Fragile and Conflict-Affected States


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Movements are typically sustained by those most affected by the action of the movement. Organizers have a vested interest in the purpose and outcome of the movement and find it practical to ensure its survival. There are different forms of local or internal self-organized action, including civil resistance, and different forms of external assistance to local actors. What can be learned from assistance to community banking and financial self-help projects in development assistance?

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  • Problems with defining fragile states:OECD DAC lists 45 fragile statesWorld Bank list of fragile -changes every year, governments are obviously not happy, for political reasons to be categorized as fragile states.
  • (45 countries, rep 1.5 billion people) some problems of classification- Indonesia, Honduras and Guatemala. Papua New Guinea, Syria)
  • Linkages between peace, development security. Global linkages. Failed states as vectors or hosts for ideological movements that use terror both nationally and internationally. Rregional spill overs- as in west africa, in the Mena region, the AF-PAK problem. Simply not acceptale for a large percentage of the world’s population to people to
  • Certain needs and challenges that exist in countries emerging from conflict, and for some fragile states, that, if not addressed can contribute to fragility and propensity towards violence‘official’ peace to durable peace and democracy. Formal peace agreements or war-victories may not be felt or acknowledged across the entire territory of a country, and in some parts, violence may continue unabated. Many states also witness, after the formal end of hostilities, varying degrees of socially and politically-motivated violence. War-related legacies, such as the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, mobilized and aggrieved political groups, displaced and differentiated populations, weak or captured political institutions, and turbulent transitions leave lasting vulnerability to the recurrence of conflict. In addition, rapid political transitions, economic crises, external shocks from the global or regional context, and troubled electoral processes are all commonly identified as pivotal factors in the re-emergence of conflict. ‘Official’ peace refers to an absence of violence either through a formal end to hostilities, a peace agreement, war victory, or by other means. The term ‘official’ peace is used to distinguish between actual peace (peaceful relations within a society) and durable peace, or peace that is more than simply the absence of violence. .
  • Formal peace agreemnts not accepted, or victories not accepted in all parts of the state (southern suda, blue nile state, Afghanistan, all over the country, but especially concentrated in particular parts). State cannot control all of its territory. The security vacuum that results s leaves these areas vulnerable to other armed non-state actors, criminal gnags, terror movements which connect with and exploit.The violence robs people of their freedoms, creates insecurity, impacts upon income earning opportunities, stops people for claiming rights and services.Not only rural area, cities also wracked by violence- don’t need to be fragile or conflict effected, as we have seen in mexico, honduras, guatemala, Nairobi, amongst others. Between 1978 and 2000, more people were killed in the Brazilian City of Rio De Janeiro (49,913 persons killed) than in all of Colombia, a country experiencing civil war (39,000 persons). In many cities, the line between organized crime and organized political violence is blurry. 100,000 in eritrea. Sierra Leone, Liberia, significant numbers of population are conmabtants, many from childhood. The donor response is built upon a sysetm of DDR, or DDRR- emphaises giving up weapons, release from command structure, sending them back to their communities, restortaion of livelihoods. Faced severe problems- many of them have always used violcne in achiving their aims, don’t know what else to do. Not taken back into communities- seen as a threat, distrust. Livelihoods offered to them often don’t have same appeal as power in fighting. Threat they present for transitions from formal peace to democracy is also that they are often given, in peace agreements, priviledged positions in society- absorption into the police and security sector, in administrative roles and even political positions in government. You can see what kid of a threat this might pose- Nepal where the integration of the maoist rebel leaders into local political structures- use of violence to maintain population control. Taking away arms,
  • Ghana sits bang in the midst of a number of fragile states, many of whom have recently experienced conflict. Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and close neighbors, Mali, Liberia, sierra leone. Water = access to safe drinking water is one of the MDGs, it is fundamental to human development- it relates to nutritional intake, malnutrition, infant mortality due to diarhea, as well as to many water-bourne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, guinea worm, 70% of diseases are related to lack of access to clean water and to sewerage and sanitation facilities- ministry of health. Government had, prior to 2000 been spending significant portion of state budget on provision of clean drinking water. Then in year 2000, World Bank and DfID asked for privatization. To help tughten up social spending in order to reduce budget deficits, effirt for make more efficient state-run utility companies. Secrecy with which it was done. Part of WB loan and grant package agreement (SAP). Concerns were the hikes in fees that people would have to pay for water, the cost recovery aspect. Only foreign companies allowed to bid, no consideration of the public-private model, nor of national bidders. Content of tender and agreement: Unbundling of sewerage with water delivery. Emphasis only on delivery in urban areas. Fact that company only asked to put in ¼ of the total investment required. Guaranteed investment returns for winning bidder.
