The efforts by international actors to integrate lives and livelihoods in societies emerging from civil war into relative peace has spawned a peacebuilding industry akin to the aid industry that has attracted crusading zeal and accusations of hubris in about equal measure. In the spirit of humanitarianism and liberal internationalism, external organisations have assumed responsibility for building peace in war-torn societies with the aim of preventing recidivism into violent conflict. Quite often, the project to forestall a relapse into war is a continuation of emergency relief by other means. The same organisations engaged in relief, though by no means all, sometimes adapt their operations to laying the foundations for ‘positive peace’ in which longer-term goals are assumed, such as reconciling antagonistic communities or preparing for social and economic development. New organisations may also arrive on the scene to begin reconstruction for long term development. This role may be assumed formally or informally in tandem with a diplomatic process that results in a peace agreement. Incentives and conditionalities for securing peace or its implementation may also be inserted into the process, and these will have an impact on reconstruction and development, an obvious example being the 1995 Dayton Accords that marked the winding down of fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH).

Such dispositions for engineering war-torn societies into peace suggest that external actors assume the power and moral authority to bring about peaceful change which communities have so signally failed to do. The destruction, disruption, dislocation and exhaustion so evident in war-torn societies is perhaps mistaken for a tabula rasa on which to write a peaceful future. Those living at peace themselves also assume the possession of superior techniques for dealing with disputes. On the contrary, societies riven by conflict do not provide fertile ground for reconciliation or peaceful change. Indeed, for local actors the resort to violence may have been regarded as an essential dynamic in securing a change in their destiny. Even if external actors are too wise to make naïve assumptions about their power and moral authority, they may have their own self-serving agendas that impel them to establish their influence in a new market place, for example. The strategic consequences of the urge to engineer may be hubristic, exacerbating problems or having contrary effects to those intended.

However, if the critiques of engineering have considerable validity (not dissimilar to critiques of developmentalism), the alternative is not necessarily to do nothing at all. Indeed, that would deny to war-torn societies even the normal, tailor-made exchanges, of the international system. And because the nature of international exchange is determined by the circumstances of the parties engaged in it, then war-torn societies, like those struck by a hurricane, are bound to receive special treatment. Moreover, even when it is difficult to discriminate between perpetrators and ‘victims’ of conflict, and ascribe ‘innocence’ to the latter, it would be widely regarded as inhumane to leave whole societies vulnerable to further violence. The inconsistency of states in being humane in some cases rather than others, such as Rwanda, is an argument against the hypocrisy inherent in realpolitik not an argument against assistance per se.

Nevertheless, the dilemmas of external assistance are no less acute in transitions from war to relative peace, than in relief during war or in long-term development. This paper argues that the dilemmas can be mitigated to some extent by reshaping external policies to develop civil society and improve accountability downwards so that the greater balance of shareholding in the process of rehabilitation lies with the recovering communities.

The term ‘rehabilitation’ requires definition and explanation. Rehabilitation is used here, not in the criminal justic sense as a complement to punishment, but to signify a generative forging of new life out of the ruins of the old. It differs from relief in that problems of immediate survival have become overlain with problems of adjustment to circumstances of relative peace. It is not sequential, for ot overlaps with both relief and development. And, as suggested by the disaster recovery cycle of Frerks et al., the resources used for rehabilitation can both distort the implementation of old or fresh economic and social development plans, or they can be used to restore the kind of neo-liberal development policies that may well have contributed to the conflict in the first place.[1] In other words, rehabilitation, like relief, becomes a recurrent feature or permanent condition for many communities. For rehabilitation to break out of this ‘non-recovery’ cycle it would have to be:

a process of social, political and economic adjustment to, and underpinning of, conditions of relative peace in which the participants, especially those who have been disempowered and immiserated by violence, can begin to prioritise future goals beyond immediate survival. Survivors not only need a stake in achieving these adjustment goals but need ultimate direction over the means to achieve them.

This definition is based on a transformative approach to rehabilitation which is discussed in greater depth below. But it does not automatically exclude the ‘rehabilitation’ of elites that had a stake in conflict or assume that they have to be replaced by a new generation, though the process of adjustment may take a generation of fifteen years or more. It does assume that because conditions have changed, the adjustment implies a dynamic process in which all kinds of power relationships are changed, at whatever speed: the relationship between emergency relief providers and recipients, between external agencies and local authorities, between former elites and the people who follow or oppose them. The direction of the process is significant because when survivors do not have a stake in making adjustments, or in reforming relationships, then the process itself is likely to fail and recidivist pressures for re-newed conflict can become ascendant.

In this paper, the social-civil dimensions of rehabilitation encompass the interaction between aid organisations, internal and external, focusing on the protection and development of human capital that remains vulnerable when fighting dies down. In particular, the focus of the discussion here is on social welfare and the development of civil society. Some explanation of the latter is required because in the late 1990s, civil society has become a fashionable, yet ill-defined, concept. It is generally regarded as an alternative political arena to authoritarian state structures: ‘where progressive values and political practices can be articulated, counter-hegemonic institutions can be created which can nurture and nourish the creation of autonomous political actors.'[2] Such an approach begs questions about what is ‘progressive’, whether there can be complete autonomy among political actors and whether negotiations between state and civil society are proscribed. Such a definition implies confrontation between actors rather than integration, and the creation of parallel elites, of necessity equipped with fortress mentalities that cut them off from grass-roots organisations.[3] Nor is it sensible to assume that such autonomous civil society can be meaningful or relevant to all war-torn societies – even if formal political frameworks were a priority for peoples affected by disasters and warfare, which they are clearly not. In Africa or South Pacific islands, for example, the conception is foreign to traditions of political legitimacy. A broader concept would not deny the importance of formal political alternatives, such ZaMir or Helsinki Citizens’ Assemblies in the post-Yugoslav states, but would also encompass the unarticulated political value of grass roots support networks whose primary goals may be social and economic and which may interact with, rather than oppose, the state. Moreover, development of social capital and civil society is not an end in itself but part of a process that has the potential to inhibit a return to violence.

My concern is less with the activities themselves, than the contextual issues that influence processes of rehabilitation. Illustrations are drawn mainly from the post-Yugoslav environment. This is, obviously, a unique case, as indeed all cases are unique, though with wide contextual variation within it. As Stephen Stedman and others point out,[4] there can be no blueprint to fit all situations, such as the ‘Washington consensus’ of the international financial institutions (IFIs) for steering recovering economies towards neo-liberalism. It should go without saying that measures to cope with the dislocation of societies, whether by war or other causes, have to be tailored to particular circumstances. The patchwork of clans and the weakness of central government in Somalia since 1990 has meant that national programmes of reconstruction have been less appropriate than local projects, whereas a more centralised approach was possible in Nicaragua. Also, the optimal balance between external and internal efforts to assist social adaptation to transition will vary considerably. For example, whereas Kuwait’s revival after the war against Iraq in 1991 was fostered with extensive foreign assistance, by contrast Iran conducted its own reconstruction and rehabilitation effectively, with minimal external involvement, after its war with Iraq ended in 1988.

But this need not condemn analysts to a counsel of ad hoc improvisation or to impotence faced with discrete case studies for which the only sure generalisation is that one cannot generalise. Analysis of varied experiences indicates not only the falsity of raising unrealistic expectations or applying preconceived prescriptions to each situation, but also indicates the value of examining principles that may be relevant to more than one context. For instance, there is overwhelming evidence from many sources that external actors should act on the presumption that using grass roots knowledge and expertise and the building of local capacity for non-violent survival strategies is likely to be more effective in underpinning transitions to relative peace than in developing a blueprint designed in western capitals.

The paper argues that certain themes of general relevance can be highlighted, while at the same time acknowledging that particular policies have to be fashioned in the light of sui generis circumstances. First, strategic, coherent and long-term approaches to the processes of transition are not integrated into the agendas and implementing mechanisms of interventionist policy-making institutions. Second, there is an imbalance between short-term, ‘hard’, visible reconstruction meaures and ‘soft’, long-term civil society programmes. Third, the humanitarian dimension has been geared towards social engineering rather than towards civil development based on local ownership of the peacebuilding process. In this last aspect, a distinction might be made between social engineering that promotes change in civil, political and demographic structures (by holding elections, by fostering refugee returns, for example), and civil development that emphasises change in the way power relationships are expressed (by for example, promoting transparency and accountability in both external assistance to war-torn societies and in generating local civil society).

The first section of the paper begins by examining the need for attention to transitions, the lack of coherence that arises from neoliberal pressures for subcontracting and the retraction of state welfare provision, and the problems that arise from assumptions that rehabilitation is part of a relief to development continuum. The next section addresses the continuities in war-torn societies that have to be addressed in analysing the social-civil dimension of rehabilitation. They include the perpetuation of security risks, guerilla war economies, military provision of humanitarian aid and the power relationships established by external actors. The third section considers the concept of ‘transformation’ of society in transitions to relative peace, the obstacles that exist to transformation, the limits of social engineering and the role that external agents can play by adapting concepts of accountability and evaluation to particular situations.

1.1 The Need for a Coherent Focus on Transitions

Whilst there is genuflection towards coherence and coordination at some levels in the international community, intervention serves varied interests, different discourses are employed, and there is limited agreement on priorities.[5] Thus the World Bank advises that assistance must concentrate ‘on re-creating the conditions that will allow the private sector and institutions of civil society to resume commercial and productive activities’.[6] The Development Assistance Committee of the OECD has both a more participatory approach and a more statist orientation in its operational priorities. It defines areas for support as: ‘restoring internal security and the rule of law, legitimising state institutions, establishing the basis for broadly-based economic growth, and improving food security and social services.'[7] For BiH, the Contact Group’s recommended priorities to the Peace Implementation Council’s Steering Board in November 1998 were: accelerating ‘the transition to a sustainable market economy’, increasing refugee returns, law and order, developing central institutions including a new electoral law, and lastly media reform and education issues.[8] Humanitarian agencies and NGOs are more inclined to prioritise social welfare and human rights. Such divergence is inevitable and welcome to a degree because different institutions have different strengths.

