Empirical research was conducted on external actors’ approaches to national ownership in the context of Security Sector Reform (SSR) interventions in Mali. From June 2015 to December 2016, qualitative interviews were conducted with respondents from international organizations, national ministries, and civil society organizations in Mali’s capital Bamako, where most international field headquarters were located. In late 2016, visits were also made to headquarters in Geneva (Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, DCAF) and Brussels (EUCAP Sahel Mali/EUTM Mali), and a Skype interview was conducted with a representative of the United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in New York. Additionally, interviews with representatives of regional research institutions were conducted in Accra, Ghana. In total, ca. 100 interviews and background discussions were held. On average, interviews lasted ca. 1-1.5 hours, with only a small number of interviews limited to 30-45 minutes, others lasting as long as 2.5 hours. Most interview partners in Bamako were in office for the entire duration of the research period and could be interviewed repeatedly. During the interviews, open-ended guiding questions were asked about the role of each respective organization in the SSR process, about organizational working routines and practices, about modes of engagement with national counterparts, about perceptions of the organizational environment, and about developments and events that were perceived as important for organizational prioritization of actions. Research participants provided narrative accounts of their project experience and of their approaches to the conceptual principles of the SSR policy framework in day-to-day implementation. All data generated from the interviews has been anonymized, in order to guarantee the privacy of all research participants.
The data contains verbatim transcripts from expert interviews conducted as part of the PhD thesis project entitled “The Effects of International Peace Missions on Corruption.” The interviews were conducted during field research in Kosovo, Croatia, Côte D’Ivoire, and Sierra Leone. The names and identifying details of interviewees were anonymized.