This policy brief explores two sets of decision-making processes pursued by civilians in war-affected Côte d’Ivoire in the 2000s. When confronted with violence, civilians may first consider whether to stay or to go. Those fleeing may base their decision on their perception of the threat they face, while others amongst those who stay seem to have less agency in responding to the threat. Eventually, if military positions of belligerents freeze, cooperative relations might emerge between civilians staying behind and armed groups in control of the territory, possibly leading to the delivery of public goods. This is what happened in the educational sector in Côte d’Ivoire’s rebel controlled north. Parents, civil servants staying in the occupied area, or volunteers pooled resources to re-open schools under rebel rule.
Guichaoua, Y. Policy Brief 3: Fleeing, Staying Put, Working with Rebels Rulers. (2013) 6 pp.