The following recommendations on on donor support to non-state providers of security and justice services in fragile and conflict-affected states are made in the literature:
- There is a need for a ‘pragmatic realism’ approach, meaning that in addition to supporting state institutions, donors proportion a significant percentage of assistance, in the short- to intermediate-term, to non-state/local justice and security networks. This also means building more effective and accountable relationships between the different layers (state and non-state) of authority in fragile states (the ‘multilayered approach’).
- Civil society may be better situated to support non-state providers of security and justice because they have the requisite knowledge and understanding of political dynamics and balances of power.
- The specific needs and challenges of the state and non-state justice systems must be assessed in each case.
- Support for non-state institutions may give rise to—or worsen—conflicts between state and non-state actors as well as between customary and state law. Open dialogue is key.
- Any sort of recognition of non-state justice institutions could provide non-state actors and institutions with legitimacy that they might not otherwise have at the community level.
- Working with the non-state sector in security and justice requires donors accepting a larger degree of risk than they are used to.
- Efforts to bring together state and non-state systems involve highly sensitive political choices regarding the primacy of values, and so must be entered into in as thoughtful and participatory a manner as possible. A positive relationship between state and informal systems can be shaped through a process of dialogue, mutual recognition, and small-scale practical experience.