Nepal: Staying Engaged in Conflict

TitleNepal: Staying Engaged in Conflict
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleExperiences and Lessons Learnt from Conflict Sensitive Programme Management (CSPM) in Fragile Context with Armed Conflict
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsPaffenholz, T
Number of Pages70 pp.
PublisherSwiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Accession Number762

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Nepal adapted its country programme to the situation of armed conflict in the years from 2003 to 2005. After great effort and many achievements both on the political as well as the operational side of the programme the 'Conflict Sensitive Programme Management' (CSPM) and a Joint Swiss Strategy for Nepal, combining Swiss development with diplomatic peace and human rights strategies, were introduced and further developed. In order to learn lessons from these experiences for future work in Nepal, as well as for development work in other fragile conflict contexts, a project was started to document and analyse the CSPM experiences in Nepal. This report presents the project results.The main lessons can be summarized as follows:- The successful end of armed conflict is a precondition for successful turnaround in fragile states. This also implies that development actors need to engage actively in conflict transformation as a precondition for development.- Staying engaged becomes the main contribution within the transformation process, as development actors otherwise would not have sufficient influence on transformation and protection concerns. Whether staying engaged with a development programme, or with a mix of humanitarian and development interventions, depends on the respective country context.- Development actors cannot support conflict transformation on their own. A joint strategy between diplomatic and development actors is required ('whole of government' approach) as well as pro-active engagement within the donor community as a means of donor harmonization.- Protecting the space for development (or humanitarian work), e.g. focussing on various strategies to be able to continue work in conflict affected areas, has proven to be a crucial condition for staying engaged.- Conflict sensitivity needs to be incorporated both on the development political as well as operational level. It has to be concrete, operational and context-relevant. Introducing conflict related transversal themes into all sectors and projects is a key approach: the deeper social causes of conflict were made a transversal theme for all projects, e.g. including not only disadvantaged Nepali groups such as women, lower casts and ethnic groups, but also marginalized geographical areas, into development activities as well as project but also cooperation office staff recruitment policies.- When armed conflict further escalates it is necessary to respond to the deteriorating livelihood and human security situation.- Direct support to peacebuilding and human rights is also required both through diplomatic and project initiatives and thus requires close cooperation between SDC and the Political Divisions (PD) within the Swiss Foreign Ministry, especially with the PDIV for human security.- Adapting a country programme to a situation of armed conflict is a management challenge. The report therefore includes a number of lessons and suggests strategies and practical instruments for programme management in fragile, as well as in conflict, contexts. The report also analyses the comparative advantages of Switzerland in response to fragile conflict contexts and presents a number of recommendations.

Full Text