Reconstructing public administration after conflict: challenges, practices and lessons learned

Reconstructing public administration after conflict: challenges, practices and lessons learned

Effective administration and innovative government are crucial conditions for successful post-conflict reconstruction

Recovery after conflict is possible is possible if public administration can earn the trust of the people,
provide services to them, and  and operate in an effective, transparent and accountable way. This report seeks to analyse challenges, practices and lessons learned in rebuilding public administration after conflict.

The report argues that the central cause of violent conflict is weak governance institutions characterised by a lack of sustainable systems and by corrupted leaders who use public office to benefit their affiliates. Correspondingly, success depends on the effectiveness of public administration and the promotion of an efficient, effective, transparent, accountable and innovative government.

The paper concludes the following:

  • in each country, depending on the past and present government institutions, structures, practices and leadership capacities, the needs for reconstruction vary greatly
  • because post-conflict situations are heterogeneous, there are no “one size fits all” institutional solutions to governance challenges
  • in each country, institutional reforms should be tailored to current needs while taking into account the legacy of pre-existing institutions, including past values and belief systems
  • developing leadership capacities in post-conflict countries is mainly an endogenous process that can be aided by impartial facilitators and by donor-supported initiatives
  • in most post-conflict and crisis situations, there are tensions among various ethnic, socio-politico-cultural or religious groups; such situations are ripe for conflict and need to be carefully managed
  • in the aftermath of conflict, states rarely have adequate financial, human and other resources to undertake effective reconstruction; thus the involvement of multiple stakeholders is necessary

Moreover, the paper believes that incorporating information and communications technologies (ICTs) into strategies for improving public service delivery in post-conflict situations can be recommended.

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