Friday, May 9, 2008

How soon can donors exit from post-conflict states?

This paper was published in February 2008 by the Center for Global Development (CGD). The authors assert that donors need to fund operations for a lengthy time to create and give sustainability to institutions in post-conflict regions to prevent a rollback into previous state of affairs. More summery from the Eldis:

This paper evaluates and estimates the time and dollar costs of post-conflict rebuilding. Utilising four post-conflict states - Liberia, Mozambique, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste - as case studies, it argues that it will be decades, possibly generations, before post-conflict states are ready to see donors leave.

The research asserts that a lengthy engagement of externals in post-conflict states is critical to the creation and maturation of institutions - necessary to prevent a rollback into state failure on the donor(s) departure.

Recent post-conflict interventions have involved the rebuilding of both physical and social infrastructure. Indeed extended conflicts create self-perpetuating forces, a conflict trap, making it difficult to muster fiscal space for state services and break-out of their predicament on their own.

Key policy lessons include:

  • the timeframe for interventions is longer than had been envisaged by donors and the 'recipient'
  • support for funding of 'state services' and the budget is critical
  • budget support could be withdrawn with a simultaneous substitution of domestically generated revenue as part of a transparent process of reverting sovereignty back to the intervened state
  • incentives for the interveners, as much as for the intervened, to stay the full course have to be built into a contract at the beginning of the mission.