In both low and middle income countries, well established arguments and solid evidence confirm that there is no real development without peace and only the peace of the graveyard without development. These conclusions have shifted the fulcrum of discussion about development over the past several years. But they have not yet added up to telling anybody how to do it.
Back in mid-2010, in time for the MDGs-plus-10-years summit, International Alert published a review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which criticised the MDGs for being too narrow and too technical; for confusing ends with means; for being top-down and for being used in statistically illiterate ways; and for creating perverse and unhelpful policy incentives.
This week it was confirmed that in 2013 the UK will hit the target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on official development assistance (ODA). A long-standing campaigning goal for development NGOs and a moral goal for the country have been achieved.
The panel established by the Secretary General of the United Nations to determine a new global approach to international development has concluded that peacebuilding is a central part of that new vision for human progress.
This project, carried out by a consortium composed of CARE, FAO and International Alert, provides a combined response to the problems of poverty and instability in eastern DRC.
The latest edition of The Spectator carries an opinion piece by Jonathan Foreman entitled 'The great aid mystery'. In a diatribe laced with rather tired tropes, and whose style undermines the argument he makes, Foreman’s main points when stripped of rhetoric can be summarised quite simply as:
I took part in a round table discussion in a post-conflict country recently, looking at aid effectiveness there.
Among the salient details on the table, and which will be familiar from elsewhere:
It had been a long time coming. Since the first meeting of the High Level Panel, set up by Ban Ki Moon and co-chaired by the British, Liberian and Indonesian Heads of State in New York the massed ranks of civil society had been looking forward to this meeting with expectations and anxiety in equal measure.
International Alert and the Delegation of the European Union to Liberia have announced a two-year initiative aimed at strengthening the voice of Liberia’s civil society organisations (CSOs) in the national reconciliation process.
The project, entitled “Strengthening Civil Society’s Voice in National Reconciliation and Dealing with the Past”, aims to improve communication and understanding between communities and policymakers on the conflict risks and opportunities for long-term peace and reconciliation in Liberia.
International Alert, ISS and OXFAM organised a conference on "Aid effectiveness in Fragile and Conflict-affected Contexts: the New Deal Framework and Citizens’ Security" on 29th and 30th May 2012 in Addis Ababa.
Photo: © International Alert/Jonathan Banks
International aid donors and the poorer governments they fund have overlapping, but far from identical interests. They overlap in their common desire to spend donor money in support of development progress, broadly put. But they often differ on what are the best development choices, and on issues like the need or opportunity for compliance with human rights and good financial stewardship norms.
International Alert has recently launched a paper that explores some profound questions about peace and peacebuilding in South Sudan and Sudan, as a contribution to the debate about how to build a more comprehensive and more stable peace within and between the two Sudans.
Photo: © Richard Barltrop
This series of three country “Insights” identifies peacebuilding priorities in Burundi, Liberia and Nepal, and discusses the response of the international institutions operating there. The focus institutions are primarily the World Bank and the UN. The insights provide a brief snapshot and analysis of each country’s particular peacebuilding needs, as well as the dynamics that either facilitate or hinder institutional ability to address these needs. Findings inform a synthesis report entitled ‘Peacebuilding, the World Bank and the United Nations: Debates and Practice in Burundi, Liberia and Nepal’, the summary of which is available here. This work is part of Alert’s International Institutions Programme which seeks through research and engagement to strengthen the peacebuilding impacts of international institutions in fragile and conflict-affected countries.