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Document Abstract
Published: 2011

Decentralising the management of bilateral development cooperation programmes in Tanzania: a Finnish example

Can bilateral development cooperation programmes effectively improve performance through decentralised operation
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The Conflict Prevention and Transformation division of the Swiss Development Agency has launched a process called Conflict Sensitive Programme Management. (CSPM) This is meant to help SDC programmes to contribute more consciously and effectively towards non-violent conflict resolution and peacebuilding. CSPM is based on the idea that all interventions in conflict situations can have positive and negative implications on the conflict environment.

CSPM poses two basic questions:

  • how does the conflict affect the project?
  • how does the project affect the conflict?

The authors maintain that "do no harm" is merely the minimum requirement: the programs and projects aim to avoid any violence-breeding impact or the aggravation of existing violent conflicts.

Lessons learnt from this project include:

  • It is important for IC workers to be wellprepared to deal with social conflicts, which are sometimes aggravated by the actions of international cooperation (IC), and to contribute to nonviolent solutions
  • IC workers must be aware of the current state of the conflict and its fluctuations in order to adjust their programs and projects accordingly
  • To take account of the different perspectives, opinions, interpretations and interests of the various players, it is important that men and women from all classes of society participate in the gathering of information and the analysis of conflicts
  • To make full use of the variety of information and analyses obtained for the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of IC programs and projects, it is a good idea to categorise the perspectives of the various players: Who evaluates the situation, and how? Why? What does that mean for the program/ project?
  • to "do no harm" IC projects must take care to avoid a violence-breeding impact and the aggravation of existing sources of conflict

According to this study, CSPM programmes can help reduce violence by:

  • reducing structural violence
  • attempting to change social attitudes
  • supporting local pacifist forces

Finally, the paper also offers a checklist for CSPM programmes, including questions in areas such as planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating.

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M. Kajimbwa

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