However, international strategic objectives are being pursued in ways that are often contradictory rather than complementary. Thus, for example, the Contact Group’s insistence on acceleration to a market economy in BiH, to release the strangleholds of political parties over production, could simply lead to a repeat of the Russian economic crisis of 1998. The conditionality of external loans or IMF exchange rate support can counteract spending on job creation that would otherwise provide incentives to disarm and disincentives to engage in the black market. Although the problem of recovery from civil war is pervasive, costly and of continuing concern, western governments subsidise arms exports that include sales to conflict-prone areas. Arms exports are supported through export credits and offsets which re-newed arms exporting to post-conflict areas, backed by wide-ranging credit facilities make it easier, not more difficult, for actors in low stability areas to acquire arms, and this perpetuates features of militarised war economies. In the twelve months ending in mid-May 1998 the UK issued 886 export licences to states which have areas of insurgency and refused only six applications.[9] By contrast, average overseas development assistance as a percentage of GNP for members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee declined from about 0.32% in 1992 to 0.24% in 1996.[10] This may appear to be counter-balanced by costly relief efforts, by economic packages built in to peace deals or by expenditure on earmarked peace-enforcement operations. For example, the exodus of refugees from Rwanda led to a relief operation costing US$1.4 billion from April to December 1994.[11] The post-Dayton military contingents in Bosnia cost £2.5-3 billion a year.[12] But humanitarian relief funding has also declined since 1994, and there are limited international financial mechanisms to deal with transitions. Standard practice in the political economy of peace packages is, in sum, not necessarily explicit or coordinated in terms of an overall strategy of incentives and disincentives,

Changes in institutional practice hold out the potential for achieving greater concordance. For example, the new cabinet committee system in the UN, part of Kofi Annan’s 1997 reform package, may overcome some of the gaps in policy that arise in the UN between the different roles of the humanitarian agencies, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union, the International Management Group (IMG), USAID and other governmental agencies have also attempted to synchronise and coordinate activities.[13] The NGO community is undergoing a shakeout and is establishing codes of practice and standards of assistance. NGO councils have also attempted to provide a coherent voice in relations with host authorities. For the present, however, the social-civil dimension of rehabilitation remains basically fragmented and ad hoc. This is reinforced by state and IGO actors operate to produce macro-economic stability, whereas NGO projects are essentially micro level initiatives.[14]

In any event it is perhaps not so much an institutional problem – though one would not wish to underestimate the cut-throat competition in the aid business – as a policy and agenda setting problem. Provision for welfare, human rights and social rehabilitation in transitions needs to be a strategic, mainstream concern across interventionary institutions, and implemented coherently. Just as there have been calls for coherence in conflict prevention and for relief aid during conflict, so one can make a case for greater consistency in strategies for the transition to relative peace. It is questionable whether current standard practice is internally coherent for dealing with collapsed states and the rehabilitation of communities.

In the post-Yugoslav context, terms such as ‘peacebuilding’ are not generally part of the discourse of NGOs and agencies; they tend to use the phrase ‘implementing Dayton’, which is a very different kettle of fish. The Dayton Framework Agreement is a legal, treaty agreement focusing on stabilising a situation and securing compliance. It is not a coherent policy document for a process of peacebuilding and rehabilitation. Indeed its underlying assumptions about social engineering – partly through refugee and IDP returns – look increasingly flawed and they mesh implicitly with the constitutional and political legitimation of ethnicity as a political force which has been dignified by protection of ethnic interests. Ironically, the inability of the international community to fulfill its peacebuilding ambitions in the Balkans generally, may result in the opposite to what is required, a rejection of external involvement rather than its reconfiguration.

1.2 Safety Netting, Subcontracting and Capacity Building

Also, interventionary actors appear to be caught in a dilemma between support for state sovereignty and support for civil society, between degrading state responsibility and disdaining non-state activities. Thus the ideology of neo-liberal economic modernisation, with which lead organisations such as the IMF have been imbued, often has the effect of undermining the mechanisms necessary for state building and the dirigisme that could make authorities in war-torn societies take greater responsibility for the welfare and rights of their people.[15] Instead, the IFIs and their main donors have often expected the NGO, private voluntary sector and UN agencies to take on a safety-netting role for such societies. There is a contradiction, then, between the way that the IFIs operate through governments whose involvement in economic and social activities the IFIs then insist on restricting to regulatory activities sufficient to repay international loans and credits.

It is wholly compatible with subcontracting and the neo-liberal agenda, that humanitarian organisations are impelled to attempt to provide a safety net beyond the phase of emergency relief where government structures, revenues and public expenditure allocations have foundered.[16] They may have positive short-term effects. The quick impact projects of UNHCR in Central America and funding for transitions through the UN Conference on Central American Refugees has also engaged local NGOs in the rehabilitation process (in contrast to the National Reconstruction Programme for El Salvador which was at odds with the aims of peacebuilding).[17] But there is a danger that safety netting by external humanitarian organisations in conditions of weak and minimised government fosters aid junkies in abandoned communities.[18] Safety netting also places an unfair, and intolerable, burden of responsibility on humanitarian agencies in terms of social provision, as well as a burden of expectation for preventing a resurgence of conflict.

Social-civil rehabilitation grabs the headlines but not the money. The humanitarian dimension has been affected by a ‘triple whammy’. At the global level, the relative importance of non-state safety netting has been accompanied by reductions in state funding of aid. Generically, within aid budgets there is limited provision for rehabilitation, as most funding goes towards either relief or development. Specifically, within rehabilitation, there is very little provision for ‘soft’ social projects that have the potential to transform local communities (as opposed to ‘hard’, visible reconstruction programmes). Additionally, there may be over-emphasis within social funding on fashionable causes (such as psychosocial projects in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina).[19] Above all, critics are concerned that cost-limited capacity building is a cosmetic way of mitigating the worst impacts of neo-liberalism on state involvement in welfare. They suggest that self-help has been pursued by the core areas of economic wealth in the world (the North) as part of the trend to disengagement from the problems of the periphery (the South).[20] In effect, the dominant intervention paradigm places a premium on creating: stability rather than security; law and order rather than justice; and the ability of societies to participate in global capitalism rather than provide welfare.

A necessary component in strategic planning for the humanitarian dimension of rehabilitation may well be to promote public participation and self-sustaining capacity-building measures for local institutions and communities. However, at every level, sub-contracting and self-help can be seen as a cost-limiting exercise. The implementation of a key integrative component of external involvement – local, public participation – is at best cosmetic or, as in Bosnia-Herzegovina geared to social engineering goals such as reintegrating ethnic communities.

Such a ‘vacuum of responsibility’ is undoubtedly a function of the predicament faced by states and institutions in dealing with different levels of legitimacy. On the one hand they ‘recognise’ the legitimacy of non-state movements in the international system by, for example, subcontracting essential services to the private or NGO sectors. On the other, they reveal a lack of commitment to social transformation that could pose a political challenge to the regeneration of statism.[21] Public participation during rehabilitation is widely acknowledged as a mechanism to catalyse political dialogue and strengthen the development of civil society.[22] Furthermore, accountability to people in need should reduce the vulnerability of communities and local NGOs (LNGOs), increase their stake in stability and give them ownership of rehabilitation.

1.3 Rehabilitation and the Continuum Concept

Another serious challenge confronting analysts is to decide upon the role of humanitarianism. Many humanitarian organisations, such as Oxfam, argue that the new relief agenda should be integrated with conflict resolution, respect for human rights, robust military intervention (to protect civilian victims) and with contributions to longer-term development.[23] In this respect, sustaining processes and institutions will be as important as protecting people. Other actors restrict humanitarian activity to immediate relief for survival, and draw a line between emergencies that require intervention on the one hand and, on the other, sustainable development programmes which are the substance of political negotiation and only properly feasible when command structures are in place.

The continuum concept also assumes that poverty is transitional and that development in a neo-liberal mould is an inevitable consequence of the spread of global capitalism and human rights values. Adherents tend to see development as a solution to conflict. As Mark Duffield argues, however, development is part of the crisis of globalisation and conflict is symptomatic of new forms of political economy.[24] The relief-development continuum is inherently contradictory because it assumes the emergence of a benign developmental state which, simultaneously, neo-liberalism is designed to diminish. The manifestation of this on the ground is that NGOs are expected to provide a welfare safety net as relief is prematurely phased out and absurd cost-recovery programmes are introduced.[25]

In the relief-development continuum concept, rehabilitation falls somewhere in the middle as part of the Utopian transition to a post-poverty future. Indeed psychosocial rehabilitation projects have been located ‘between relief and development’.[26] However, rehabilitation also demonstrates the weakness of the continuum concept, for it does not occur as part of a neat socio-economic convergence to western norms, but may be integral to separate development in which conflict is latent. As one observer has put it: ‘Bosnia is in limbo because it is not part of the development issue – it is not a developing country. It is in transition from aid to something else that is not traditional development’.[27]

If the assumptions behind the relief-development continuum are flawed, so also is the notion of a neat break marking off conflict from peace. In practice, many humanitarian organisations have no hard and fast rule about the place of their activities but adopt a pragmatic, flexible approach, navigating their projects through the shoals of available funding. Thus Danish Save the Children began during the conflict in Bosnia by distributing food and clothing to refugees, then set up playrooms, and in the post-Dayton situation cooperated closely with municipalities in providing kindergartens as part of the education system.[28]

So the term transition is not used here to mean a movement from relief to development, as if socio-economic convergence towards western norms is occurring, but to indicate the ragged change from overt civil war to a condition of (perhaps temporary) non-belligerence. Transition between conflict and relative peace does not assume a particular end state. Rather it reflects the process of crisis management to contain dangerous problems. Nor does weakness in the developmental concept mean that the transition to relative peace lacks continuities. On the contrary, these continuities render the notion of a developmental continuum hard to sustain.

Continuities in Transition from Conflict to Peace

Rehabilitation itself plays a part in the continuities, commencing in some areas before fighting has stopped in neighbouring areas. Rehabilitation may be needed by individuals whilst entire communities remain at war. Furthermore, one can argue that structural violence persists beyond formal peace agreements.[29] In particular, we can highlight four continuities.

Continuities in the social-civil dimension

(1) a continuation of violent risks to survival during rehabilitation;

(2) persistent features of war economies that influence the humanitarian dimension;

(3) the continued involvement of security forces in humanitarian activities;

(4) continued dominance of fragmented ‘project-ism’ within a donor-driven paradigm of social-civil activity.

2.1 Persistence of Security Risks

Rehabilitation can occur when security situations remain acutely problematic. As demonstrated in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, non-belligerent conditions are reversible, and as a UN official has said of Bosnia: ‘this is like a video where the pause button has been pressed; the tape hasn’t finished’.[30] In two respects, the threat to survival may even increase when conflict dies down. First, as freedom of movement is restored, and efforts are made to return to agriculture and rebuild infrastructures, the risk grows of injury by mines in areas previously inaccessible. Second, as economic activity is restored and civil rights affirmed, so the risks of getting caught up in criminal and social violence, including acts of revenge, may increase. Since 1994, deaths by intentional murders in El Salvador have exceeded the annual average of 6,000 deaths during the civil war. A similar picture is presented in Guatemala and Nicaragua.[31] In war-affected areas of post-Yugoslavia, crimes against ethnic groups continued after Dayton, for example in Mostar where Croats opened fire on Muslims attempting to visit a graveyard in February 1997.[32] Insecurity through the violence that dominates a situation whilst conflict is still occurring does not completely disappear when rehabilitation starts.

