Research this month
Informal justice and the international community in Afghanistan
While much of the international community’s efforts to work with informal justice in Afghanistan may have been well intentioned, the foregoing critiques suggest that they have not always been well informed.
Informal justice and the international community in Afghanistan, from USIP, looks at the approaches, both international and Afghan-led, to supporting informal justice in Afghanistan. The report argues that international approaches have often been damaging, and presents guiding principles applicable to Afghanistan and beyond.
New technology and the prevention of violence and conflict
In the long run, however, the most effective approach to using new technologies for conflict prevention may well be the one needed in prevention more broadly: one that successfully balances both grassroots, decentralized efforts and the more rationalized and coordinated activities of governments and international organizations.
New technology and the prevention of violence and conflict is a collection of articles looking at the role of new technology in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The articles draw on a number of case studies, providing lessons for practitioners and identifying areas of further research. There is a 90 minute video of the launch event and subsequent discussion available to view online. Published by the International Peace Institute with support from UNDP and USAID.
Help or Hindrance? Results-orientation in conflict-affected situations
Methodological and organizational responses to make interventions in conflict-affected contexts more focused on results are often poorly adapted to grapple with the complexity of these environments.
Help or hindrance examines the impact of results-orientation, impact assessment, and value for money on peacebuilding. Based on two expert workshops organised by Swisspeace, it offers a counterweight to the recent increased focus on results, which, the paper argues, has led to too much emphasis on 'upward accountability' at the cost of general learning and accountability for communities.
Demobilisation in the DRC: Armed groups and the role of organisational control
The ex-combatant interviews show that RCD Goma, the CNDP, and the Mai Mai groups mimicked the organization of a conventional national army. This meant that low level troops could be closely monitored, and also that the risks of being caught and punished for desertion were high.
Demobilisation in the DRC details how armed groups in DR Congo are able to control the demobilisation of individual combatants. The paper shows the mechanisms of organisational control used by armed groups to prevent "unauthorised" demobilisation, and presents possible ways of countering these disincentives. Published by the Small Arms Survey.
Violence against women in Syria: Breaking the silence
Risks of stigmatisation and rejection of survivors impose a culture of silence, preventing women reporting crimes of sexual violence. As a result, the vast majority of those in need of medical and psycho-social support do not have access to such services.
Violence against women in Syria draws on testimony from refugees fleeing the conflict to show the extent of violence against women in the Syrian conflict. The report gives accounts of the violence by all sides of the conflict, and the social stigma that prevents women speaking out. From the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
Pakistan Calling is an innovative platform for filmmakers to show the links between civil and cultural organisations and communities in Pakistan and the UK. The films explore some of the many pressing social problems facing Pakistan, and highlights the inspiring stories of people and organisations tackling these issues.