During a networking day for Dutch civilian experts, participants had the opportunity to engage with policymakers in the MFA, and connect with each other on their experience and challenges of working in multilateral missions for short periods of time, as well as on practical and substantive questions involved in their day to day work.
The Platform facilitated several of the discussions during this networking day. The opening panel, with P.J. Kleiweg-De Zwaan (Director Security Policy), Gert Kampman (Deputy Director Stabilization and Humanitarian Aid), Jaïr van der Lijn (Senior research fellow Clingendael/ SIPRI) and facilitated by Sergei Boeke (Senior research fellow ICCT), delved into the challenges of measuring and impact of missions, in an era of an increased focus on showing concrete results of interventions. While it is indeed difficult to present immediate results of interventions, more specifically the role of civilian experts in these missions, we should try to steer away from a focus on outputs. Instead we should look into the long term perspective and acknowledging the fact that change generally takes more than the cycle of one mission and is by no means a linear process. The valuable role of civilian experts in these missions was underlined, in terms of their contributions to sustainable peace as well as their important role as linking pin between the MFA and the field.
Various breakout sessions were facilitated by Platform members, focusing on Rule of Law in conflict contexts in European and African regions (The Hague Institute for Global Justice, Clingendael); SSR, accountability and governance with specific inputs from the work of MINUSMA (GPPAC); the specific challenges for gender experts in multilateral missions (IDLO); and related to the role of multilateral missions in protection of civilians (PAX).