2.2 Persistence of Guerrilla Economies

In situations where war elites remain powerful, and where civil regulation has historically produced corruption and market distortion, then neo-liberal economic models do not necessarily result in the equitable distribution of economic benefits or political power. The goals of structural adjustment (market efficiency and growth) can be readily thwarted. The challenge for external actors is that policies of economic rehabilitation, intended to counteract the venalities and distortions in statism, may assist those who have already developed critical assets, infrastructures and experience through their manipulation of war economies.[33] Such economies are sustained either by predatory and rapacious plundering of local resources or by market-based criminality. Corruption and inequalities persist over the intended benefits of marketisation, privatisation and development assistance. In the spring of 1998, for example, it was noted that Bosnia and Herzegovina had:

failed to finance its common institutions or service its external debt on time, implement common policies on foreign trade, apply a common customs tariff, issue common bank notes, achieve transparency and good governance in the use of public funds, and establish effective institutions to curb corruption and revenue evasion. The lack of an economic policy framework [was] preventing an IMF Standby Arrangement and World Bank adjustment lending and renders the country vulnerable to financial crisis.[34]

This should be unsurprising because central government hardly functions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there being no strong consensus for it. Incentives to stop fighting are not incentives to implement an externally-wrought political system. Conflict-prone areas may have had their sustainability undermined by the growth of local and national debts, by structural adjustment programmes that reduce the ability of local communities to provide welfare needs, by IMF monetary stabilisation programmes that have adverse effects on social stability, by the economic distortions caused by arms imports and systems of arms export credits, and by the activities of big business and their local agents. Currently the UNITA rebels in Angola command a sixth of the world’s the diamond market.[35] In effect, these actors become stakeholders in perpetuating the guerilla model.[36]

In Central America, as Jenny Pearce has shown, external agencies are failing to coordinate their agendas and failing to exercise leverage over internal elites so that they assume greater responsibility for rehabilitation and development.[37] The policies of the main international financial institutions (IFIs) can also have the effect of restricting welfare services. The role of global capital in minimising state activity interferes with national capacity building and engages elites in global economic activity that discourages income redistribution and attention to community welfare. War-torn communities are thus driven to seek welfare from armed factions, unscrupulous blackmarketeers, and the safety net of external organisations.

2.3 Involvement of Security Forces in Humanitarianism

The involvement of security forces in humanitarian assistance has become an issue, not only during conflicts but when they wind down. Peacekeepers have traditionally provided modest, impartial, humanitarian aid to the general benefit of both the communities and the peacekeeping force (in the Lebanon, for example). Regimental funds, military equipment and military personnel have been used at no great cost. Some states, such as the Netherlands, make central government funds available to their blue helmets for such purposes as repairing hospitals, providing facilities to orphanages and equipment to schools.[38] In general terms this kind of activity creates few major or lasting problems and can smooth relations between the military and the civilian population.

However, this has been increasingly institutionalised and the concept of ‘humanitarian protection’ has led to military support to humanitarian relief efforts not only during conflict but also during peace enforcement. These peace support operations (PSOs), for much of the 1990s at least, have had an explicit humanitarian agenda and have been conducted through Civil Affairs officers in the US Army or Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) programmes. During conflict, such operations can be regarded as a poor substitute for achieving political solutions or even for waging war to end genocide.[39] US troops sent to the Zairean border with Rwanda in 1994 were engaged in engineering work to facilitate humanitarian efforts, rather than in much-needed security tasks, for example. All the same, peace enforcement to engender a secure environment for rehabilitation is, to some extent, a continuation of the concept of humanitarian corridors and the right of victims to receive humanitarian assistance.

Whether the right to humanitarian assistance should be enforced in conditions of international social conflict when consent is absent or disintegrates, is a dilemma that has led military establishments to plan for ‘grey area’ peace support operations (PSOs). In this respect, the British Army was extremely successful in exporting its own guidelines to other participating states. There is, of course, great value in having a doctrine at all, but from the humanitarian perspective it is vital to note that the doctrine of peacekeeping have become more combat-oriented, with a greater emphasis on peace enforcement. This follows a military logic to protect the force from the kind of kidnapping that occurred in Somalia and Bosnia. It envisages an increased need for ‘peace enforcers’ prepared for war as the most appropriate navigation through complex emergencies when the situation is volatile, not least when protagonists have stopped fighting.[40]

The relatively higher risk, compared to peacekeeping, of being engaged in combat leads to serious consequences that can affect the coherence of international crisis management.[41] For a start, robust military ‘grey area’ interventions are unlikely to recur on the scale of the past because of the combat risks. For the purposes of this paper, the important consequence of a combat-oriented approach is bound to sway perceptions of impartiality and to associate ‘humanitarian protection’ with military solutions to problems. As agents of government or intergovernment policy, PSO forces cannot be incorporated into the classical humanitarian tradition unless they maintain the status of UN-controlled, blue beret peacekeepers and abide as far as possible by principles of neutrality, impartiality, consent and low-enforcement capability.

However, the IFOR and SFOR units in Bosnia-Herzegovina were mandated to undertake humanitarian support and have been quite open about the political and strategic bias of their involvement in the humanitarian dimension of rehabilitation. BiH has been divided into three sectors for military operations, led respectively by the UK, United States and France. Within these sectors, the Canadian, Dutch and Finnish battalions also focus development assistance where their troops are located.

The use of the British Army to distribute development as well as relief aid in its ‘enforcement’ capacity in Bosnia further illustrates the point. The UK’s post-Dayton CIMIC programme had disposed of £9.25 million by May 1997 to fund some 600 low-cost, high-profile civil aid projects in the British-led South West Division. Contracts were issued to local companies and the work managed by IFOR, to restore water, power, sanitation, refuse collection, clinics, veterinary surgeries, schools and emergency services. The funds were provided by the Overseas Development Agency (now Department for International Development, DFID) on the basis of projects identified by IFOR troops in the field and ODA’s own personnel.[42] The United States eventually sent a Civil Affairs battalion to Bosnia with a full colonel on the IFOR Commander’s personal staff. Its tasks include:

assistance to displaced persons, control and distribution of humanitarian aid, civil control, local infrastructure restoration, dissemination of news and information, liaison with the local media, foreign-nation/host-nation support, passive collection and evaluation of civil intelligence and liaison between the military and local, international and voluntary aid organisations.[43]

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) had a budget for such civil projects in the Northern Division of Bosnia amounting to $52.5 million in 1997.[44] The sum is modest compared to the $5 billion anticipated for assistance to post-Yugoslav countries from international donors as a whole in 1996-99; and rather smaller than the $400 million earmarked by the United States for the ‘Train and Equip’ programme for remilitarising the region. Nevertheless, it is significant when concentrated on a few towns and villages to get rehabilitation under way quickly.

Such militarisation in the humanitarian dimension has had several justifications. The logistic network, available manpower and machinery are extensive and speedy (claiming delivery in about five days from project approval, compared to five months for the EU and UN). It has a strategic and political purpose, to give the military commander a ‘carrot’ to complement his military ‘stick in gaining compliance of agreements such as the Dayton Peace Accords’.[45] It delineates peace enforcers from forces of occupation, showing a constructive face to the local communities, improving soldiers’ morale and the prospects for acceptability of the foreign troops.[46]

There are, however, disadvantages. The activities of the military can be counterproductive, or compromising to civilian actors. Of course, aid workers are quite capable of compromising themselves: they also have political and economic impacts, sometimes manipulated by local elites. But this does not invalidate the precept, that they strive to follow, of providing aid according to need. The military agenda may be at odds with the humanitarian imperatives of aid agencies because military involvement in humanitarian tasks does not derive from purely humanitarian impulses but from non-humanitarian agend, possibly even the need to justify levels of defence spending.[47] Further, troops are not necessarily well suited to humanitarian tasks and they cannot affect the underlying social, political and economic dynamics of an environment.[48] Their comparative advantage lies in maintaining security and their expertise and ethos is designed to accomplish political-military goals. Indeed, from a military point of view, combat readiness and the soldierly ethos are degraded by humanitarian ‘distractions’. The military chain of command and its hierarchical structure is unlikely to accord with the principle of accountability to the local population or to promote long-term attempts to build local capacities for relief and rehabilitation. The civilian effort can become associated in the minds of local communities with enforcement.

A note of caution is in order. The work of enforcers and aid agencies needs to be harmonised so that they remain both distinctive and complementary. Multinational forces outside UN control, which are engaged in enforcement rather than peacekeeping or which are equipped for escalation, ought perhaps to distinguish between (a) the formal management of programmed aid that is properly the sphere of civilian agencies, and (b) the informal, public relations assistance that has traditionally been conducted by peacekeepers. The association of enforcement with programmed rehabilitation and welfare provision sends a mixed signal to war-torn communities – given that these communities are being simultaneously cajoled to demilitarise and establish civil societies.

2.4 The Project-centred, Donor-driven, Hierarchy Paradigm[49]

In rehabilitation, humanitarian activities continue to display the fragmented, donor-driven and hierarchy paradigm of emergency relief work. In the first place, funding is crucial to the creation of relationships between donors and project partners. Implicit within such relationships is the ‘recognition’ of actors in the process and their direction into certain tasks, though not in a cohesively planned way. The pattern of relations is hierarchical, and funding mechanisms and donations can be used as political tools to direct peacebuilding in directions that suit the interests of funders.

Because rehabilitation does not fit neatly into the distinctions between relief and development, an initial problem for humanitarian organisations is the lack of recognition for ‘transition’ from war to relative peace. Although major donors offer reconstruction funds as an incentive to reach or abide by peace deals, this tends to be a one-off or short-term provision trumpeted in a blaze of publicity. USAID does have an Office of Transition Initiatives for bilateral aid (which for example, funds quaisi-independent media in republika Srpska). But in general, donors are reluctant to fund non-emergency activities.

They assume that relief and development are distinct categories with different funding criteria. Within the EU for example, ECHO concentrated on the traditional relief sectors of food, medicine and agricultural infrastructure to improve food supplies in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but was reportedly uncomfortable with rehabilitation and preferred other donors and the Directorate-General responsible for assistance to central and eastern Europe (DG1A) to make a link between aid and development. ECHO does not use the term ‘peacebuilding’. Its policy on post-emergency activities is that, with some exceptions, they must be funded from the NGO’s own equity. NGOs attempting to distinguish criteria in their applications during the process of transition confront a significant problem that leads to gaps in follow-up funding.[50] The DG1A’s Essential Aid Programme (EAP) was designed as a transitional step between ECHO’s humanitarian aid and longer-term reconstruction arrangements. Financial allocation of 125 million ecu (mostly Phare funding) was in place almost as soon as the ink was dry on the Dayton Accords. Its priority was the supply of essential materials, equipment and spare parts for various sectors of the economy, as identified by the IMG. But the speed of contracting was slower than planned and the inadequacy of needs assessment and implementation structures on the ground led to about a third of uncommitted funds being reallocated from supplies to reconstruction projects.[51]

Funding for the NGO ‘safety net’ can also reinforce dysfunctional localism. The project-oriented, short-term approach to funding ensures that applicants not only have to try to separate out relief and development programmes, they also tend to bid for discrete community projects. Consequently, neighbouring villages get differential treatment. Loans may be offered to local communities at different rates of interest, or transport facilities to a health centre may be provided to one community but not its neighbour. It is also worth noting that the level of sustainability is different in the entities in Bosnia. Many rural Bosniacs live in the most inhospitable, unsustainable part of the country and are denied the cross-subsidisation from the wealthier areas that they received in the past – whereas Croat dominated areas and Republika Srpska are subsidised by Croatia and Yugoslavia respectively.

