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Development for Peace: How Development Cooperation Can Support Peacebuilding

16 pages, pdf
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Development for Peace: How Development Cooperation Can Support Peacebuilding

Publisher: Pablo Padrutt

Volume: 16 pages, pdf


Development and peace are mutually reinforcing. Likewise, developing countries can be caught in a vicious circle of insecurity and underdevelopment: Insecurity adversely affects both human and socio-economic development, while, at the same time, poverty increases the risk of armed violence and conflicts. These linkages are particularly relevant from the perspective of development cooperation, which often operates in the poorest and most conflict-prone environments.

Over the last two decades, civilian peacebuilding has received a lot of international attention. In the 1990s, more than 40 percent of all armed conflicts relapsed into violence within five years of their termination. Hence, post-conflict peacebuilding has increasingly been understood as a key complement to military peacekeeping.

In the following essay, I will discuss the implications of this new focus on peacebuilding in terms of development policy, drawing partly on my personal experiences in post-conflict Sierra Leone. First, I will present key findings of conflict researchers on current conflict trends as well as on the linkages between low income and conflict. Secondly, I will outline the rationale behind UN Peacekeeping Operations and Peacebuilding Missions as the international community’s main tools for conflict management. Thirdly, I will put forward a number of key peacebuilding challenges that can be addressed by development cooperation in order to facilitate a stable recovery over the critical first decade after the end of a conflict and support civilian peacebuilding. Finally, I will discuss instruments that international development agencies have started to apply in order to make their programmes and projects in challenging environments more conflict-sensitive.