR project, which is currently in the second phase of a potential three-phase effort. The project’s core pillars include enhancing the pedagogical capacities of security sector training institutions, modernizing training materials management and storage, and institutionalizing international best practices for curricular development and training reform. To support USIP’s endeavors, Triangle was engaged to conduct an assessment and lead the evaluation process for the USIP’s SSR project. The evaluation focuses on capturing project outcomes, identifying areas for further development, reinforcing good practices, and deriving lessons for future similar initiatives in Tunisia and beyond. Additionally, it delves into the interplay between various program activities and their impacts.
- Evaluation Framework: The project evaluation employs the OECD-DAC criteria for development aid, guided by Triangle’s development of a comprehensive set of evaluation questions. These questions emphasize the output of security sector training and SSR best practices. Each evaluation question is linked with specific data sources and collection methods, facilitating a systematic assessment process.
- Evaluation Phases: Triangle adopted a phased adaptive approach to ensure flexibility and contextual relevance throughout the research. The assessment unfolds in three main phases: Inception (Preparation) Phase, Implementation Phase, and Analysis & Reporting Phase. Feedback loops are integrated into tools development, allowing for efficient analytical research.
- Evaluation Activities: Several key activities are conducted as part of the evaluation process. A kick-off meeting, held with USIP, clarifies assignment details, refines assessment outputs, and identifies gaps for further exploration. An adaptive literature review examines program documentation, progress reports, annual reports, studies, assessments, and other relevant data sources. Inception interviews with program staff and security reform experts shape issue identification and tools development, leading to the creation of an Inception Report & Evaluation Protocol.
- Data Collection Methods: Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) involve detailed questionnaires for various USIP program components, targeting stakeholders such as program staff, SSR ministerial representatives, trainers, and other relevant parties. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) adopt a purposive stratified sampling strategy, disaggregated based on SSR institution/department and gender. These interviews and discussions aim to provide comprehensive insights into program effectiveness.
- Data Analysis: Both qualitative and quantitative analyses are carried out. Qualitative data sources, including the literature review, FGDs, and KIIs, inform findings and recommendations. Qualitative data analysis follows grounded theory methodology. Quantitative data is processed using research and data processing software, allowing for cross-tabulations and visual data representation.
- Reporting Overview: The research team follows a two-round analysis process. Preliminary findings are presented to selected USIP and partner representatives to gauge results against expectations, identify further inquiry points, and discuss recommendations and report formats. Following feedback, a Final Evaluation Report (FER) is drafted, summarizing qualitative and quantitative data, findings, conclusions, recommendations, lessons learned, and appendices.
Project Evaluation of Security Sector Reform in Tunisia
Qualitative and Quantitative Research, Capacity Building and Training Framework