DAC guidelines on conflict, peace and development co-operation and DAC policy statement

DAC guidelines on conflict, peace and development co-operation and DAC policy statement

DAC guidelines on conflict, peace and development co-operation

All development cooperation strategies and programmes must help societies to manage tensions and disputes without resorting to violence. How can international donors best promote peace-building and post-conflict reconciliation? A task force, established in 1995 by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, has produced detailed guidelines covering the design and implementation of development cooperation for conflict prevention and post- conflict recovery. Development cooperation must be coherent, comprehensive, integrated and aimed at helping address the root causes of conflicts.

Donors should nurture local conflict resolutions and not impose externally generated solutions. Development agencies must encourage the broader inclusion of societal groups, in particular women, in discussion and negotiation processes. Priorities for post-conflict reconstruction include: restoring internal security and the rule of law; legitimising state institutions; improving food security and social services; and creating the basis for broad- based economic growth. Assistance must be seen to benefit the entire population rather than specific groups, such as refugees and ex- combatants.

Development assistance can help consolidate fragile peace processes by supporting societal reconciliation, political development and physical reconstruction. Aid also risks aggravating competition between disputing parties by raising the stakes of political control.

  • To avoid increasing tensions, donors should develop their ability to identify, monitor and analyse the long-term underlying causes of conflict, the current socio- political context and the impact of aid distributions
  • A society with well-balanced social and economic resources is better able to manage tensions and avoid institutional and social breakdown than one suffering destabilising conditions, such as extreme poverty and large socio-economic disparities
  • Donor payments for 'protection services' provide incentives for factions to maintain insecurity and ransom humanitarian aid
  • Excessive reliance on international NGOs may weaken the development of effective governance and of problem-solving and self-governing capabilities
  • Donors must promote institutions and processes which will stimulate and sustain democratisation within the state and civil society
  • Post-conflict reconstruction depends greatly on the participation of returning refugees and internally displaced persons.

External assistance must build on rather than substitute national capacities, resources and initiatives, using local ownership and building on in-country experience. Long-term planning for assistance should be introduced early to promote self-reliance and avoid creating dependencies on external aid.

  • Coherence and coordination between all policy instruments (diplomacy, military, trade, development aid), based on their own comparative advantage, must be encouraged on a national, international and multilateral basis)
  • Effective aid cooperation requires a common strategic framework; flexible resources and procedures; leadership among international actors; mechanisms for operational consultation; and resources ear-marked for coordination purposes
  • 'Gender aware' aid strategies, recognising and responding to the different vulnerabilities of men and women, can result in higher-impact and more cost-effective assistance
  • Donors must avoid over- centralising aid to strengthen government institutions if this lessens their dependence on local groups, making them less likely to promote dialogue and cooperation
  • Early planning for demobilisation programmes can help them respond to political developments and avoid delaying the implementation of the peace process
  • Donors should encourage regional organisations to develop frameworks for conflict prevention and peace-building and help them to act as a bridge between the international community and the region's states.
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