In recent years, there have been increasing opportunities to end violent conflict in developing countries, and thus to begin the arduous task of rebuilding - often even creating - viable societies on the ruins of a burned-out conflagration. Initially, the international community had little experience in supporting post-conflict recovery programs, and even less in designing effective transitions from peacekeeping to peace building. In the past twenty years, however, there has been a very rapid learning process. Institutional response capacity has been created from scratch, new funding mechanisms have been invented, and methodologies have been developed and tested to conduct needs assessments and plan complex, integrated interventions across a wide range of sectors. Monitoring and evaluation have been strengthened as demands for accountability and measurable results increased.
This short course traces the outlines of that learning curve. It will examine some of the early UN and World Bank experiments in nation building, follow the institutional changes meant to build capacity in the field of post-conflict recovery, look at the methodological and funding tools developed to strengthen field operations, question the validity of the security paradigm, and review some case studies illustrating the impact of this evolution.