On June 27, 2011, the International Peace Institute (IPI) hosted a forum on the policy implications of the World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Development. The discussion, attended by nearly 100 representatives of the UN, member states, NGOs, and academic institutions, featured an overview of the World Development Report (WDR) by Stephen Ndegwa, the report’s Lead Specialist in the Africa Region, followed by commentary by Graeme Simpson, Policy and Learning Director at Interpeace, and Henk-Jan Brinkman, Chief of the Policy Planning and Application Branch of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office.
The core message of the report is that developing effective and legitimate institutions that promote security, jobs, and justice is essential to breaking cycles of violence, fostering development, and building sustainable peace. “What the WDR leads us to is a discussion around building legitimate institutions…that are responsive to what citizens want, that provide voice to citizen complaints, and that provide access to a more shared paradigm of resources and power within a country,” Mr. Ndegwa said. He added that international actors should engage in fragile states with “a more conflict-conscious lens,” demonstrating a nuanced understanding of country-specific challenges.
The speakers at the event highlighted the report’s finding that criminal violence, like political violence, has a devastating impact on development. “There is a really critical component to this which is about the recognition of the changing character of conflict,” noted Graeme Simpson.
In his remarks, Henk-Jan Brinkman added that the report’s “multidisciplinary approach is…absolutely necessary – bringing together sociology, political science, peace and conflict studies, and…economics as well. The problems are multifaceted and we really need a multifaceted approach. The report did… a remarkable job of putting all these strands together.”
This event was moderated by Francesco Mancini, IPI Director of Research.