Political inclusivity is the theme of the moment. We’ve seen it driving populist movements from the Philippines to the United States; underlying the “Brexit” debacle in the United Kingdom; and weaving through the UN’s recent reviews of its peacekeeping and peacebuilding work.
No-one has a 100% success rate working in fragile states. In fact quite the opposite — it’s an all-too-familiar feeling when our best efforts get over-taken by events on the ground. The grass gets crushed when the elephants fight, as the old saying has it.
Oftentimes, it feels like political principals are actively resisting making a decision. Delays fritter away precious opportunities, while compromises lead to strategic plans a mile wide and an inch deep. Meanwhile critical weaknesses go unremedied until it’s too late, because no-one wants to face up to
July’s round table for the London Conflict / Fragility group focused on a question that has come up again and again in previous sessions. If we’re really committed to “demand-driven” approaches, then we’ve got to be committed to empirical investigation of what works.