2014 SCID Symposium – Matthew Waterfield – Conflict Assessments in the Planning of Stabilisation/Conflict Recovery Programmes: The Example of Northern Uganda

In this presentation, Matthew Waterfield discusses a baseline conflict assessment of Northern Uganda he conducted in 2009, the main objective of which was to inform the planning of the 3-year three-year (2008-2010) USAID Stability, Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Uganda (SPRING) programme. The baseline conflict assessment of Northern Uganda underscored the importance of ownership of the peace process by Uganda as being critical to the success of the process as well as the need to enhance the sustainability of local capacities for peace in order to counter the developing dependency culture that developed in the north. Matthew underlines the importance of conducting a conflict assessment in providing the analytical framework to identify the specific causes and consequences of a conflict. Matthew also highlights how critically important it is that conflict recovery programmes are designed based on an explicit articulation of the understanding of the specific context of the conflict. Matthew shows how a conflict assessment can be conducted and what it might entail, such as structural and stakeholder analyses, in which the causes of the conflict and the interests and means of all stakeholders are analysed. Matthew also highlights the importance of continually reviewing the assessment for accuracy and ensuring the assessment informs each part of the programme cycle, in order that the aims and objectives of the programme are fulfilled and contribute to the broader peacebuilding process.

Matthew Waterfield is a Senior Conflict and Security Expert with twenty years of experience in conflict-affected countries. He is founding Director of niche consultancy firm Aktis Strategy, which provides strategic analysis and programmes in some of the most challenging conflict affected countries. Previous experience includes serving as a senior DPKO official and work as an independent consultant. He has specialist expertise in conflict analysis, stabilisation, security and justice sector reform, conflict transitions and governance. He has also played a lead role in the definition and development of UK government approach to cross-departmental conflict and stabilisation analysis and planning.

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