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Community-based approaches to peacebuilding in conflict-affected and fragile contexts

Haider, Huma (2009) Community-based approaches to peacebuilding in conflict-affected and fragile contexts. Discussion Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

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Abstract

The impact of violent conflict and fragility on a country’s society, economy and political governance is devastating and encompassing. The effects can be tangible and visible, including killed and injured civilians, destroyed or derelict bridges and wells, and damaged or inadequate health and education facilities. They can also be intangible, such as the collapse of state institutions, mistrust in government, the destruction of social relationships, psychological trauma and pervasive fear. Addressing both types of effects are essential in conflict-affected and fragile contexts.

The ‘community’ has often proven to be resilient in such contexts, providing survival and coping mechanisms for insecurity and fragility. Experience has shown that even in areas of sheer desolation, social life and organisational systems can readily re-emerge within community networks. (Pouligny, 2005) Growing attention has thus been paid in recent years to the adoption of community-based approaches to help address the extensive needs in conflict-affected and fragile contexts. Fragile contexts are situations in which ‘state structures lack political will and/or capacity to provide the basic functions needed for poverty reduction, development and to safeguard the security and human rights of their population’. (OECD DAC, 2007) Conflict-affected contexts encompass situations prior to, during and after armed conflict.

This paper explores the rationale behind community-based approaches; and key issues, challenges and considerations in designing and implementing such approaches. It highlights overarching issues across sectors and country-contexts, with particular focus on implications specific to conflict-affected and fragile contexts. Section one provides an overview of community-based approaches to peacebuilding, including a brief look at typology and community institutions. Section two outlines the key aims of community-based approaches and how these aims are approached. It also discusses the various challenges in fulfilling these aims and how these challenges can be addressed. Section three highlights key considerations in the planning, execution and monitoring of community-based approaches, including the set up of participatory, community institutions and funding mechanisms. Section four examines issues of sustainability. In particular, it discusses linking community processes to government in order to ensure greater impact and consolidation of community-based interventions. The final section provides an annotated bibliography of specific case studies and evaluations of community-based approaches, highlighting lessons learned and policy recommendations.

Type of Work:Monograph (Discussion Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:42
Department:International Development Department
References:

Barakat, S. et al. (2006) ‘Mid-term Evaluation Report of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), Afghanistan’, Post-war Reconstruction & Development Unit (PRDU), University of York; and Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Burde, D. (2004) ‘Weak State, Strong Community? Promoting Community Participation in Post-Conflict Countries’, Current Issues in Comparative Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 73-87

Cheryomukhin, A. (2005) ‘Multi-track Approach to Civil Society’, Paper presented at INTRAC Conference, ‘Civil Society Support: Is Community Development the Way Forward?’, 18-20 April, Amman

Choitonbaeva, A. and Wardle, C. (2005) ‘Community Development in Transition Countries: Practical Experiences and Lessons from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Kyrgyzstan’, Paper presented at INTRAC Conference, ‘Civil Society Support: Is Community Development the Way Forward?’, 18-20 April, Amman

Cliffe, S., Guggenheim, S. and Kostner, M. (2003) Community-Driven Reconstruction as an Instrument in War-to-Peace Transitions’, CPR Working Paper, no. 7, World Bank, Washington, DC

Colletta, N. J. and Cullen, M. L. (2000) ‘The Nexus between Violent Conflict, Social Capital and Social Cohesion: Case Studies from Cambodia and Rwanda’, World Bank, Washington DC

Dorrance, B. (2008) ‘From Conflict to Reconciliation: The Use of Development Programmes to Restore Civic Trust in Northern Afghanistan’, Social Engagement, Empowerment and Change, issue 11

Fearon, J., Humphreys, M. and Weinstein, J. (2009) ‘Evaluating Community-Driven Reconstruction: Lessons from Post-Conflict Liberia’, Development Outreach, October, World Bank Institute

Fischer, M. and Fischer, A., 2004, ‘Youth Development: A Contribution to the Establishment of a Civil Society and Peacebuilding. "Lessons learned" in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Berghof Working Paper, no. 2, Berghof Research Centre for Constructive Conflict Management, Berlin

Haider, H. (2009) '(Re)Imagining Coexistence: Striving for Sustainable Return, Reintegration and Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina', International Journal of Transitional Justice, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 91-113

Higashi, D. (2008) ‘The Challenge of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding: Case of Afghanistan’, Centre of International Relations (CIR) Working Paper, no. 47, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

IRC (2007) ‘IRC’s Approach to Community-Driven Reconstruction’, Version 2, International Rescue Committee, New York

