Recovering from war: gaps in early action

Recovering from war: gaps in early action

Effective post-conflict assistance: addressing the 'gaps'

This report assesses the existing international architecture for peace and security and considers whether it is able to rapidly mobilise to help states and people recover from war.

The authors stress that the key challenge is organising an international response for early support to economic recovery, livelihoods and state building. States lack manpower and can only raise emergency funds slowly in the face of emergencies, they point out. So they assign the task to bilateral and multilateral actors who are not necessarily equipped or able to deal with conflict issues/situations. The research states that this leads to poor outcomes like staying longer (Bosnia), faltering (Afghanistan) or both (Timor Leste). However, it also highlights some good outcomes seen in Lebanon, Nepal, Afghanistan and Haiti.

The three major weaknesses the report identifies are a strategic gap (where there is no framework for prioritisation), financing gap (funding gaps in strategic planning, political implementation and ability to spend development money early) and capacity gaps (in leadership, resource implementation and training capacities).

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • The strategic gap should be closed through integrated standing early recovery and peace building teams
  • The financing gap should be closed through reprioritisation of funds towards conflict-affected states and new mechanisms to ensure early and easy access to the funds
  • The capacity gap should be closed through shared assessment of need, development of building strategies and investment in multilateral planning capacity, training and stand-by teams for core sector reforms.
The report concludes that post conflict recovery should target implementing the peace agreement, build the national capacity to sustain the political process and maintain security and national development efforts.
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