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Development Account Projects

Strengthening national capacity for the integration of sustainable principles into development strategies in countries emerging from conflict

Background:

The United Nations is increasingly focusing attention on post-conflict peace building. In many cases, unsustainable development such as inequality in access to natural resources, environmental degradation, social disparities, ineffective governance structures and lack of economic progress are both causes and consequences of violent conflicts within countries. For this reason, the recently established Peace building Commission (S/RES/1645(2005)) emphasizes sustainable development, together with reconstruction and institution building, as focus areas for the development of integrated strategies for post-conflict recovery. The international community plays an important role in assisting countries emerging from conflict to build capacity in order to effectively bridge the gap between short-term recovery efforts and longer term development planning. Sustainable development principles integrated into national comprehensive development strategies provide such a framework, as articulated in national sustainable development strategies (NSDS).

Objective:

The objective of this project is to increase the capacity of countries emerging from conflict to integrate sustainable development principles into development strategies and thereby to increase the likelihood of sustainable peace. 

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Capacity to utilize sustainable development principles in policy-making is increased in selected countries;
  • Methodologies (scalable toolkit) are produced, which explain and illustrate ways to integrate sustainable development principles into national development strategies as part of peacebuilding. 

Implementation Status:

In order to integrate sustainable development principles into development strategies the following activities were initiated until December 2010:
A study on analysis of critical gaps of comprehensive development planning in a post-conflict context was completed and provided better understanding of the challenges unique to countries emerging from conflict, methods for addressing those challenges, and the current gaps in the area of comprehensive development planning. A consultancy service started to develop conflict-sensitive methodologies and National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS) guidelines intended to be used by government officials and policy makers in countries emerging from conflict. Liberia, Lebanon and Nepal were selected as the first three pilot countries to implement and test these conflict-sensitive methodologies and Guidance Notes and established partnerships with relevant UN agencies on the ground in these countries. Forty-five publicly available information systems that are relevant for national sustainable development strategies in countries emerging from conflict and that contain data for potential pilot countries have been identified and assessed with regard to data availability.

The project and the pilot countries have the historic opportunity to contribute to and participate in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio + 20) and share, at the global level, their experience in taking the approach of conflict-sensitive National Sustainable Development seeking to address the dual challenge of sustaining development and building peace in the post-conflict context.