The hierarchy is dominated by donor power. Donors delineate a field within which external actors operate and also set some of the implicit and explicit rules for their operation. Donor interests are thus in a position to manipulate the peace. In Bosnia, 87.5% of all USAID funding has to be spent in the US SFOR sector and Sarajevo. In the summer of 1997, the United States exerted pressure to postpone a donors conference that was to discuss future funding, a political act that reversed a function-outcomes relationship through which financial functions achieve political ends. It is characteristic of donor-driven pressure that control is exercised politically for economic purposes, to relieve the burden of refugees in wealthy countries, for example.

Similarly, the EU is commonly said to be very slow to make decisions and is more concerned with what is going on in Brussels than what is being done on the ground, its responses reflecting the domestic agendas of member states.[52] In particular, ECHO was influenced by Germany to emphasise repatriation programmes to expedite the removal of refugees on its territory. Repatriation is the zeitgeist of the rehabilitation process. Paradoxically by its very nature it is destabilising because the policy of minimum security to assist returns does nothing to calm minority fears, sort out property entitlements or reduce the leverage of extremists. Nor is it a component of a broad and strategic rehabilitation or peacebuilding process. Rather it has become a stripped down goal of EU domestic interests, a goal that requires post-conflict rehabilitation to build the conditions necessary for returns. Indeed conditionality also creates a shortage of funding because it has been linked to returns. Returns have been disappointing, as refugees overwhelmingly join majorities rather than settling in municipalities that have been offered incentives to attract minorities. Such difficulties might be further compounded by the shift in responsibility for safety netting, described above, that appears to have the aim of creating the conditions necessary for a reduction in international effort and expenditure.

The rationale for, and modus operandi of, the donor regime is ‘project-ism’. Partners are funded to implement not to exist. Projects become the main conduit for funding. They offer a formalised process for allocating generally fixed sums for specific tasks to be completed during an agreed time frame and which can be audited in a particular way. Informants in Bosnia and Croatia consider this to be a special problem for smaller ‘local’ organisations, because they were frequently founded around sets of principles for being in existence such as a dedication to human rights, rather than with activities in mind.[53] Other organisations have suffered because they were founded to do a particular task and lost funding when international donor priorities changed. Corridor was founded as a psychosocial aid organisation by local people but found that, although the need continues to grow, funders became less interested in psychosocial work after Dayton.[54] Project-ism therefore reinforces a donor-centred, top-down approach to needs assessment and evaluation. Implementing partners generally write proposals for specific projects that they believe will fit in with the funding priorities of donors. Project evaluations are couched in terms of the original aims of the proposal and with keen regard for the priorities of the donor.

Project-ism reinforces the bureaucratisation of peacebuilding processes. Since so many organisations are dependent for their survival on a more or less continuous and cyclical process of application and evaluation, they have to develop the bureaucratic mechanisms necessary to maintain this. This in turn limits the communication between donors and implementers to one of bureaucratic exchange. As in all modern public institutions, at each level of authority resources are directed towards attracting, allocating and accounting for funds rather than the delivery of services. In the world of relief and rehabilitation this ‘is like having takers all the way down the line…a percentage goes at every stage….shedding of money all the way.'[55]

The system also generates fierce competition, in which UN agencies often have to fight for funds on the same terms as NGOs. This not only polarises relationships between implementers, but also between donor and implementing partners. Project-ism becomes the channel and medium for negotiating that relationship. The ad hoc nature of the process is not completely chaotic but represents a form of institutional adaptation to the absence of coherent strategies.

Lying at the base of the hierarchy are community organisations, or in post-Yugoslavia, citizens associations (self-administered, support networks based on trade unions, gender groups, peasant associations and cooperatives).[56] Some of them, like the Bosnian Committee for Help, become LNGOs. But many LNGOs are actually founded or infiltrated by deracinés from outside who are often charismatic and extremely effective rehabilitators – though in ways that fail to impress accountants. Such organisations as the Osijek Centre for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights receive training, guidance and financial support from outside and are quickly influenced by the international culture of assistance.

The essential point is that this division reflects the dominant external perspective and the distribution of power in the political economy of rehabilitation. The externals can operate the bureaucratic complexity necessary for managing the donor driven funding cycle, have experience of dealing with primary donors, and the resources to head-hunt skilled, local individuals. LNGOs are often trained in a formal sense by INGOs, and not vice versa (sometimes with a view to developing and testing methods and concepts that can be used later in other contexts). LNGO workers do not have a strong understanding of, or presence in, INGOs, whereas the reverse is often the case. Thus, while they themselves employ international experts for their knowledge, they do not remunerate local people and LNGOs on the same basis – for contacts and expertise – but for what they can deliver in measurable outcomes based on generally short-term projects.[57] Unlike INGOs, LNGO networks are sometimes not hierarchical, ‘non-membership indigenous professional organisations engaged in service delivery, advocacy, policy research, etc.'[58] Because of external funding, international organisations are able to dictate the working practices of LNGOs while the reverse is generally not true.

Most INGOs make efforts to empower LNGOs through training and hiring local project officers. And, as noted by Stubbs with regard to work among refugees, they encourage the creation of LNGOs in their own professional, middle-class image, thereby maintaining influence among them.[59] This also selects and bureaucratises the grassroots social capital for professional aggrandisement rather than harnessing local clubs and associations, let alone raising the voices of the underprivileged, especially in rural areas. The most pervasive form of transparency and accountability in rehabilitation is therefore the accountability of implementers to their donors, though this is not always systematised. Accountability is generally a one-way street leading towards the primary funders.

From the project implementer’s perspective, the importance of sustainability appears to be poorly understood in the donor community. Rehabilitation requires a different time-scale to relief, and there is a lack of political interest in long time scaling. Short-termism is evident particularly in the funding and contract cycles that commonly last from 3 to 12 months. Short-term staff are always in fear of being sent away and often do not know until the very end of the contract whether they are staying or not. As NGO workers remark: ‘even when forced by the system to work short-term, we have to and want to do long-term planning, as rehabilitation is a long haul and could take a generation’.[60] This is considered vital in human rights programmes where success should be measured ‘by the degree to which field presence contributes to a sustainable improvement in the human rights situation. That end is not achieved by social engineering through external solutions – but rather by engaging with, and facilitating, the host society’s efforts.'[61] In Bosnia-Herzegovina, postponement of the 1997 donor conference to decide funding was calamitous for the population because it meant that funding would filter through only when winter froze many operations anyway.[62] The political willingness to allow further suffering directly contradicts the purpose of rehabilitation and good humanitarian practice. In this instance the influx of opportunistic NGOs arriving after the Dayton Agreement, without attempting to integrate with existing programmes or consult with existing institutions, complicated the donor’s assessment of needs and priorities.

If wealthy states continue to exert control through funding, whilst divesting themselves of direct responsibilities in the humanitarian field and delegating to NGOs, they also check the pretentions of non-state actors by their encouragement to, and recognition of, emergent state forms.[63] Thus transnational solidarity forged between INGOs and LNGOs cannot easily challenge statism, partly because of the unequal partnership and hierarchical paradigm just mentioned, and partly because rehabilitation involves the reassertion of official administrations or quasi-state forms, through elections for example. NGOs may become bureaucratised in their quest for project funds, but maintaining a bureaucracy is a constant struggle, even for the larger NGOs such as Oxfam, which in the late 1990s have had to cut back on staff. It is thus difficult for civil society projects to counter the discourses of revived or unreconstructed local elites ‘who didn’t do too badly out of the war’, or to forge transformative relations with official institutions.

Rehabilitation as the Transformation of Societies

A particularly weak feature of current rehabilitation and regeneration policy at the international level is the limited attention given to, and funding for, so-called ‘soft programmes’. Yet these are critical humanitarian activities for any long-term transformation of society, especially for transformation based on local ownership.

Time and again, implementing organisations have pointed to the relative ease of obtaining funds with visible outputs, and the considerable difficulty in obtaining funds for ‘soft programmes’. It is hard to get money for ‘democracy-building’ because it is not glamorous. A notable exception has been the OSCE’s support for alternative, non-nationalist citizens’ movements in Bosnia-Herzegovina and their involvement in the special committees set up by the High Representative.[64] But there is relatively little money for human rights, which is, after all, a major purpose of democracy, and some critics in Bosnia have argued that external funders wasted two years before getting to grips with support for anti-nationalist civil projects.[65]

The dominant funding culture, expressed by the largest donors, is to prefer concrete projects, often literally, because these are more open to bureaucratic means of communication – reports and standardised formats. The United States, according to one observer’s characterisation: ‘likes to go for big visual proof – doing up things along the road and then putting stickers on.'[66] The EU also prefers hard reconstruction to social mediation. NGOs in Bosnia have expressed a common view that the EU ‘is big on accountancy’, doing lots of auditing but having little concept of the social impact of the process. Scandinavian governments are perceived as more supportive of social and human rights programmes that do not provide physical outcomes or commercial advantage, and take a view of the whole picture that includes qualitative changes to communities. One major evaluation found that it takes two years for such programmes to show an impact.[67]

As John Lederach and Betts Featherston have argued, local empowerment, capacity building and accountability have the potential to transform societies.[68] Such a requirement has long been acknowledged, notably in the pioneering work of Mary Anderson.[69] Nor can one fault the rhetorical commitment of international organisations to public participation in development programmes. Agenda 21 of the 1992 UN Rio Conference on Environment and Development, stressed the value of a people-centred approach, and the Secretary-General’s subsequently opined that: ‘In order to fulfil their potential, people must participate actively in formulating their own goals, and their voices must be heard in decision-making bodies as they seek to pursue their own most appropriate path to development.'[70] The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee is committed to national ownership of the development process in post-conflict recovery and to ‘political dialogue on such critical issues as governance and participation, [in which] all groups, including the marginalised, should be encouraged to express themselves’.[71]

Communities have a right to ownership of the transformation of their societies. Without active participation people will not become ‘stakeholders’ in the ventures and enterprises ostensibly generated to assist them. Without it the political ownership of rehabilitation will remain with the external agencies. This is as true in the field of human rights, in which one might imagine all kinds of inhibitions about putting local communities at risk of persecution, as it is of economic and infrastructure reconstruction. As pointed out by the International Human Rights Trust (IHRT), whose work is supported by the European Commission and Irish Department of Foreign Affairs:

Discussions of human rights operations internationally have not included the constituency most qualified to speak on the subject – the societies which have played host to them. There continues to be a near total absence of input from those who have hosted, or are hosting, operations. This not only excludes a vital source of information for assessing the merits of such operations but is symptomatic of a more structural weakness of current approaches which see the host society as something of an afterthought, or somehow outside of, the process. In traditional diplomatic manner, a rather statist approach has been applied.[72]

Axiomatically, the rationale for external human rights activities and empowerment of local communities must be established in each circumstance. But as a general principle, argues the IHRT, hosts should be involved in ‘planning, designing, setting priorities for, and evaluating the impact of human rights operations’. This calls for a new discourse: ‘The terminology proposed to encapsulate such future fieldwork is Human Rights Support Programmes. This is because “support'”conveys the fundamental shift in attitude towards a constructive partnership based on the primacy of the host society. It conveys assisting and reinforcing rather than replacing local efforts.'[73]

Of course, mobilising public opinion carries a considerable risk. We can take it for granted that interventionists have to work within particular peace agreements, international law and treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But what if public opinion is impervious to such constraints? The ‘primacy of the host society’ could become a blank cheque to re-empower extremists; yet conditionality on participation and parameters on policy options will contravene the principle of host primacy. So coherent strategic planning in consultation with the community requires interventionists to agree upon common criteria for influential voice. Participation should be packaged with clearly understood rules and responsibilities that balance competing interests. In all aspects of rehabilitation the ideal of support and constructive partnership encounters genuine obstacles that need to be recognised, in addition to those posed by the prevalent donor-driven paradigm of humanitarian action.

