Sharing new ground in post-conflict situations

Sharing new ground in post-conflict situations

UNDP interventions in support of the reintegration of war-affected populations

The paper reports on the UNDP undertaking of a strategic evaluation to take stock of its experience in complex emergency situations and extract insights to improve the organization’s capacity to respond. The terms of reference for the exercise identified the reintegration of internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and ex-combatants as the principal area of focus. The evaluation team was asked to review the adequacy of UNDP interventions and assess the quality of its response to reintegration programmes in terms of being proactive or event/donor driven, staffing, and ability to form effective partnerships.

This report asserts that every stage of crisis and post-conflict has a development dimension and that in real life, development and humanitarian concerns overlap. It includes the findings of an evaluation team that visited 15 UNDP programme countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Croatia, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Liberia, Mozambique, Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Tajikistan).

Findings:

UNDP interventions in support of the reintegration of war-affected populations fall into three main categories:

  • area-based economic and social assistance for the recovery of war-affected communities
  • reintegration support for specific target groups, such as ex-combatants, internally displaced persons or returnees
  • technical assistance and capacity-building for key institutions in the peace-building and recovery process


The evaluation team found many instances of successful programming by UNDP in these various areas. It noted in particular the important role that area-based programmes have played in recovery and the significant technical assistance UNDP has provided to national de-mining efforts

Main recommendations

Policy:

  • UNDP should recognise post-conflict assistance as a major part of its mission and mandate
  • UNDP should formulate and distribute an overall policy statement on its role in post-conflict situations
  • UNDP should draft a new section in its Operations Manual that compiles the special administrative, staffing and financial procedures to be applied during post-conflict periods
  • UNDP headquarters should (a) redefine the role of ERD, turning it into a strong technical resource unit, and (b) clarify the field backstopping responsibilities of the Regional Bureaux and ERD
  • UNDP needs to assign field staff early on in complex emergencies to assist its aid partners in infusing a development perspective into humanitarian assistance strategies and activities
  • UNDP should compile, from a representative number of country offices, insights gained in using different execution modalities, especially DEX and UNOPS execution
  • UNDP should reassess the use and the level of funds it has earmarked for special development situations
  • Programme

    • UNDP should reassess the use and the level of funds it has earmarked for special development situations
    • UNDP can best address the reintegration needs of war-affected populations at the community level through area- or community-based approaches
    • UNDP should avoid programmes exclusively targeting a particular group, except in the case of ex-combatants when, for political reasons, they may be targeted for a limited period
    • UNDP should avoid programmes exclusively targeting a particular group, except in the case of ex-combatants when, for political reasons, they may be targeted for a limited period
    • when designing programmes in war-torn societies, UNDP, in partnership with UNIFEM, should assess the conditions and needs of women and female-headed households and ensure that priority support is given to improve their livelihoods and access to political and economic power
    • UNDP needs to ensure greater use of NGOs and UNVs during post-conflict situations
    • UNDP country offices should give higher priority to assessing intermediate outcomes during post-conflict operations

    Coordination:

    • UNDP country offices should develop special resource mobilization strategies for use during post-conflict periods
    • UNDP, in collaboration with OCHA, should assess its experience with the centrally managed ECAP process from the standpoint of the ratio of returns to effort
    • UNDP should formulate clear guidance for its headquarters and field staff on the supporting role that the Programme intends to play during post-conflict situations as the manager and source of funding for the resident coordinator system
    • UNDP headquarters should assist in establishing an assistance strategy within the United Nations system by (a) reviewing its experience in promoting this type of instrument during early post-conflict periods and (b) sharing whatever insights are gained within the United Nations
    • UNDP and the World Bank need to agree on their respective development roles and comparative strengths in these situations and reinforce complementarity between the two organizations
    • UNDP needs to meet the challenge of serving as the manager of technical-level joint programming units

    [From the author]

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