Identify evidence about the impact of external programmatic support on local-level peace settlements (e.g. the effects of programme support for local governance and basic service provision on conflict reduction, legitimacy or sub-national political settlements). Look at fragile and conflict-affected states – ideally with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). If possible, identify the specific approaches that the literature recommends or warns against.
Armed conflicts have inflicted massive suffering and material losses on the populations of several MENA countries since 2011 (or earlier). At the same time, local peace settlements in delimited geographic areas have been reached in several of these contexts. This rapid review of the literature presents evidence on positive and negative impact in MENA. Available knowledge shows that external assistance has had a mixed impact on local peace settlements and on factors that directly affect them.
This rapid review found limited academic and grey literature specifically about the impact of external support on local peace settlements. Nevertheless the literature emphasises the high risk, with many local agreements widely reported to be vulnerable to adverse political developments.
Combaz, E. Impact of external assistance on local-level peace settlements in the Middle East and North Africa (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1203). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 23 pp.