3.1 Obstacles to participation

If popular participation levels are variable in non-violent development contexts, participation seems even more mutable in war-torn societies, though the need for it is greater.

First, the human costs of conflict disrupt or destroy existing social patterns of decision-making. By 1995 the conflict in Angola was estimated to have claimed 750,000 lives, the genocide in Rwanda up to 500,000 (in three months in 1994) and the civil war in Sudan 1,500,000.[74] But other impacts, including injury, psychological disorientation and displacement is regarded as diminishing the capacity of communities to participate proactively in rehabilitation and deprive people, temporarily perhaps, of an organised voice.[75]

Second, guerrilla war economies disrupt social-economic patterns of bargaining and decision making. Damage to physical infrastructures and the existence of minefields disrupts the economic networks that build up around trade and agriculture.[76] Transforming society by tackling social, educational and attitudinal barriers to peace has to confront elites who are engaged in manipulating subsistence, not to influence social attitudes or to promote ideologies but to satisfy particular market mechanisms, often illegally, and affected by the dynamics of globalisation. New corrupt elites may establish themselves as essential to people’s existence, creating a counterfeit legitimacy by providing the means for ordinary people to ‘get by’ in an economy distorted by grave shortages.

Third, political and ideological patterns in decision-making will be affected by continuing hostility towards former enemies. Where established ideological links, say between rural and urban interests, previously infiltrated the political process, these may now be shattered by non-ideological fault lines and the politics of relative exposure to nationalism. New physical borders disrupt the lines of communication and control, not necessarily for the worse. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, for example, there are few common institutions in the health sector, but this has provided opportunities to revitalise health governance.[77] By contrast, the survival of bureaucratic forms that deny participation can be problematic, too, though the phenomenon is not of course confined to war-torn societies. In the Sarajevo area a mental health centre for adolescents which began in 1994 with foreign medical workers and practitioners from the hospital was originally governed on authoritarian lines by a Steering Committee of professionals. It was replaced after 18 months by a Coordination Board, which had bottom-up links with the Centre itself, giving the staff a stake in its progress.[78]

Fourth, misperceptions on the part of external actors about the general and particular social capital, which they arrive to support, is liable to inhibit participation. In the general sense, there is a tendency to see entire peoples who were recently at war with each other either as traumatised victims who lack the ability to make decisions about the future, or as people driven by a destructive psychosis that renders them incapable or morally unworthy of positive contributions to rehabilitation.[79] In Croatia, even domestic observers have argued that peacebuilding should be externally owned because the bulk of their compatriots do not deserve to determine the help they get from outside.[80] Lack of interest in local views is reinforced when a peace process is seen to be forged not by a war weary population but imposed from outside on potential recidivists. There may also be a perceived risk that the activation of a local community in decision-making could re-ignite tensions or might result in highly politicised projects aimed to strengthen one group at the expense of another. Some authorities in Bosnia appeared to act as though health problems were ethnic in origin and solution, and Médecins du Monde had to discover the prewar political dimensions of health in order to better assess conflicting interests.[81]

The existing social network may not be regarded as conducive to participation. One should distinguish between societies that have had some tradition of LNGO activity that INGOs feel able to link into, those which have little or no such tradition, and those where only ‘official NGOs’ that are highly dependent on governments are tolerated. For example, Tudjman’s Government in Croatia is perceived as hostile to dissident NGOs and to outside involvement in humanitarian and human rights issues unless it can be controlled.[82] However, more urbanised Croatia has a relatively solid legacy of civil society and potential for sustainable NGOs compared to Bosnia-Herzegovina. A few, such as Suncokret, the Society for Psychological Assistance and the Croatian Helsinki Human Rights Committee had large-scale external funding.[83] The quest to patronise or create LNGOs in Bosnia-Herzegovina misses the point that interest clubs and citizens associations have played some role in social networks. The re-registration of associations as NGOs is a costly and time-consuming process, though essential for obtaining official recognition and having the right to raise and manage funds.[84]

Fifth, the conditionality adopted by external actors to manipulate participation by creating or empowering only local institutions that demonstrate a commitment to externally-determined goals may be a strategy resulting in social exclusion. In the case of former Yugoslavia, external support to communities on condition that they subscribe to a participatory interpretation of inter-ethnic governance (rather than governance open to all) does risk dismissing opportunities for social development where ethnic homogeneity happens to be a social reality or where ethnic cleavage is irrelevant as a pivot on which to balance a budget (in trade union activities, for example). By the same token, empty promises by local leaders to fulfill conditions, may get rewarded. Attempts to exert leverage through conditionality point to the limits of social engineering.

3.2 Limits to Social Engineering

Even if we ignore post-structuralist ethical issues about relative social values, and concentrate on practical outcomes, the manipulation of political, economic and social forces by outsiders is unlikely to have a lasting impact. Monitoring of, and ensuring compliance with, imposed conditions requires a degree of authoritarian control that not even a UN High Representative can hope to wield. It is therefore relatively easy for domestic actors to resist external pressure, to pay mere lip-service to conditionality and to out-last the will of the external architects of the good life. indeed the actual impact of hierarchical social engineering is highly problematice in relatively unstable societies.

As Roland Paris notes:

War-shattered states are typically ill equipped to manage societal competition induced by a political and economic liberalization, not only because these states have a recent history of violence, but because they typically lack the institutional structures capable of peacefully resolving internal disputes. In these circumstances, efforts to transform war-shattered states into market democracies can serve to exacerbate rather than moderate societal conflicts.[85]

The answer that Paris offers, however, is not very far-reaching. His response to the problem of liberal internationalism is to mitigate its deleterious effects through a more gradual approach to democratisation and marketisation – by promoting moderate politicians, for example. It is questionable whether the normative framework of democratisation and a free market will provide stability, certainly in regard to Africa. There, as Patrick Chabal points out, ruler legitimacy has been sustained in ways more complex than ‘multiparty rituals’. Oppositions can be suppressed after elections, and assemblies and elections are no substitute for accountability. It is more important that people believe rulers are accountable in ways they believe to be legitimate rather than focusing on the cosmetics of democracy.[86] In effect support for social development through systems of participation with accountability are more likely to have an effect than social engineering.

Some current work does reflect the importance of accountability and ownership and suggests that the above mentioned structural and cultural obstacles can be challenged. Under the IFRC’s leadership and with the support of UN agencies, the Sphere Project, has brought European NGOs and the US umbrella group InterAction together to develop a Humanitarian Charter and Reference Manual, based on assistance rights and best practice – which includes stakeholder accountability.[87] The War-Torn Societies Project in UNRISD has explored the implementation of public participation in its studies, and its own analysis has involved interaction with local people.[88] The World Bank has now included participation criteria (i.e. public debates with popular, gender and NGO involvement) in its lending policy, mainly for small-scale social development projects.[89] But the evaluation of the viability of such projects rests securely with the Bank’s own experts who are imbued with its neo-liberal determination to privatise and reduce state welfare. Moreover, infrastructure projects, which are often led by private enterprise and therefore beholden to commercial principles, focus on environmental impact assessments, which may amount to little more than a procedural consultation for the sake of political correctness.[90]

Can the humanitarian community shift the level of participation beyond procedural correctness into interactive participation? NGOs such as the National Democratic Institute of Washington DC, and Conflict Resolution Catalysts of Vermont, successfully overcame such problems by empowering existing social associations in Bosnia-Herzegovina.[91] Also, in the villages around Travnik in Central Bosnia, a resettlement grants scheme managed by nationals and involving the UNDP, an INGO and an LNGO, explicitly links interest associations with integrated social development.[92]

3.3 A participation/accountability framework

Without the space here to unpack the various concepts associated with capacity building, we can at least consider the relevance of accountability and the basic right to participation. As already implied, accountability is multifaceted.

First, there is the formal legal and financial accountability of external actors upwards to trustees, donors and sometimes to the authorities of the country in which they operate. This is usually generated by the implementers in the form of in-house reportage. It usually has the highest priority for NGOs, not only because of legal requirements, but because, as discussed earlier, their viablity depends on donors. However, the frequently perceived need for greater systematisation and transparency in the accountability of NGOs to funders has to be balanced against the deleterious effects of bureaucratisation and loss of autonomy.[93] Second, there is inter-agency accountability, including accountability between grass-roots organisations and between local groups and external actors. It cannot be assumed that grass-roots organisations, or indeed NGOs, practise communitarian decision-making as a natural function of their proximity to basic human needs. Grass-roots organisations may be no less manipulated by unrepresentative leaders than other institutions. Third, is the moral and political accountability of donors and implementers towards local communities. This is an essential component of social development and local ownership of peacebuilding. But it is more honoured in rhetoric than practice, partly because it is open-ended and there cannot be absolute performance standards and benchmarks, especially in strategic social development, given that external agents cannot be held individually responsible for most forces affecting the local environment.[94] Moreover, as the ICRC has traditionally accepted in its work, drawing attention to local discontents or the empowerment of groups, are political acts that can attract the hostility of authorities struggling to exert control. This also applies to the accountability within local communities that is inherent in civil society development.

