Strengthening strategic planning and project management capabilities

ThemeCountry / regionPartners
Security Sector Reform
Public Sector Strengthening
Stabilisation and State Resilience
Palestine / MENAUnited Nations
Dr. Gregory Wilson
Edward Carroll
PROJECT TITLE: Institutional Strengthening and organisational development in the Ministry of Interior to build governance oversight of the security sector

The Client

With the publication of the Security Sector Strategic Plan 2014-2016, a document affirmed the finding and recommendations of the United Nations needs assessment, The Palestinian Ministry of the Interior (MOI) presented its vision for the entire sector and sought to achieve the following strategic objectives and sub-objectives (aka “policies”):

  • Strategic Objective I – Provision of security and safety to the homeland and citizens
  • Strategic Objective II: Development of the capabilities of the security sector
  • Strategic Objective III: Harmony between the security sector and the judicial system
  • Strategic Objective IV: Provision of services effectively, efficiently and justly

The MOI’s primary responsibilities comprise the creation and issuance of identity documents – including passports – to Palestinian citizens, the promotion of civil law and order, and the licensing and oversight of civil society organizations. The central and associated district offices are organizationally responsible to the Deputy Minister who in turn reports to the Minister.

The Minister is however also responsible for the internal security forces and supervises, by delegation, the national security forces and oversees the internal activities of the Intelligence Agency. These three security forces, each with a number of sub-divisions,  receive their budget from the Central Finance Administration, which is headed by a Commander of senior rank who reports directly to the Minister, the Prime Minister, and the President.

The Challenge

DFID supports the UK Government’s objectives for a successful Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) by helping build Palestinian institutions so that any future state will be stable, prosperous, and well run. DFID support continues to help the Government of Palestine (GoP) to deliver essential services, including security. Such services help build the institutions necessary for a viable Palestinian state capable of delivering its own development priorities within the context of a negotiated peace agreement. DFID is committed to the implementation priorities set out in the Palestinian National Plan (PNP), the MOI Security Sector Strategy 2014-2016, and future plans under preparation. DFID gives predictable financial support for crucial reforms and targeted expert support to key line ministries with a focus on improving strategic, budgeting and financial management. It also aims to help the GoP become more accountable and responsive to the public, as well as supporting the development of citizens’ rights.

MOI is a key ministry and has demonstrated its intention to invest significant effort in a reform programme targeting improved civil oversight of the security institutions underpinned by a number of critical governance reforms.

However, it should be noted that change in management arrangements as well as the role of armed forces and other security bodies is very difficult to achieve, not only in Palestine, but in most states. Moreover, Palestine is a special case in that the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has assumed the overall responsibility for all security forces, including those that would typically belong to the armed forces or the intelligence community. Therefore, any process to restructure MOI requires dealing with a unique set of conditions that do not have any current parallels.

The Solution

Antylles Consultants supported the United Nations in the detailed design and delivery of a three-year initiative to develop its operational, management and citizen outreach capabilities.

Working with the The MOI and the 17 security agencies, the project team formed Technical Working Groups (TWGs) to design and deliver programme outputs. Antylles supported UNOPS to provide technical advisory support. The TWGs worked to standardize and align critical operational processes and implement and deliver these enhanced processes. This was a Ministry led programme with four workstreams:

Work-stream 1: Progress legal and institutionalization of MOI and sector. Strengthening sector and institutional structures and civilian oversight.

Work-stream 2: Improved planning and aid management capabilities. Strengthening sector strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, research (and policy), and donor and aid management capabilities.

Work-stream 3: More efficient and effective support services. Strengthening critical support services, e.g. human resource management, financial management, procurement, legal, and information technology.

Work-stream 4: Improved MOI community engagement and public perception. Increasing the ability of the MOI to engage with its communities and improving the perception of the sector through a functioning media liaison and complaints unit.

The Result

The Programme demonstrably shifted the understanding, perception and practice of how business is done in the Ministry of Interior (MOI), with positive changes registered in all work areas, especially in business practices. The most visible result was the official endorsement of five sets of Standard Operating Procedures for the MOI and the 17 related security agencies in the PA. The SOPs had a substantial impact upon the functioning of the security sector. The UK Government’s comprehensive Mid-Term Strategic Review (MTSR) of the programme carried out in December 2016-January 2017 verified that the programme exceeded expectations on delivery, as per all measures in the log frame. To quote the review “In contrast to two previous efforts of a similar nature, this programme has so far been highly successful: it has achieved results which are widely seen as impressive.” The programme’s approach to adaptive programming and management has enabled the programme to stay agile, take up opportunities as they present themselves and incorporate modifications and design alterations as needed. The methodological approach has proved flexible, adaptive and fit for purpose.

Contact our expert with direct experience in this case study: Dr. Gregory Wilson.