17 September 2008

Peace and communications for development

As we mark the International Day of Peace, 21 September, how apt that the World Bank announces two new publications on peace and communications for development:

Policy briefs of both are available:
Towards A New Policy Model for Media and Communication in Post-Conflict and Fragile States
The media and communication sector plays a complex role in post-conflict and fragile states. In states experiencing conflict, violent political upheaval or complete collapse, the media can provide important, reliable, and timely humanitarian and political information in the midst of chaos, helping people to navigate their tumultuous surroundings. Moving toward the longer term, media and communication processes can enable citizens to engage in dialogue, serve as platforms for debate and oversight, anchor governance reforms, and facilitate peacebuilding and poverty reduction. Yet, despite its importance, the media and communication sector is frequently an afterthought in post-conflict reconstruction. This paper calls for a new model in post-conflict and fragile states, one that prioritizes communication's role in governance and peacebuilding. Authors: Shanthi Kalathil, with John Langlois and Adam Kaplan

The Missing Link—Fostering Positive Citizen-State Relations in Post-Conflict Environments
High expectations for a quick “peace dividend”, a public that does not trust the state, and state-citizen relations severed by years of exclusion are among the most challenging issues national governments, and the international community supporting them, encounter in planning and executing post-conflict recovery programs. These issues are too often neglected by policy makers. Experience has shown the cost of this oversight. Because of their direct relation to long-term stability and governance, dealing with these issues needs to be at the very heart of post-conflict work. This study applies the public sphere as a framework to deal with the “connective tissue” of state-building and calls for change in current post-conflict assistance policy and practice. Author: Henriette von Kaltenborn-Stachau