For these reasons, accountability is not ‘a magic bullet’ for which universal performance indicators are available, but a principle behind negotiations in each circumstance and with each of the many shareholders in rehabilitation, including public officials.[95] And there are examples of well-negotiated downward accountability and high levels of public participation in evaluation, including the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in India.[96]

Borrowing from a framework publicised by the Overseas Development Institute (London), it is useful to identify five levels of public participation before assessing their relevance to rehabilitation. With slightly different labelling they are:

Levels of Public Participation

  • Information disclosure: people are merely informed ex post facto about matters that affect them, often on a need-to-know basis.
  • Public consultation: people are given a voice about issues where external actors have defined problems and processes, control analysis and have no obligation to take people’s views into account.
  • Procedural participation: people are encouraged to engage in achieving project goals to reduce its costs and comply with procedural requirements.
  • Interactive partnership: people participate with external actors from an early stage in project design, implementation and assessment.
  • Self-mobilisation: people take initiatives independently of external actors who in turn facilitate the achievement of goals defined by local communities.[97]

According to the ODI, there is considerable divergence between the levels of participation in social development programmes and in major infrastructure projects. In social development public participation is often integral to the project at the level of procedural participation and above. In infrastructure projects participation is essentially external to the project and restricted to the level of information disclosure or consultation, and formalised through environmental impact assessments. Yet high levels of public interaction in such major projects can be instrumental in reducing potential for political opposition. They can increase cost effectiveness by fostering good relations with local labour and communities. For companies and their contractors, participation can underpin the security of their investments and improve their public relations image.[98]

Ideally, the process of rehabilitation should aim for high levels, not merely of public participation which may merely amount to interaction in public between elites, but of popular participation (that is to say, participation open to all), often in situations where people are not used to their own politicians being accountable. Patterns of decision-making are likely to be inherited from earlier, confused situations of emergency relief, and there may be little time or opportunity, even with the best will in the world, to establish formal mechanisms for participation.

Research in Bosnia indicates that, broadly speaking, neither the donors nor implementing agencies and NGOs engage local populations formally and extensively in decision-making for needs assessment, project design and project evaluation.[99] Foreign NGOs arrived in numbers in Croatia and Bosnia with their own ideological frameworks that turned the region into something of a social experiment. Dozens turned up expressing feminist solidarity, quite reasonably, to help female rape victims; but none to help the male rape victims. Similarly, it has been observed that hundreds of international experts in post-traumatic stress disorder arrived in former Yugoslavia to help stress victims but learnt more from local professionals.

During conflict, diagnosis and needs assessment are usually products of observation and there is limited time to organise consultation or establish communications. Potentially, however, a significant change can occur when open conflict ceases, allowing assessment to go beyond step 3 (procedural participation) of the ODI framework to embrace interactive partnership.[100] This often happens, as illustrated in the box below.

Examples of interactive partnership in needs assessment

Local Red Cross societies work closely with representatives of families organisations to collate information about missing persons and the precise needs of locals which, of course, vary according to locality.

The International Council of Voluntary Agencies has a policy of trying to coordinate North and South NGOs, and organises the requests of local NGOs, and claims success in this respect in Guatemala and Bosnia.[101]

CARE International has a long-range empowerment strategy based on the mechanism of the Household Livelihood Survey. Household needs are assessed over a five-year period with the aim of reducing absolute poverty by trying to facilitate at least one breadwinner per family so that it gradually becomes self-supporting.[102]

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) undertakes thoroughgoing needs assessment, not only through observation, but also through the interactive participation of any local nurses and doctors who remain in post when official health systems collapse. In Bosnia, needs assessment was also evaluated in local discussion groups with professionals, something of a novelty and in contrast to the top-down system of the old Yugoslav regime.[103]

In Eastern Slavonia, LNGOs are willing partners in human rights needs assessment and seek out UN Human Rights Officers who broadcast verified abuses.[104]

Nevertheless, there appears to be little effort by outside agents to facilitate the imaging of a future by local communities. As Lederach points out, capacity building is a process not an outcome, and communities can be encouraged not only to realise immediate survival goals but to envisage change, and to consider whether projects contribute to that change.[105]

Project design, feedback and evaluation seem to be the least open to public participation and is often not available publicly. In some instances, this might be characterised as a neo-imperial relationship, with implementers acting as the local agents of donors. The implementer effectively says to the community: ‘tell us what you know so that we can help, but we alone have the means and skills to design and evaluate’; whereas the message to the donor is: ‘this is what we have done, the auditor is welcome to call.’

Evaluation is typically donor-sponsored and takes the form of reports by the implementing organisation. The process consists of a check on funding allocation and tends to be quantitative rather than qualitative. Formal external evaluation, when it occurs at all, involves a donor representative and an independent member of the INGO or agency community.[106] Furthermore, there is a lack of appreciation among donors about qualitative rather than quantitative issues.[107] In spite of having contacts with the UN and some outside funding LNGOs in Croatia and Bosnia have experienced very limited ability to influence external assistants. Donor evaluators have been known to enquire whether women’s social support groups have made a profit. The STAR civil society and democracy programme in Bosnia, part funded by USAID, and the Swedish-based Kvinna til Kvinna in Split, sponsored by SIDA, can be counted among the exceptional pioneers of formal, locally-initiated evaluation through a system of local advisory boards and questionnaires.[108] In this respect the acceptance by USAID of a local evaluator for the STAR project, Marina Skrabalo of the Zagreb Centre for Peace Studies, is a significant step in engendering a culture of accountability.


This paper has indicated that external actors who become engaged in rehabilitation and peacebuilding in the transition from war to peace lack strategic coherent and long-term approaches for implementation. Strategic harmonisation could, of course, be even more likely to produce counter-productive efforts at social engineering than the current ad hoc approach. The second second conclusion therefore, is that the short-term, tangible reconstruction measures should be balanced by concern for long-term civil society and social programmes that incorporate mechanisms of local participation and a culture of multifaceted accountability.

Peace agreements, such as the Dayton Framework Agreement, do not necessarily mean that a coordinated programme of funding and support for rehabilitation activities is in place. The rhetoric of strategic cohesion in the agendas of external actors is ubiquitous in the case of former Yugoslavia. And there have also been attempts to implement strategic policies under World Bank leadership. But the lack of balance in the overall impact of international intervention is marked. The imbalance between attention to, and investment in, repatriation and ‘measurable’, macro-economic stability projects on the one hand, and qualitative social programmes on the other is dysfunctional.

The ownership of rehabilitation needs to be registered with local communities. his observation is offered, neither as a post-modernist predeliction for leaving communities to their own devices on the grounds that external values are irrelevant, nor as a means to minimise international responses. Rather, the aim of intervention in transitions is to go with the most promising conflict resolution aspects of local dynamics in each case. The IFIs, OCHA, ECHO and project organisers give consideration, in theory, to empowering the communities that they are attempting to assist. But within the dominant hierarchy of humanitarianism, public participation tends to remain low, especially in the evaluation of projects.

4.1 Recommendations

Various initiatives might be undertaken to redeem the weaknesses in the humanitarian dimension of rehabilitation.

r Rehabilitation is not properly covered by existing provision for relief or development and could be recognised by funders as a suitable case for treatment. Steps to improve strategic harmonisation of various peacebuilding activities could be taken through a more explicit and consistent approach to the incorporation of economic and political incentives and disincentives in peace agreements. However, to avoid the militarisation of peacebuilding, multinational military forces that are not controlled by the UN, that are engaged in coercion rather than peacekeeping or that are equipped for escalation, might be largely excluded from fromal, programmed and direct engagement in humanitarian post-conflict rehabilitation activities.

r Civil society and local support programmes, including citizens’ non-nationalist movements and human rights organisations, should be in the mainstream of international responses to rehabilitation. Glaring imbalances between short-term, project-centred funding for physical rebuilding, and funding for social and civil development where long-term qualitative change is made, could thus be avoided. The emphasis on elections as the test of democracy is often a cosmetic exercise. It overshadows the need to support, where appropriate, civil society projects and local support networks that promote political responsibility and accountability.

r Problems of transition arising from criminalised war economies and western policies of neo-liberal conditionality might be addressed by promoting transformation strategies that enhance capacity-building measures for local institutions and communities. In particular, higher levels of public participation might be incorporated into strategic plans to make external and local implementers more accountable to recipients. There might be a presumption that recipients should be involved in the needs assessment, design, management and evaluation of projects to balance the values that are brought to bear by external assessors and evaluators. Training for these purposes could be available and mechanisms for popular participation investigated.

As a final comment, it is as well for external actors to remember that the social standards to which they aspire for war-torn societies are not necessarily met in their own societies. Rehabilitation can become a laboratory not merely for conflict resolution but for Utopian social engineering with tests and benchmarks that western democracies could not meet themselves. How healthy is civil society in western Europe? How many government projects are evaluated by ordinary members of the public? External humanitarian assistance to war-torn societies always comes with double-edged swords in just about every dimension. External strategists need to listen as well as explain, to support but not to expect more of war-torn societies than of their own. There is perhaps a useful basic principle that might be borne in mind. In the words of one field worker, the aim of external actors in rehabilitation is not only to provide security, return refugees or ‘reconstruct’ physical assets, but ‘to fund citizens to think about their own role and their right to ask someone to be responsible for their actions.'[109]


I am grateful to the many people in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and elsewhere who gave freely of their time to provide information and discuss issues. In the research work a conscious attempt was made to avoid treating interviewees and discussants as anonymous ‘subjects of study’, as in an anthropological or sociological investigation, but to acknowledge their ‘on the record’ views as informed contributors to research. However, the form of referencing reflects the need for confidentiality in some cases. I am also glad to acknowledge the major contributions to my thinking of John Carlarne, Margaret Cobble and Neil Cooper of the Plymouth International Studies Centre; and Paul Stubbs of Centar za Mirovne Studije, Zagreb. The paper was originally presented at the ECPR Pan-European Conference, 16-19 September 1998 in Vienna and revised for the Third International Security Forum of the Swiss Partnership for Peace Programme, Zurich, 19-21 October, and has benefited from the observations of fellow panelists.


1. G.E. Frerks et al., ‘A Disaster Continuum?’, Disasters, vol.19, no.4, 1995 (letters) and discussion by Neil Middleton and Phil O’Keefe, Disaster and Development: The Politics of Humanitarian Aid, London: Pluto Press, 1998, pp.158-62.

2. J. Gershman and W. Bello, cited in Michael Edwards and David Hulme, ‘Non-Governmental Organisations – Performance and Accountability: Beyond the Magic Bullet, London: Earthscan, 1995, p.35.

3. See Philip Peirce and Paul Stubbs, ‘Peacebuilding, Hegemony and Integrated Development: the case of UNDP in Travnik, Bosnia-Herzegovina’, paper presented at ECPR-ISA Joint Conference, Vienna, 16-19 September 1998.

4. See S.J. Stedman, commentary at Third International Security Forum, The Rehabilitation of War-torn Societies Panel, Zurcih, 19-21 October 1998; Gilles Carbonnier, Conflict, Postwar Rebuilding and the Economy: A Critical Review of the Literature, occasional paper no.2, The War-torn Societies Project, Geneva: UNRISD, 1998.

5. See generally, Krishna Kumar (ed.), Rebuilding Societies after Civil War, Boulder COL: Lynne Rienner, 1997.

6. World Bank, ‘A Framework for World Bank Involvement in Post-Conflict Reconstruction’, unpub. paper, Washington DC, 1997, p.11.

