Restricting space for civil society

There is consensus in the literature reviewed for this rapid query that the space for civil society to act has been increasingly restricted in the past decade. This is a global phenomenon – occurring in different ways and not in all countries – but in all regions of the world. It is occurring in all regime types – not just authoritarian countries. However, at the same time, in ...» more

Influencing laws and guidelines on humanitarian assistance

International humanitarian law (IHL) and international disaster response laws, rules and principles (IDRL) set out rules and guidance on how to access affected populations, and how to deliver humanitarian assistance, during armed conflicts and disasters. This includes guidance on customs clearance and the taxation of relief, among other areas. IDRL is a fragmented collection of ...» more

Improving access to justice through information and communication technologies

Legal empowerment aims to enable citizens to actively use the law and shape it to their needs. Examples of awareness-raising and legal education initiatives using ICTs include: using television and radio talk shows to build links between the formal and informal justice systems; broadcasting documentaries on local television stations to promote gender equality; etc. Many ...» more

Policy approaches and lessons from working with non-state actors in security and justice

DFID has a rule of law policy approach. Programming decisions are made by a context-based, problem solving approach and therefore the policy does not identify overarching actors or themes for engagement. Is one of few donors to have published a briefing (DFID, 2004) entirely focussed on engaging with non-state security and justice actors. Engaging with non-state actors is also ...» more

Donor policy approaches to security and justice

This rapid policy mapping gives an overview of security and justice policies from the following donors and development agencies: DFID; European Commission; USAID; AFD; SIDA; World Bank; BMZ; and JICA. In terms of the differences and similarities to DFID’s approach, it finds that DFID is one of the only donors that conceptualises security and justice as a joint policy area, ...» more

Links between women’s empowerment (or lack of) and outbreaks of violent conflict

A number of studies quantitatively find a strong correlation between levels of gender inequality and conflict. They find that gender inequality increases the likelihood that a state will have internal conflict and international disputes. There is substantial evidence that traditional patriarchal gender identities lead to militaristic and violent conflict approaches. Women ...» more

Links between gender-based violence and outbreaks of violent conflict

Gender-based violence (GBV) is prevalent in all contexts and countries of the world. There are studies that quantitatively find a strong correlation between levels of structural/institutional GBV (manifested as gender inequality) and conflict (e.g. Caprioli, 2005, etc). They find that gender inequality increases the likelihood that a state will have internal conflict. Countries ...» more

Targeting groups at risk of extremism through security and justice programming

Several governments and NGOs are engaged in domestic and foreign 'countering violent extremism' (CVE) programming in the security and justice fields. USAID and the Danish government have been particularly active in this area. CVE activities are often divided into: hard power approaches (military, legislative, policing, infrastructure protection, crisis planning, border ...» more

Sequencing reforms in fragile states

Afghan Students Back to School

How can governments in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) plan and manage reforms when everything is urgent and important, and when capacity and resources are low? How can external actors strategically support the fulfilment of essential and expected state functions? This Topic Guide provides an overview of the evidence that examines the sequencing of statebuilding and ...» more

Lessons from confidence building measures

When designing CBMs, lessons include: Link CBMs to wider peace- and state-building processes or negotiations; locally design CBMs according to local context; use CBMs in situations where trust is low; start CBMs in non-controversial, or symbolic, issue areas; design CBMs with long-term, incremental approaches; combine several CBMs at different track levels, and in different ...» more

Working with members of parliament’s constituency funds

The key points from this rapid literature review include: CDFs are a relatively recent phenomenon (with most being established from the 2000s onwards), and they are relatively few in number (Barkan & Mattes, forthcoming). As a result, little is known about them. Countries that have used CDFs include: South Sudan; Philippines; Honduras; Nepal; Pakistan; Jamaica; Solomon Islands; ...» more

Conflict analysis of Liberia

It is over ten years since Liberia’s final peace agreement was signed in 2003, putting an end to 14 years of violent civil wars. This paper finds that current levels of overt conflict in Liberia are relatively low, and there has been no large-scale violence since the end of the second war. However, it also finds that many of the root causes and grievances that led to the wars ...» more

Assessing seismic risk in Ethiopia

There is limited literature available in this area. Abeye (2012) argues that an updated seismic hazard map of Africa is long overdue. In a case study analysis of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, a 1999 UNIDSR report identified as challenges an absence of previous seismic risk assessment, few specialists and limited practice in seismology and earthquake engineering, low ...» more

Ground rules for military conduct

Under international humanitarian law (IHL), all parties involved in non-international armed conflicts – whether state actors or non-state armed groups – should comply with international standards of behaviour. In many contexts, humanitarian organisations broker ‘ground rules’ with state and non-state actors to ensure compliance with IHL standards. The literature base in this ...» more

Lessons from implementing peace agreements: what next for Colombia?

Conflict in Colombia has deep roots, with over 50 years of armed conflict between state and non-state armed forces, more than 220,000 people estimated dead, and five million internally displaced people (ICG, 2013). Since the 1980s, there have been many formal and informal peace negotiations between the state and the different non-state armed groups. But no agreement to date has ...» more

Literature review poverty, social analysis and the political economy of Tonga

Key findings: This rapid review examines evidence on poverty, social and political economy analysis published since 2010. The majority of the literature found through this review has been published by regional and international organisations, donors, and the Tongan government. There is substantial policy and practitioner literature that examines the Pacific as a region, or ...» more

Responding to the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon – lessons learned

Three groups of lessons emerge from the literature: Political lessons include: understanding Lebanon’s historic refugee experience; understanding how sectarian divisions affect policy and decision-making; the limitations of excluding key stakeholders; and understanding historic relations between refugees and host communities. Strategic lessons include developing a medium-term ...» more

Promoting national identities

Most Somalis share the same ethnic group, genealogy, language, customary law, culture and religion. Despite possessing many characteristics of national identity, clanship and contract are fundamental for Somali political units. Somalia has many of the traits of what is defined as a nation, and also of national identity. However, the failure of the central state to provide and ...» more