pdf From Project to Program - Effective Programming for Security and Justice

Author: Nicola Ball, Eric Scheye and Luc van de Goor
Institution: Clingendael – Conflict Research Unit 
Publication Date: 2008
Keywords: Security and Justice


The paper is aimed at helping donor engagement better support justice and security delivery in fragile/postconflict environments.  The paper argues effective security and justice programming in such situations is best developed through a sequenced approach that enable immediate needs to be met, while fostering longer term programming.  The importance of supporting both state and non-state justice and security providers is also recognised.  The paper outlines several lessons, including the need for sustainability even in stabilisation activities, the need to develop trust with and among the local population and the need to incorporate the politicised nature of these engagements into any planning and design assessments.

Key Issues:

The report argues effective security and justice programming in fragile/postconflict environments is most likely to be achieved when donors provide staged support over three phases that enable immediate needs to be met while longer term programming is developed.  As the state in these environments will often lack justice and security resources, this will involve balancing support to state and non-state providers, while also trying to develop a relationship between them.   However, donors have tended to primarily focus on state providers of justice and security.  The first phase aims to initially address immediate short term needs so to establish a basic level of security and justice, while developing an understanding of the key security and justice issues, building confidence and buy-in from local stakeholders.  The second phase aims to build upon the level of trust and confidence developed in the previous phase but aims to develop a strategy for more sustainable programming.  Phase three begins to incorporate longer term development.

The paper highlights several key issues pertinent to security and justice programming in stabilisation environments.  First, it is essential engagement in the immediate situation reduces violence and human rights violations, without jeopardising longer-term initiatives if possible.  The challenge is reconciling the very real immediate needs with longer term aims phased in at differing time horizons.  Second, building trust, confidence and buy in of local stakeholders as early as possible is key to sustainable programming.  Bypassing local stakeholders early on sets dangerous precedents that can have destabilising consequences that may prove difficult to recover from.  Third, security and justice development in fragile environments is highly political and requires astute judgements having first assessed the positions of the major stakeholders, the varying forms of service delivery and the specific needs of local communities.  Such an understanding will enable donors to adopt an approach that balances support for local security and justice needs through non-state providers with assistance to state providers.

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