7. Development Assistance Committee, DAC Guidelines on Conflict, Peace and Development Co-operation, Paris: OECD, 1997, para.191

8. Contact Group Chairman’s Conclusions, US Department of State press release, Washington DC ,10 November 1998,

9. See R. Neil Cooper and Michael Pugh, ‘Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict reconstruction: The need for a Coherent Strategy’, memorandum for the Parliamentary International Development Committee, August 1998, June 1998, appendix 1.In weak states where government legitimacy is low and political tension between state and society or between factions within society are already high, the sale of arms has the potential to acutely exacerbate pre-existing tensions. This year’s recipient of arms can also become next year’s terrorist threat, as demonstrated by Osama bin Laden who was supplied by the CIA in the Afghanistan resistance against the Soviet Army in the 1980s. Supplying states have signed up to various agreements and guidelines. For example, the EU code requires states to take into account the human rights record of arms recipients, the impact on regional stability and the relationship between the level of weapons technology and the economic capacity of the purchasing country. However, the code lacks an agreed, objective measure of, for instance, the level of human rights abuse in a state.

10. UNHCR, The State of the World’s Refugees 1997-98: A Humanitarian Agenda, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, fig. 2.5. p.70.

11. Tor Sellström and Lennart Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lesson from the Rwanda Experience: Historical Perspective: Some Explanatory Factors, Steering Committee of the Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda, vol.1, Joint Evaluation Team, Copenhagen, 1996, p.55.

12. ‘Bosnia force awaits US green light, The Guardian, 27 October 1997.

13. See, for example, The World Bank Group and EBRD, ‘Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Priority Reconstruction Program – Sectoral Projects and Financing Needs’, Sarajevo: May 1997.

14. However, STAR and the World Bank have worked on a micro credit initiative which was co-founded by the Bosnian Women’s Initiative and World Bank. Interviews with Cressida Slote, Sarajevo, 2 July 1997 and Sarah Foster, World Bank, Sarajevo, 6 July 1997.

15. Among the critiques, see Susan George and Fabrizio Sabelli, Faith and Credit: the World Bank’s Secular Empire, London: Penguin, 1994; Joe Hanlon, ‘Peace without Profit: how the IMF blocks rebuilding in Mozambique, Dublin: International African Institute and Irish Mozambique Solidarity, 1996; J. Prendergast, Frontline Diplomacy: Humanitarian Aid and Conflict in Africa, Boulder, COL: Lynne Rienner, 1996; Wayne Nafziger, The Economics of Complex Humanitarian Emergencies: Preliminary Approaches and Findings, working paper 119, Helsinki: World Institute for Development Economics Research, UN University, 1996; Peter Uvin, Aiding Violence: the Development Enterprise in Rwanda, W. Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 1998.

16. In some war economies government expenditure on health and education per capita is actually maintained. See F. Stewart,, ‘Civil Conflict in Developing Countries over the Last Quarter of a Century: an empirical overview of economic and social consequences’, Oxford Development Studies, Vol.25, No.1, 1997, pp.11-41.

17. Jenny Pearce, ‘From civil war to ‘civil society’,: has the end of the Cold war brought peace to Central America’, International Affairs, vol.74, no.3, 1998, p.590 & n.8; Christopher Louise, ‘MINUGUA’s Peacebuilding Mandate in Western Guatemala’, International Peacekeeping, vol.4, no.2, summer 1997, p.69.

18. D. Gupta, The Economics of Political Violence: The Effect of Political Instability on Economic Growth, New York: Praeger, 1990.

19. Paul Stubbs and Baljit Soroya, ‘War Trauma, Psycho-social Projects and Social Development in Croatia’, Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Vol.12, 1996, pp.303-14. See also, Derek Summerfield, ‘Assisting survivors of war and atrocity: notes on “psycho-social” issues for NGO workers’, Development in Practice, Vol.5, No.4, 1995.

20. See particularly, Alex de Waal, Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa, Oxford: African Rights/James Currey, 1997; Mark Duffield, ‘NGO Relief in War Zones: Towards an Analysis of the New Aid Paradigm’, Third World Qarterly, vol.18, no.3, 1997, pp.527-42.

21. On this point, see Amir Pasic and Thomas G. Weiss, ‘Humanitarian Recognition in the Former Yugoslavia. The Limits of Non-State Politics’, Security Studies, Vol.7, no.1, autumn 1977, pp.194-227.

22. On these issues see, Deborah Eade, Capacity-Building: An Approach to People-Centred Development, Oxford: Oxfam, 1997, especially ch.3.

23. Oxfam, ‘The UN’s 50th Anniversary: An opportunity to Reduce Conflicts’, briefing paper No.8, Oxford, 13 January 1995.

24. Mark Duffield, ‘NGO relief in war zones: towards an analysis of the new aid paradigm’, Third World Quarterly, 18 (3), 1997, pp.527-42; ‘Aid Policy and Post-Modern Conflict: A Critical Review’, RRN Newsletter, No.11, May 1998, pp.9-11. However, the OECD accepts that the continuum is flawed and that relief, rehabilitation and development coexist. DAC Guidelines, para.96.

25. ODI, The State of the International Humanitarian System, Briefing Paper, March 1998, p. 3.

26. Jadranka Mimica and Paul Stubbs, ‘Between relief and development? Theories, practice and evaluation of psycho-social projects in Croatia’, Community Development Journal, Vol. 31, No.4, Oct. 1996, pp.218-90.

27. Discussion with NGO Director, Sarajevo, July 1997.

28. Discussion with Brigitte Qvist, Director of Red Barnet (Danish Save the Children), Sarajevo, 5 July 1997.

29. The ‘structural violence’ identified in the 1960s by Johan Galtung includes the creation of new transnational alliances that have the effect of generating violence within state borders.

30. Discussion with a UNDP official, Sarajevo, July 1997.

31. Pearce (see n.17 above).

32. Assembly of Western European Union, WEU police forces – reply to the annual report of the Council, Defence Committee, doc.1609, 44th session, 13 May 1998, p.15.

33. Elites operate networks on a global scale, a case in point being the reported acquisition of arms by the Italian mafia from their Russian brethren for supplying to factions in the Yugoslav wars, cited in R. Neil Cooper, ‘The international arms trade and its impact on warlordism’, in Paul B. Rich (ed.), Weapons, States and Warlords: The militarisation of ethnic and sub-state conflict, Basingstoke: Macmillan, forthcoming 1999.

34. Assembly of Western European Union, Europe and the evolving situation in the Balkans, Defence Committee Report, 44th session, doc.1608, 13 May 1998.

35. ‘Jewels in the rebels’ crown’, The Guardian, 8 August 1998, p.22

36. See Hugo Slim, ‘Sharing a Universal Ethic’, paper at ECHO and ODI conference on Principled Aid in an Unprincipled World: Relief, War and Humanitarian Principles, London, 7 April 1998;

37. Pearce (n.17 above).

38. Michael Pugh, ‘Humanitarianism and Peacekeeping’, Global Society, vol.10, no.3, Sept. 1996, pp.205-24.

39. See, e.g., Tonny Brems Knudsen, ‘Humanitarian Intervention Revisited: Post-Cold War Responses to Classical Problems’, International Peacekeeping, Vol.3, No.4, winter 1996, pp.146-65.

40. UK Army, Peace Support Operations’, Joint Warfare Publication 3-01, ch.1, para.0102; Michael Pugh, ‘The Politics of New Peacekeeping Doctrine’, in Knud Erik Jørgensen (ed.), European Approaches to Crisis Management, The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997, pp.153-70.

41. Troop contributors now lay more emphasis on: (a) meeting ‘national interests’; (b) protecting their own forces rather than local populations; (c) training peacekeepers for combat; and (d) arranging official deadlines for a quick exit.

42. See Peter Caddick-Adams, ‘Eyewitness, Civil Affairs Operations by IFOR and SFOR in Bosnia, 1995-97’, International Peacekeeping, Vol.5, No.3, 1998, pp.146-7; Michael Pugh, ‘Military Intervention and Humanitarian Action: Trends and Issues’, Disasters, No.4, winter 1998. IFOR was authorised to assist in accomplishing humanitarian missions ‘within the limits of its assigned principal tasks and available resources, and on request’. Dayton Peace accords 1995, Annex 1A. Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement, Art. VI, para.3.

43. Maj. Timothy E. Howle, ‘Civil-Military Operations: A New Battlefield Operating System?’, Special Warfare Magazine (US), Dec. 1996, pp.38-39, cited in Caddick-Adams (n.46 above).

44. British divisional G-5 outline brief, Banja Luka, 15 May 1997, cited in Caddick-Adams (n.46 above).

45. ODA/MoD Initiatives in Bosnia, MND/SW, report on activities April 1996-Sept.1996, unclass. document, MoD, London, Jan. 1997.

46. Caddick-Adams (n.42 above).

47. See ‘Getting the Military out of Humanitarian Relief’, Defense Monitor, Washington DC: Center for Defense Information, Vol.36, No.6, October 1997.

48. Marcus Cox, ‘Strategic Approaches to International Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, paper for the Centre d’Etudes Pratiques de la Negociation Internationale (Geneva), Sarajevo, July 1998.

49. Much of this section contains material from an unpublished report by John Carlarne for the Plymouth Peacebuilding Project. A donor is defined as an organisation that funds the activities of another. An implementing partner is an organisation funded by a donor. It is, of course, possible for a donor organisation to also be the implementing partner of a donor higher in the hierarchy. Thus an organisation can be simultaneously a donor and implementer.

50. Discussion with Lex Kassenberg, CARE International, Brussels, 24 July 1997.

51. This explains why DG1A seemed to take time to make an impact. Discussions with an official, Sarajevo, July 1997. Also, aid was suspended to Republika Srpska when conditions were not met, and received only about 10% of the total instead of 30%, though it had better prepared needs assessment, delivery and installation systems than the Federation. European Commission, Directorate General 1A, ‘Evaluation of the PHARE “Essential Aid Programme” for Bosnia and Herzegovina’, nd, web site:

52. Interviews with NGO workers, Sarajevo, July 1997.

53. Interview with NGO workers in Eastern Slavonia and Bosnia, June-July 1997. See especially, Sr Mary Evely Jegen, Sing of Hope: The Centre for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights in Osijek, Uppsala: Life and Peace Institute, 1996.

54. For example, the International Rescue Committee had begun by funding psycho-social projects but dropped this in favour of an organisational project to make LNGOs more self-sustaining and self-advocating. Interviews with member of Corridor and Stephanie Rust, NGO Development Project, IRC, Sarajevo, 8 July 1997.

55. Discussion with Senior IGO official, Sarajevo, July 1997

56. Jon Bennett and Sara Gibbs, NGO Funding Strategies: An Introduction for Southern and Eastern NGOs, ICVA/INTRAC, Oxford: Worldview Publications, 1996, p.2.

57. Ian Smillie, Service Delivery or Civil Society? Non-Governmental Organizations in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Ottawa: CARE Canada, Dec. 1996.

58. Bennett and Gibbs (n.65 above), p.2.

59. Paul Stubbs, ‘NGO Work with Forced Migrants in Croatia: Lineages of a Global Middle Class?’, International Peacekeeping, Vol.4, No.4, winter 1997, pp.50-60.

