Rule of Law Support to Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace: Lessons from the Field

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    Project Manager :
    Adam Day

    The project has three main deliverables: (1) a set of 8 case studies, (2) a framework paper, and (3) an expert roundtable event.

    The project will be led by UN University’s Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) and will take place over a 9-month period, starting in April 2020. The project is guided by the overarching question: How is the UN’s rule of law work contributing to the prevention and sustaining peace objectives of the UN? The project thus aims to identify evidence of impact across different UN rule of law interventions, examining what Security Council mandates, approaches, factors, partnerships and resources contributed to a reduction of the risk of large-scale crisis in a range of settings. On the basis of this analysis, conclusions and recommendations will be drawn about the effectiveness of certain approaches, common factors that may enable or inhibit impact, and what kind of resources tend to positively position the UN in particular settings. It will also aim to identify potential “blind spots,” important areas where the rule of law work would have an impact if greater focus was directed there. 

    Methodologically, the project will be conducted via comparative case studies, examining a range of country settings via an extensive literature review and interviews with UN officials and staff; host country authorities and beneficiaries (as feasible); and other experts. The project will take into consideration lessons learned papers (such as the Liberia and Darfur transitions) and ongoing evaluation projects of UN rule of law assistance. This project does not envision fieldwork. The cases will be decided in consultation with the Rule of Law Unit in EOSG and the GFP partners, and will include 8 cases (10-12 pages each):

    Central African Republic: 2015 to present (from establishment of special criminal court) Democratic Republic of the Congo: 2010 to 2015 (from stabilization mandate) Mali: from 2012 to present (from beginning of MINUSMA) Colombia: 2012-2015 (until beginning of peace operation, focused on RC/UNCT) Lebanon: 2017-present (following RRF, humanitarian focus) Bangladesh: 2017-present, tracking e-justice and covid response Bosnia Herzegovina: 2015-present Afghanistan: 2017-present

    The countries are selected based on the following criteria: context where sustaining peace applies; different political contexts; sufficient duration of assistance to demonstrate impact (5 years or longer); GFP engagement and support; existence of joint-work between two or more entities on the ground.

    In order to facilitate comparison, the case studies will be guided by a common set of questions, including: (1) what was the risk landscape during the time period and what key factors were driving risk of escalation/crisis? (2) what was the role of the UN rule of law role support in mitigating risk, including risks such as pandemics and climate (mandate, position in country, resources)? (3) what approaches did the UN take in a rule of law context? (4) what evidence can be shown to demonstrate the UN’s achievements and impact in this work? (5) what factors enabled or inhibited the UN’s impact (this may be external or internal to the UN)? (6) How has joint work and strengthened coordination improved impact? (7) what lessons can be drawn from that experience.

    The timeline for the project is as follows: 

    Four case studies completed by 31 December 2020

    Four case studies completed by 15 March 2021

    Policy paper completed by June 2021

    Event finalizing project completed by end June 2021

    There will be a peer review of all deliverables by UNDP, DPPA and EOSG. All published documents will be submitted to the CPR communications manager.

    • Adam Day Adam Day Head of the Geneva Office
      Project Manager