What constitutes an African framework for post-conflict reconstruction? This policy framework has been developed by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and aims to provide a common frame of reference and conceptual base for the assessment, planning, coordination and monitoring of post-conflict reconstruction systems across Africa.
Post-conflict reconstruction (PCR) is a complex process that incorporates simultaneous short-, medium- and long-term programmes to prevent disputes from escalating, avoid relapses and build sustainable peace. PCR efforts develop thorough three broad phases: the emergency phase, the transition phase and the development phase. However, it is important to understand that these phases are not absolutes and do not have clearly defined boundaries.
PCR systems have five dimensions that must be programmed simultaneously and collectively to build peace: 1) security, 2) political transition, governance and participation, 3) socio-economic development, 4) human rights, justice and reconciliation and 5) coordination, management and resource mobilisation.
Each PCR system has to be composed differently, depending on the actors involved and the political, historical context. Each conflict arises from a unique set of root causes, with its own socio-economic and political background and particular set of actors involved in PCR. The Framework also acknowledges the following:
- There is a lack of clarity regarding the coordination of PCR activities. Coherence is a widely accepted goal, but there is no clarity over who should lead coordination
- PCR processes must be locally owned rather than externally driven. Internal actors should be as involved in assessment, planning and monitoring as possible.
- Country PCR systems must link with systems in neighbouring countries as most intra-state conflicts in Africa are linked with regional conflict.
- There is a need to develop country-level strategic frameworks that bring together strategic planning and funding processes to improve coordination and to facilitate monitoring and evaluation.
- The specific requirements of ‘special needs’ groups must be incorporated into programming. Such groups include women, children, youth, disabled people, older people, ex-combatants, IDPs, refugees, child soldiers, victims of sexual violence and people living with HIV/AIDS.
External actors must aim to build the capacity of internal actors in PCR, with the ultimate aim of their own role being scaled down and full ownership passing to internal actors. In addition, external actors should be aware of the absorption capacity of internal actors and adjust their programming accordingly. For the AU/NEPAD, the following policy actions are recommended:
- Undertake advocacy to raise the profile of this policy framework among all stakeholders.
- Develop monitoring and evaluation strategies and take a leading role in generating best practice and lessons learned on PCR in Africa.
- Facilitate the mobilisation of resources in PCR, for example by developing mechanisms to track funding or by building internal capacity to source and manage resources. Additionally, AU/NEPAD should develop a funding facility that can quickly undertake multidisciplinary and multi-agency assessments and evaluations.
- Set up an AU/NEPAD PCR unit that is specifically designated to undertake these activities.