Effective interventions

IOB Evaluation: Mixed results for Dutch policy in fragile states

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands)

In its foreign policy the Netherlands strives to reduce
conflict and promote peacebuilding in fragile states
(countries in a conflict or a post-conflict situation). In
the period under evaluation (2005-2011) the
Netherlands pursued an integrated approach, working
with other donor countries and international organisations.
This involved a combination of security
instruments, diplomatic pressure and development
cooperation known collectively as the 3D approach
(defence, diplomacy and development). The
Netherlands did not focus on all these components
everywhere it was active, but rather made choices on
the basis of the needs of the fragile states themselves,
as well as domestic and international political considerations.
In the view of the Policy and Operations
Evaluation Department of the Dutch Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (IOB), the results of these efforts were
mixed. The level of ambition was often at odds with
the harsh realities of operating in fragile states. These
are some of the IOB’s principal conclusions in Investeren
in stabiliteit: Het Nederlandse fragiele statenbeleid doorgelicht
(Investing in stability: Dutch policy on fragile
states reviewed). IOB emphasises that supporting
fragile states is a matter of perseverance and that
without an inclusive peace process, sustainable
solutions will not be possible.

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