November 26, 2010
The first series of working group meetings of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, hosted by the International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) (*1), was held in Paris during November 18-19. From JICA-RI, research associate Ryutaro Murotani attended the working group meetings on capacity development (CD) and aid instruments.
The major subjects addressed at the CD working group meeting on the first day were: 1) impacts of donor practice on personnel employment and procurement, 2) effectiveness of technical assistance, and 3) avoiding distortion of local labor markets. Officials of recipient countries stressed the difficulties of maintaining a competent work force for project formulation and financial management. Other issues brought up by the audience included the diversity of CD processes, the need to focus on success stories, balancing short-term and long-term needs, and the importance of not only investing in institutions and technologies but in building social trust as well. Touching on JICA-RI's research project on CD, Murotani argued saying that "There are a number of different methods for technical assistance and technical cooperation, so it is not appropriate to simply lump them together, but should focus instead more on the success stories of CD assistance. Drawing from lessons learned – such as the importance of mutual learning and co-creation between external experts and local people, donors must be willing to work with officers of developing countries to find those measures that best fit the local context. Additionally, the capacity of local civil societies and social trust are also crucial factors, especially when the capacity of state public institutions is still low. Taking a broader view of CD assistance and covering the society as a whole is a critical approach.
The meeting on aid instruments the following day focused on the efforts to create government bodies and institutions as part of post-conflict aid coordination and strategy building. Case studies on Liberia, Afghanistan, and South Sudan were presented. There, recipient countries shared expectations for the active application of budget support, trust funds, and pool funds. The significance of CD in project formulation and financial management – required for utilizing these modalities – was also discussed. Murotani pointed out that, "In addition to demonstrating the short-term effectiveness of various aid instruments such as budget support, it is crucial to also show how they are influencing peacebuilding and statebuilding efforts over the long run. And this applies not only to the impacts they have on the state, but on the society as a whole as well.”
The meetings proved to be a significant process in examining concrete measures for problem-solving, as they provided an opportunity for donors and fragile states to share ideas and issues through direct dialogues. The working group will hold its next round of meetings in spring 2011.
(*1) The International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) is a subsidiary body of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). It works to facilitate dialogues on conflict prevention as well as post-conflict reconstruction and development of fragile states. At the "International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding," which provides a platform for discussions between donors and recipient countries, four working groups – on capacity development, aid instruments, planning processes, and political dialogue – are held to address priority challenges.
Ryutaro Murotani, JICA-RI Research Associate
|Day||November 18, 2010(Thu) - November 19, 2010(Fri)|