Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Management
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Summaries The past few years have seen a plethora of initiatives announced to deal with conflict prevention, conflict reduction and conflict management. Addressing violent conflict is now seen as an integral aspect to the work of many international organisations. The recognition that poverty and social exclusion contribute to conflicts, as well as being by?products of conflicts, has meant that many more development agencies are now engaged in responding to conflict (OECD DAC 1998; European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation 1999). This is in contrast to much of the 1980s, when a relatively small group of nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), academics and practitioners were engaged in advocating that conflict should to be given a higher priority in the work of official aid agencies. This article summarises some of the recent initiatives that have been launched. It concludes that there are now considerably more levers to address violent conflict than was the case a decade ago. Furthermore, it concludes that there has been substantial progress achieved at policy level and that this has contributed to some extent towards the ‘mainstreaming of conflict’ in development. Drawing on experiences from Africa, however, the article argues that the benefits of this increased policy focus have yet to be fully realised in terms of practical outcomes. Major coordination challenges remain. Unless these are addressed we are unlikely to see the full benefits of the mainstreaming of conflict issues in development.