IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersPower, Politics, and Change: How International Actors Assess Local Context

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - June 21, 2010

Power, Politics, and Change: How International Actors Assess Local Context

 

 

The International Peace Institute (IPI) has undertaken a project called Understanding Local Context, which aims to enhance our understanding of how international actors grapple with local context and political dynamics in partner countries.

Under the first phase of the project, IPI conducted an informal analysis of conflict, governance, and fragility/stability assessment tools developed by bilateral and multilateral actors, in order to investigate whether and how assessments actually affect decision making, planning, and programming.

This policy report represents the culmination of the first phase of the project. It analyzes the assumptions and motivations underpinning the use of various assessment frameworks and tools developed by bilateral and multilateral actors to assess governance, conflict and fragility.  The report argues that these tools and frameworks have produced mixed results in terms of their impact on planning, decision-making, and programming.  How they are used appears to be determined by five important factors: 1) clarity of purpose, 2) timing and timeframes, 3) interests and incentives, 4) people and competencies, and 5) linkages between assessment and planning. 

The report concludes by cautioning that external actors must temper their expectations about what assessment tools and frameworks can accomplish.  It further recommends that efforts should be made to link political analysis more consistently to overarching planning cycles and that multilateral and bilateral bureaucracies should work more assiduously to instill a culture of analysis rather than relying on technical instruments to capture complex political dynamics in conflict-affected and fragile states.

The Global Observatory

Can UN-led Talks Bring Together a Fractured Libya?
The success of the negotiations hinges on the UN's ability to bring all parties to the table.

Key Global Events to Watch in January
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2015: Ten Multilateral Events to Watch This Year
A list of ten events that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2015, compiled by IPI’s Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

January 20, 2015
Mongolian Foreign Policy Between ''Two Giants''
On January 20, Mongolia’s new Foreign Minister Purevsuren Lundeg visited the IPI Vienna office and gave an informal briefing on Mongolia’s contemporary foreign policy priorities and challenges.

January 20, 2015
Dutch FM Koenders: ''The Security Council Has to Change''
Speaking to an overflow IPI audience on January 20th, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders acknowledged how far the United Nations has come since its inception 70 years ago but said that the organization still “has a lot of growing up to do.”

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

View More