  • Used a rights-based language, built a broad coalition, TUC, teachers, etc. so combined NGOs with other organized civil society and professions. Slow hacking away at the process: Strategy was ncremental in nature:They demanded to broaden the process, demanded access to the tender documents and the bids, challenged each apsect of it, insolation. They also used a variety of other strategies: held open-air public talks followed by peaceful protests, they engaged with political parties and ensured that the water privatization became an issue debated by the political parties in the run up to the 2003 elections. They also engaged faith based organizations as having strongest constituencies, with powerful leaders. Undertook a public information campaign and one which trageted parliamentarian, district assemblies and municpal councils, creating pressure on the executive branch of central government from other parts of the state governance system. They significantly leveraged international spaces for discusiion and publicization- had representatives attend the WTO talks in Doha, they used their links with public citizen in the US, and water aid, chirstian aid and others in the UK to lobby DfID. In 2005 they travelled to SA to meet with like-minded orgs working there, they also offered to sit down with RAND water. The government didn’t roll over easily though- coopt some of the leaders and organizations involved, the Christian Council of Ghana were called to meet with govt and given assurances that welfare of christian poor would not be effected. Smear campiagn of ISODEC leaders. ISODEC would publicize each one of these, make public accusations and address them.
  • Fighting in Phillipines 3rd largest island., Area under MILF control or MILF operations covers a huge area. 60,000 deaths, million IDPs, disruption to peoples livelihoods, local economy, no government services being delivered- no schools., health clinics closed. etcIn 1987 peace-mongers came together as the Coalition for Peace, headquartered in Manila. Echoed by Catholic and Protestant church bodies, it petitioned for a new cease-fire, and in 1988 proposed the creation of peace zones.
  • Coalition for peace along with both catholic and protestant church leaders in 1988 by proposed a peace zone during the annual city fiesta. They had tried unsuccessfully to negotiatebetween the contending armed forces. During this fiesta, the communities marched to the local plaza and declared a "unilateral people's cease-fire" for the whole province after a march to the plaza. The NPA responded with its own "unilateral cease-fire" for Naga City only, The "people's cease-fire" had been endorsed by the city superintendent of schools (in most communities a very cautious soul) and was given good coverage by most local radio stations and newspapers. HOPE participated with flair in two of the fiesta parades, handing out peace headbands and flags. During the military parade peace activists unfurled a huge banner from a roof top along the route which declared "Food, Not Arms
  • Known as zones for peace, sanctuaries for peace or second generation zones for peace.
  • Lack of awarenessEven where they do exist, the prevailing discourse of development doesn’t see them as civic movementsPlagued by implementation issues- who to work with, how to select them, often competitive selection processes, to whom to transfaer funds, fiduciary responsibilitiesReluctance of some organizations to accept assistance- for example MKSS in India which strated of as s mall community-based movement to secure better services for their communities, much of which was lost due to corruption, has been instrumental in the right to information actCertsain actors reputation, accountability ends up being to funders rather than to grass roots constituency
  • Fragile and Conflict-Affected States

    1. 1. Fragile and conflict-affected states: the role of non-violent social movements By Sadaf Lakhani for FSI 2012
    2. 2. What are fragile states?States where the government cannot or will not deliver core functions to the majority of its people, including the poor.
    3. 3. Criteria for assessing ‘fragility’Lack of authority, capacity and legitimacy of the state• Risk of conflict or violence• Accountability of government institutions,• Capacity to manage public resources and deliver services,• Territorial control,• Levels of poverty, and ability to protect the poorest• Lack of effective political processes to influence the state to meet social expectations.• Other characteristics include weak institutions and governance systems.• Problems with defining fragility and with applying the label
    4. 4. Why does fragility matter for development actors?• Fragility: countries classified as fragile are home to over one-quarter of the world’s population.• At least half of these states are affected by armed conflicts of varying intensity.• Fragile and conflict-affected states are the furthest from reaching the Millennium Development Goals (reverse of poverty trends).
    5. 5. Why is violent conflict important for international actors?Symptomatic of severe government failures butalso of ruptures within society.Recent history of violent conflict makescountries up to 44% more likely to fall back intoviolent conflict.Failure of international actors- multilateralbodies, country allies, development actors.