Jul-Larsen, E., Munachonga, M. and Chileche, P. (2009) ‘Review of Matantala Rural Integrated Enterprise and the Community Development with Traditional Leaders Programme’, Norad Report 24/2009 Discussion, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Oslo

Lederach, J. P. (1995) Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, New York

Barakat, S. et al. (2006) ‘Mid-term Evaluation Report of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), Afghanistan’, Post-war Reconstruction & Development Unit (PRDU), University of York; and Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Burde, D. (2004) ‘Weak State, Strong Community? Promoting Community Participation in Post-Conflict Countries’, Current Issues in Comparative Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 73-87

Cheryomukhin, A. (2005) ‘Multi-track Approach to Civil Society’, Paper presented at INTRAC Conference, ‘Civil Society Support: Is Community Development the Way Forward?’, 18-20 April, Amman

Choitonbaeva, A. and Wardle, C. (2005) ‘Community Development in Transition Countries: Practical Experiences and Lessons from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Kyrgyzstan’, Paper presented at INTRAC Conference, ‘Civil Society Support: Is Community Development the Way Forward?’, 18-20 April, Amman

Cliffe, S., Guggenheim, S. and Kostner, M. (2003) Community-Driven Reconstruction as an Instrument in War-to-Peace Transitions’, CPR Working Paper, no. 7, World Bank, Washington, DC

Colletta, N. J. and Cullen, M. L. (2000) ‘The Nexus between Violent Conflict, Social Capital and Social Cohesion: Case Studies from Cambodia and Rwanda’, World Bank, Washington DC

Dorrance, B. (2008) ‘From Conflict to Reconciliation: The Use of Development Programmes to Restore Civic Trust in Northern Afghanistan’, Social Engagement, Empowerment and Change, issue 11

Fearon, J., Humphreys, M. and Weinstein, J. (2009) ‘Evaluating Community-Driven Reconstruction: Lessons from Post-Conflict Liberia’, Development Outreach, October, World Bank Institute

Fischer, M. and Fischer, A., 2004, ‘Youth Development: A Contribution to the Establishment of a Civil Society and Peacebuilding. "Lessons learned" in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Berghof Working Paper, no. 2, Berghof Research Centre for Constructive Conflict Management, Berlin

Haider, H. (2009) '(Re)Imagining Coexistence: Striving for Sustainable Return, Reintegration and Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina', International Journal of Transitional Justice, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 91-113

Higashi, D. (2008) ‘The Challenge of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding: Case of Afghanistan’, Centre of International Relations (CIR) Working Paper, no. 47, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

IRC (2007) ‘IRC’s Approach to Community-Driven Reconstruction’, Version 2, International Rescue Committee, New York

Jul-Larsen, E., Munachonga, M. and Chileche, P. (2009) ‘Review of Matantala Rural Integrated Enterprise and the Community Development with Traditional Leaders Programme’, Norad Report 24/2009 Discussion, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Oslo

Lederach, J. P. (1995) Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, New York

Sullivan-Owomoyela, J. and Branelly, L. (2009) Promoting Participation: Community Contributions to Education in Conflict Situations, IIEP/CfBT Education Trust, International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), UNESCO, Paris

World Bank (2007) ‘Implementation Completion and Results Report on a Grant to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for an Emergency National Solidarity Project’, Sustainable Development Sector Unit, Afghanistan, South Asia Region

World Bank (2006) 'Community-Driven Development in the Context of Conflict-Affected Countries: Challenges and Opportunities', Social Development Department, Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network, World Bank, Washington, DC

World Bank (2005) ‘The Effectiveness of World Bank Support for Community-Based and –Driven Development’, an OED Evaluation, World Bank, Washington, DC

USAID (2007) ‘Community-Based Development in Conflict-Affected Areas: An Introductory Guide for Programming’, USAID, Washington, DC

Zakhilwal, O. and Thomas, J. M. (2005) ‘Afghanistan: What Kind of Peace? The Role of Rural Development in Peace-building’, Working Paper, ‘What Kind of Peace is Possible?’ Project

Projects:Governance and Social Development Resource Centre
Series/Collection Name:GSDRC Emerging Issues Papers
Keywords:peace-building, peacebuilding, state-building, statebuilding, community, community-based approaches, fragile states, conflict, development, international development
Subjects:J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Related URLs:
URLURL Type
http://www.gsdrc.orgOrganisation
Funders:AusAID
Copyright Status:Copyright 2009 University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:University of Birmingham
ID Code:642

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