Stability and development

Private Sector Development policies and instruments through a conflict lens - Addressing the knowledge gap on the role of conflict sensitivity in Dutch PSD policies and instruments


Oxfam Novib and SOMO have conducted a study that aims to address the knowledge gap with regard to conflict sensitivity in Dutch Private Sector Development (PSD) policies and instruments. The research has led to a number of important insights on the role of Dutch PSD policies and instruments in fragile and conflict-affected situations, and to what extent the “conflict lens” is being applied. Overall, it can be concluded that to some extent, a “conflict lens” is in some cases already being utilised in Dutch PSD policies and instruments (mostly informally and ad hoc). In practice, implementing agencies have in some cases paid extra attention to the conflict context when certain PSD instruments were applied in FCAS.

The new Dutch policy framework ‘Investing in global prospects’ provides a good opportunity to align PSD support (financial and non-financial) policies and practices to the overarching goal of prevention of conflict and instability by applying the “conflict lens” to PSD policies and interventions in FCAS. The Dutch embassies could potentially play a key role here, for instance by strengthening the capacity of embassy staff on how to better support Dutch businesses when they (have plans to) operate in fragile settings. Also, applying the “conflict lens” could then become the missing link between SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and SDG 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions).

This report is part of a project funded by the Knowledge Management Fund.

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