Issue Paper 2: What are the key challenges? What works in addressing them?  

For the post-2015 framework to overcome conflict and violence, it must address the drivers that in context after context cause conflict and violence around the world.  In September, analysis by Saferworld found considerable agreement among six contemporary peacebuilding frameworks on the priorities for sustainable peacebuilding – but also found that these priorities are largely absent from the existing MDGs. Issue Paper 2 goes deeper into the evidence on this. It asks two questions: ‘what are the key challenges to peacebuilding and development in conflict-affected and fragile contexts?’ and ‘what works in addressing them?’ The multi-country studies reviewed by Saferworld for Issue Paper 2 reaffirm a similar set of key issues to those highlighted in Saferworld’s September briefing:

  • the ability of states to manage revenues and perform core functions effectively and accountably
  • transparency, accountability and controls on corruption 
  • fair access to social services and resources
  • voice and participation in decision-making
  • reducing violence and making the public feel secure
  • ending impunity and ensuring access to justice 
  • shared economic growth and opportunities for decent livelihoods
  • ensuring equality between social groups – especially between men and women
  • reconciliation and tolerance between different social groups.

On each of these key issues, Issue Paper 2  points to the evidence provided by multi-country research and accepted in multilateral policy discourse to illustrate what works in addressing these key issues. This is the evidence decision-makers may need to take into account as they consider priority issues that should be included in the post-2015 framework if it is to support sustainable peace.

In its final section, Issue Paper 2 also picks out four critical lessons from major multi-country or multi-donor assessments of past peacebuilding experience that could be crucial in shaping the post-2015 agenda:

  1. We remain more reactive than proactive – the post-2015 framework is a rare chance to change the emphasis to upstream prevention of conflict and violence.
  2. We remain incoherent – the post-2015 framework is a chance to make a decisive move towards coherence between actors and sectors and between local, national and global solutions.
  3. What brings peace to most countries can bring conflict to some – alongside setting robust long term targets in the right areas, the post-2015 framework should allow for context-specific priority setting and sequencing.
  • We are ignoring the politics of development – can the new framework frame targets that affirm the centrality of inclusive, fair, responsive and accountable state-society relations without attracting controversy?