pdf Responding to Stabilisation Challenges in Hostile and Insecure Environments: Lessons Identified

Title: Responding to Stabilisation Challenges in Hostile and Insecure Environments: Lessons Identified
Institution: Stabilisation Unit
Publication date: November 2010
Related Categories: Stabilisation Planning


In November 2012, the Stabilisation Unit published a set of lessons drawn from the UK’s experience in stabilisation contexts.  The aim of the report is to provide accessible guidance on recent approaches underpinning the UK’s response to conflict – affected environments.  The document will be primarily useful for policy makers, practitioners and programme managers working in and on conflict-affected environments.

Key points:

All nine lessons noted in the report are relevant to stabilisation planning.  The most relevant lesson related to stabilisation planning focuses on the importance of the integrated approach; ‘The Integrated Approach is Essential’.

This section details how the integrated approach can benefit planning.  The core planning phases of problem assessment, creation and selection of objectives, and the design of measures of effect are all strengthened from taking this approach.  For example, the benefits of integration include improved flow of information, a shared understanding of stabilisation challenges and responses, a reduction in policy ‘silos’ and ultimately greater effect on the ground.

The risks of integration are also highlighted in the report.  An important lesson for planners is integration at one level may exclude certain stakeholders who could be ignored in the planning process.  The report notes whilst certain stakeholders may not be part of the comprehensive planning process, their views still need to be considered.

Of further use to planners is the case study on the development of UK Government Strategy in Somalia.  The Stabilisation Unit Planning Team ran a series of cross-Government workshops to design a strategy for UK engagement in Somalia.  This example reflects the value of an integrated planning process which enabled a single strategy across government to be established. Planners may find this case study useful as it demonstrates a successful approach taken to stabilisation planning.

Readers should also be aware of the other lessons highlighted in the report which include those identified at the strategic, operation and sectoral level.

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