    6. 6. Needs and challenges in Post-conflict States• Lack of acceptance of peace-process/victory• Proliferation of small arms• Lack of presence of state in some areas• Rapid political transitions• Need to rebuild infrastructure,• Restoration or building of state architecture• Need to provide livelihoods, restore economy
    7. 7. Post-conflict needs and challenges• Continuation of violence and insecurities after end of ‘formal’ peace.• Post-conflict nationbuilding and statebuilding• Post conflict recovery and development
    8. 8. Continuation of violence and insecurities after end of ‘formal’ peace.• Lack of authority of the state in all parts of the country• Presence of armed non-state actors• Criminal gangs, terror groups and other forms of violence• Militarized communities• Demobilized former -combatant support for effective, peaceful reintegration of former combatants support for communities to limit or resist the actions of armed actors
    9. 9. Post-conflict nation and statebuilding• Need to address root-causes of violent conflict• Political reorganization of the state• Redistribution of resources /or productive assets such as land• Support the convergence of societal goals and social cohesion Addressing grievances and tensions between ‘ethnic’ groups Safe return and integration of IDPs
    10. 10. Post conflict recovery and development• Delivering services to people• Restructuring war economies• Inclusive growth and development• Social accountability Ensuring responsive service delivery Combatting corruption, ensuring social accountability Guiding or even challenging development Leveraging and further opening ’spaces for participation’ Supporting traditionally marginalized groups
    11. 11. Demanding social accountability: Ghana water privatization• Link between water and health• 70% of Ghanaians living on <$1/day• 30% did not have access to safe drinking water• Government shift to cost-recovery rather than Right to Water• 95% increase in fees for water• Concerns over the process and content of tender and contract
    12. 12. Ghana Coalition Against Water Privatization• Formed in year 2000, headed by ISODEC, a community- based organization working on health issues• Broad coalition-women’s groups, trade unions, churches, public health workers, students, environmental groups, disabled organizations.• Multi-pronged strategy-’academic’/technical, rights- based, politicization, popularization. Involved legislature and decentralized government.• Internationalization: Links to international actors (US, UK), and to other related actors in S.A. to build allies and support• Learning from Cochabamba
    13. 13. Ghana CAP Outcomes?• 2004, WB provided $103 million grant for urban water project, along with other donors• Management contract awarded to AquaVitens -Rand in 2005, for 5 year period• Severe problems effecting delivery of services, contract reconsidered in 2008• Non-renewal of contract in 2010
    14. 14. Supporting communities to resist or limit the actions or armed non-state actorsMindanao, Philippines*Zones of peace in midst of conflict*Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fightingfor 30 years*Government responds with militarization*Local communities felt conflict fatigue
    15. 15. Peace zones, Mindanao, cont• Initiated by Church-based organizations with support of the Coalition for Peace• Failed negotiations with armed parties• Declaration of ceasefire by communities of Naga city, endorsed by other key leaders such as school superintendent• Other peace-promotion public activities (banners, headbands, signs at village perimeters, defying armed actors to reclaim their villages)• Pushed for permanent zones of peace, freedom and neutrality (ZOPFAN)• Combination of methods- church backed position papers, monitoring via new media, peoples’ marches and protests
    16. 16. Coalition for peace outcomes?• Government take-over of ZOPFANS, even arming local groups, communities sought to distinguish themselves from these, creating second wave of Zones for Peace• Secure peace in their villages- war has by-passed or had a lesser effect on many zones for peace• Reducing the tensions between communities that contribute to the armed conflict• Encourage development by securing local area, NGO activities and return of government services.• Exert pressure on all parties to find a political solution to the problem.
    17. 17. What is the role of strategic non-violent methods in fragile and conflict-affected states? Raising consciousness, reframing problems, discriminations, and inequalities in society before they turn into acute grievances Mobilizing interest and resources to intervene in social conflicts and the power structures of society before citizens see violence as a viable means of achieving their goals Responding to and creating political opportunities on different scales to promote their interests and social change Developing alternatives to current political, economic, and cultural practices.
    18. 18. Opportunities and constraints for support from international actorsOpportunities heavy focus of attention and resources on fragile and conflict effected states break from ‘business as usual’ emphasis on social accountability aid dependency of host governments Facilitating connections between groups globally (south-south learning)Constraints• Little awareness of possibilities of application of non-violent conflict methods• Discourse• Implementation issues- who to work with, how to select• Reluctance of civic movements to accept assistance• Aid can distort incentives, impact legitimacy• Collusion of international actors in state and society failures
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