Development assistance is becoming an increasingly important tool to “win hearts and minds” and promote stability in counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. Given its centrality to COIN doctrine and strategy, there is still a surprisingly weak evidence base for the effectiveness of aid as a COIN “weapons system.” The objective of this conference is to help address this evidence gap. The conference will facilitate interaction and learning between policymakers, practitioners and researchers interested in the relationship between aid and stabilization in Afghanistan as well as in COIN contexts more generally. It will provide an opportunity to disseminate the findings from two major research projects in Afghanistan that have been examining the relationship between aid and stabilization, to hear first hand from civilian and military practitioners regarding their experiences implementing stabilization programs, and from policymakers regarding the implications of the research and field experience for COIN and development policies.
A summary of key points and recommendations from the conference follows. For more information, please see the Wilton Park website.