Dutch Private Sector Development Policies Through a Conflict Lens
Oxfam Novib and Somo will together host a presentation of the results of a joint research between Oxfam Novib and SOMO on the role of conflict sensitivity and the contribution to peace and stability in Dutch Private Sector Development (PSD) policies and instruments.
The Research Project
The nexus between private sector development (PSD) and conflict/peace building is an emerging field that, over the last 15 years, has led to an increased understanding of the role of companies in fragile and conflict-affected areas. It is generally agreed that companies never operate in isolation from the context in which they do business, and that there are serious risks and challenges involved when operating in Fragile and Conflict Affected Settings (FCAS). Dutch PSD policies and instruments aim to stimulate inclusive economic development and to support Dutch trade interests abroad. In addition, the Netherlands also aims to play an active role in preventing armed conflict worldwide and strengthening security and rule of law by, for instance, supporting reconstruction in post-conflict countries.
In order to contribute to a better understanding of both policy fields (private sector development and peace & security) and of the coherence between the two fields, Oxfam Novib and SOMO have conducted a study that aims to address the knowledge gap on conflict-sensitivity in Dutch PSD policies and instruments, funded by the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law. The goal of the research is twofold: first, it aims to identify knowledge gaps regarding the coherence of the two policy fields. Second, it aims to fuel a constructive dialogue between relevant stakeholders to jointly improve policy coherence and development regarding conflict-sensitive private sector development.
This meeting is especially meant for policymakers, practitioners and implementing agencies who are working on private sector development in Fragile and Conflict Affected Settings. The meeting will also be interesting for companies, academics, students, NGOs and consultants that are active in these settings.
Practice & Policy in Conflict Sensitivity
Oxfam Novib is hosting a meeting of policy and practice in conflict sensitivity. Representatives of a number of operational agencies working in peacebuilding, humanitarian and development aid will meet in the Hague to share best and worst practice when it comes to working in and on conflict.
On Monday, 10 July, conflict sensitivity leads from these agencies would like to engage the Knowledge Platform members in a discussion on their approaches to conflict sensitivity - helping us identify key challenges and opportunities. The Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands will share their thoughts on conflict sensitive approaches.
Great Lakes: linking and learning under the reconstruction tender
The event aims to unpack some of the results and learnings of the projects implemented under the Reconstruction Tender, with a regional focus on the Great Lakes Region. The goal is to facilitate knowledge transfer, to capture results and learnings, and to extract these learnings and feed them into the subsequent implementation of programs and projects. During this event, our focus will move beyond activities only, to also share and discuss results, insights, and how these results were accomplished.
There is increasing national, regional and international recognition of the need to tackle the root causes of armed conflict, instability and forced migration to ensure sustainable peace and security. In conflict contexts, and in particular during the aftermath of conflict, it is essential to restore people’s trust in the State and improve human security.
In recent years, The Netherlands has contributed, through several channels, to tackling the root causes of armed conflict, instability and irregular migration. Through multilateral and bilateral programs, but also by the means of diplomatic, political and military efforts, The Netherlands has been involved on a regional and national level with peacekeeping, facilitating peace processes, strengthening the rule of law and enhancing the capacity of (central) governments. At the same time, by subsidizing NGOs (e.g. Reconstruction Tender, Strategic Partnerships Protracted Crises and Dialogue & Dissent), efforts are made to tackle these root causes through a ‘bottom-up’ approach by i.e. strengthening civil society, encouraging possibilities for peaceful conflict resolution and improving social cohesion amongst citizens, as well as the social contract between citizens and the government. The Netherlands remains committed to this approach and therefore presented an overarching NGO fund, the Addressing Root Causes Fund (ARC Fund), in 2016.
Great Lakes reconstruction work
For decades Burundi, Rwanda and Eastern DRC have suffered from endemic conflicts with
highly destructive human, economic, social and institutional effects. Several INGO's, with
their partners, were granted so-called Reconstruction funding. Through these programs,
peace and security, rule of law and governance were promoted in conflict and post-conflict
countries. Most of these projects are now coming to a close and evaluations are being
conducted or are currently taking place. Extracting lessons learned from these programs in
the Great Lakes Region can provide for a meaningful avenue to foster future thinking,
particularly in view of the start of the implementation of the ARC funds in Great Lakes
countries. Thus, sharing key learnings from 4 years of work in the Great Lakes can be of
utmost importance for the sustainability and impact of continued joint efforts in support of
conflict-affected countries or post-conflict societies (ARC, SPs).
Tentatively, the following questions will be discussed during the event, linking the
Reconstruction Tender with ARC:
Assumptions vs. reality: what did we assume four years ago and what has become reality at
the national and regional levels? Which results have been achieved and has change
happened? Or why not?
- Priority areas: Inclusive political processes, employment for stability
- Approaches: Different tools and techniques have been used by programs to effect positive change at the national and regional levels e.g. Evidence-based reports, edutainment, influencing, lobby & advocacy. What has worked or not, and why?
Monitoring, evaluation and learning: How to measure outcomes rather than activities to assess the impact of programs on the local population? How to go about adaptive programming and which lessons can be learned from how programs adapted to the crisis
Partnerships: How have local partners (given the importance of partners within ARC and
SP) perceived the partnership with INGO's (and vice versa)? What has been the result of
capacity-building? Are partners able to move on (independently) and are programs still in
place following the reconstruction funding, thus enhancing their sustainability? What
approaches worked best? And how are leadership roles of partners in the program
encouraged by INGO's?
MEAL: How to measure impact based on perceptions of populations, cq. ordinary poor
- Plenaries and group work with ample opportunity for interaction
- No PowerPoints. Program examples allowed (documentaries, edutainment, examples of reports, etc.)
- Input by local/international organizations regarding Lessons Learned Reconstruction Tender
- For more information on the content, program, or your contribution, please send an email to Wouter van Dis (Wouter.van.Dis@oxfamnovib.nl].
- For any practical issues, please feel free to send an email to the Platform Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org).