This event is the first in a series of three Thursday Talks in partnership with USAID as part of the Conflict Sensitivity & Integration: How Peacebuilders can Influence Development Outcomes knowledge-sharing campaign.
Over 80% of the countries USAID programs in are classed as conflict and violence affected. Globally, we also see rising social and political mistrust, social and political marginalization, a sense of injustice, crushing debt, democratic backsliding and a range of other issues. These may not rise to the level of open violence, but they are indeed conflict dynamics, meaning that they contribute to social divisions, the feeling that one group’s needs, interests or values are simply incompatible with another’s. These are the things that as they grow, fester and connect with one another, tend to produce the motivation behind violent conflict. Add in all of this, and that 80% is now right around 100%. Because of the spread of these conditions, the spread of conflict and the convergence of dynamics like these with environmental shocks and food insecurity, development indicators are seeing their sharpest drop in 30 years.
How do we better insulate development programs against these caustic conditions, and what can we collectively do to roll those conditions back? In this Connexus campaign, we focus on conflict integration – ensuring that all development programs recognize the conditions they operate within; their effect on those conditions and the potential unintended consequences; the opportunities to improve those conditions both in their own right (peace being a good thing, on the whole) and because alleviating conflict dynamics also disrupts key barriers to effective development; and adapting our funding and management rules and regulations to match the realities of operation within these dynamic and difficult conditions.
- Zander Willoughby
- David Alpher; USAID Conflict & Violence Prevention Integrator
- Liz Hume; Alliance for Peacebuilding Executive Director
- Jason Calder; Saferworld USA Director
- Katie Smith; Search for Common Ground Global Policy & Outreach Specialist