60. Discussions with Lisbeth Pilegaard, Repatriation Consultant and Bauke von Weringh, Head of Office of Danish Refugee Council, Sarajevo, 30 June 1997; Charlotte Dunn, ICVA, Sarajevo, 30 June 1997. The OECD defines rehabilitation in terms of a two-year phase, DAC Guidelines, box1, p.10.

61. Karen Kenny, ‘Towards a Human Rights Partnership for Effective Field Work, a Policy Discussion Paper of the International Human Rights Trust’, August 1998 (available from the author, 99 Burford Rd, Forest Fields, Nottingham, UK.); Karen Kenny, Introducing the Sustainability Principle to Human Rights Operations’, International Peacekeeping, Vol.4, No.4, winter 1997, pp. 61-78.

62. Discussions with Safet Husanovic, Co-ordinator for Reconstruction and Development, Municipality of Tuzla, 16 July 1997; Kevin Mannion, Head of Housing Task Force, IMG, Sarajevo, 8 July 1997. The EU has been singled out by NGOs for its lengthy response to applications and getting money flowing to projects. Implementers cannot apply for running costs in the interim.

63. Pasic and Weiss (n.21 above), p.221-3.

64. Usually urban and intellectual, these groups have made an impact on governance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, seeing their suggestion for common car number plates adopted for example. Interviews with Professor Vehid Sehic, President of Tuzla Citizen’s Forum, Tuzla, 7 September 1998; Baisa Baki, Director, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Tuzla, 8 September 1998; Prof. Dolecek Vlatko, President, and other members of ‘Circle 99’, Sarajevo, 11 September 1998.

65. Interview with Mirjana Malic, Director, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Sarajevo, 11 September 1998, and with several other NGO representatives, and also a UNDP official, in interviews in Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka and Tuzla in 1997 and 1998.

66. Discussion with Danish NGO worker, Sarajevo, July 1997.

67. Inger Agger and Jadranka Mimica, ‘ECHO Psycho-social Assistance to the Victims of War in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia: An Evaluation’, ECHO and European Community Task Force Psycho-Social Unit, Zagreb, 1996; discussions with Danish NGO worlers, Sarajevo, July 1997.

68. John P. Lederach, Building Peace. Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies, Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace Press, 1997; A. Betts Fetherston, ‘Transformative Peacebuilding: Peace Studies in Croatia’, paper for the ISA Annual Convention, Minneapolis, 17-21 March 1998.

69. Mary B. Anderson, Do No Harm: Supporting Local Capacities for Peace Through Aid, Collaborative for Development Action, Cambridge: Mass., April 1996.

70. An Agenda for Development, Report of the Secretary-General, A/48/935, 6 May 1994, para.108. See also, Report of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1.

71. Development Assistance Committee, DAC Guidelines on Conflict, Peace and Development Co-operation, Paris: OECD, 1997, para.190.

72. Kenny, ‘Towards a Human Rights Partnership for Effective Field Work’ (n.61 above).

73. Ibid., original italics.

74. Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military Expenditures 1996, pp.18-19.

75. There are currently over 30 million refugees and persons displaced by violence. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is attempting to protect about 22 million of them. Department for International Development, World Poverty: A Challenge for the 21st Century, White Paper on International Development, Cm. 3789, London: Stationery Office, 1997; UNHCR, The State of the World’s Refugees 1997-98: A Humanitarian Agenda, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 30, 286-9; Tor Sellström and Lennart Wohlgemuth, The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lesson from the Rwanda Experience: Historical Perspective: Some Explanatory Factors, Steering Committee of the Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda, vol.1, Joint Evaluation Team, Copenhagen, 1996, p. 5.

76. In Nicaragua, the war with the Contras caused roughly US$2.5 billion of war damage. Swadesh Rana, Small Arms and Intra-State Conflicts, Research Paper 34, Geneva: UNIDIR, 1995, p. 14. The conflict in Mozambique destroyed 70% of its schools and cost the country $15 billion, making the world’s poorest country. Edmund Cairns, A Safer Future: Reducing the Human Cost of War, Oxford: Oxfam Publications, 1997, p. 16.

77. The former Yugsolav health system had been organised on three interdependent levels. At the top were regional and city hospitals, below that the local clinic complexes or Dom Zratvia, and below that the Ambulata or GP-based health centres. The war cut off many Dom Zratvia from regional hospitals and these could now seek hospital status. Interview with Isabelle Bouju-Malaval, Responsable Exécutif, Médecins du Monde, Paris, 1 July 1997. The local Red Cross network ceased to be involved in blood donation and lost its particular work in the health sector. The ICRC and IFRC also encountered a problem in developing and supporting a national movement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as there can only be one recognised Red Cross Society in each country. The Yugoslav Red Cross was replicated by national societies in independent Slovenia and Croatia, but Bosnia-Herzegovina developed cantonal societies. A Republika Srpska a Society was formed in 1992 and a Federation Society in October 1997 a Federation Society. However, in March 1998, an Inter-Entity Contact Group of representatives from each of the two entities was tasked to develop cooperation and to draft statutes for a future National Society. It is supported in its work by the ICRC and IFRC. A rival structure claiming legal continuity from the pre-war Yugoslav Red Cross in Bosnia-Herzegovina also exists. Interview with Antonella Notari, BiH Desk, ICRC, Geneva, 4 November 1997, and information via ICRC delegates in Pale, 19 August 1998.

78. Discussion with Isabelle Bouju-Malaval, 1 July 1997.

79. Mimica and Stubbs (n.26 above)

80. Discussion with a professional journalist working in Zagreb, May 1997.

81. Interview with Isabelle Bouju-Malaval, 1 July 1997.

82. Discussions with academics, Zagreb, May 1997. An example of a quasi-official NGO is Humanitarian Children’s Relief headed by Tudjman’s wife. CARE International seeks to convert its local country offices into fully-fledged national members, but political climates may make this impossible.

83. Tax and insurance barriers to employment in the ‘voluntary’ sector are also evident. Mark Duffield, ‘Social reconstruction in Croatia and Bosnia: An Exploratory Report for SIDA’, unpublished paper, November 1996, para.4.2.

84. Interviews with David Sip, Civic Programme Director, National Democratic Institute, Banja Luka, 5 September 1998; Nick Green, National Democratic Institute, Tuzla, 6 September 1998; Miriam Struyk, International Liaison Officer, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Tuzla, 8 September 1998.

85. Roland Paris, ‘Peacebuilding and the Limits of Liberal Internationalism’, International Security, vol.22, no.2, 1997, pp.54-89 at p.57. For the case for social engineering, see John Mackinlay and Randolph Kent, ‘A New Approach to Complex Emergencies’, International Peacekeeping, Vol.5, No.1, 1998, p. 42-44.

86. Patrick Chabal, ‘A few considerations on democracy in Africa’, International Affairs, vol.74, no.2, April 1998, pp.302-3. See also, B. Gills, J. Rocamora, and R. Wilson (eds), Low Intensity Democracy Political Power in the New World Order, London: Pluto Press, 1993.

87. The Sphere Project, ‘Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response’, available on Internet:

88. See The Challenge of Peace, Vols. 1-6, Geneva: UNRISD War-torn Societies Project, 1995-98, especially vol.6, May 1998, pp.4-5.

89. Interview with Goran Tjindic, World Bank, Sarajevo, 10 September 1998.

90. Overseas Development Institute, Mainstreaming Public Participation in Economic Infrastructure Projects, Briefling Paper 3, July 1998.

91. Conflict Resolution Catalysts empowered Youth Bridge, a community centre for young people in Bosnia. Youth Bridge separated from CRC which then established a Neighbourhood Facilitation Centre in March 1998, before its funding dried up. David Last, ‘From Peacekeeping to Peacebuilding: Conflict Resolution Theory and the Transition to Peace’, paper at ISA Annual Conference, Minneapolis, 17-21 March 1998; Paul Stubbs, ‘Peace Building, Community Development and Cultural Change’, May 1997, report available on Za Mir Transnational Network (Zagreb). Similarly, an American Refugee Council’s shelter and civic rehabilitation programme in the area around Novi Travnik used both Muslim and Croat companies to work on the same buildings to reestablish communities, leading to an element of self-regulation covering taxation, ownership rights and human rights. Interview with Jennifer Poole, Consultant, CARE Australia and Church World Service, Sarajevo, 30 June 1997.

92. Ulla Engberg and Paul Stubbs, ‘Social Capital and Integrated Development: A Civil Society Grants Programme in Travnik, Bosnia-Herzegovina’, forthcoming joint Plymouth International Paper and GSSAP paper, 1999.

93. Ian Smillie, ‘Painting Canadian Roses Red’, in Edwards and Hulme (see n.2 above), p.157.

94. Edwards and Hulme, ‘NGO Performance and Accountability: Introduction and Overview’, in Edwards and Hulme (n.2 above, p.11.

95. Ibid, p.12.

96. Parmesh Shah and Meera Kaul Shah, ‘Partcipatory methods for Increasing NGO Accountability: A Case Study from India’, in ibid., pp.183-91.

97. Overseas Development Institute, Mainstreaming Public Participation in Economic Infrastructure Projects, Briefling Paper 3, July 1998.

98. Ibid.

99. Discussion with NGO workers and ICVA staff member, Bosnia, June-July 1997. On project evaluation, see also, Mimica and Stubbs (n.26 above). There have been exceptions including the Conflict Resolution Catalysts in Banja Luka and and the Star Project in Sarajevo.

100. Ulla Engberg and Paul Stubbs, ‘Social Capital and Integrated Development: A Civil Society Grants Programme in Travnik, Bosnia-Herzegovina’, forthcoming joint Plymouth International Paper and GSSAP paper, 1999.

101. Discussion with Pauline Silvestri, ICVA Administrator, Geneva, 3 November 1997. However, there are diffuse interests and divisions with Southern members prefering an emphasis on sustainable development, whereas ICVA found it easier to get funding for humanitarian relief (from its chief funding sources: Canada, Nordic governments and the Ford Foundation).

102. CARE International, ‘Household Livelihood Security – An Overview’, unpub. commentary by Timothy R. Frankenberger, Brussels, 1997.

103. ‘Mission Exploratoire, Mission D’évaluation, Situation avec déplacement de populations’, MsF, Paris, 30 June 1989 and discussions with Pierre Salignon, MSF, Paris, 17June 1997.

104. Interview with E.J. Flynn, Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights, Geneva, 3 November 1997.

105. Lederach, op cit. pp.144-6.

106. CARE International also includes an external national member in evaluation. The Swedish International Development Agency began funding social reconstruction in mid-1994, but up to the end of 1996 had not been involved in any evaluation of its projects. Mark Duffield, ‘Social reconstruction in Croatia and Bosnia: An Exploratory Report for SIDA’, unpublished paper, November 1996.

107. Interview with Goran Todorovic, Project Director, CARE Sarajevo, 5 July 1997.

108. ‘STAR Project’s Quarterly Report’, Zagreb, 21 April 1997; interviews with Jill Benderly and Cressida Slote, STAR Project, Zagreb 9 May 1997 and Sarajevo, 2 July 1997.

109. Interview with LNGO representative, Sarajevo, 5 July 1997.

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