This thesis seeks to analyse whether and in what way institutional reconstruction meets the needs, and fits the context, of the population they are meant to serve. Often we talk about post-conflict societies as ‘being in transition’ or ‘moving out of crisis’, and this thesis basically asks the question: ‘transition to whatand movement to where’? The thesis is based predominantly on ethnographic work undertaken in Pader district, northern Uganda between 2010 and 2012 where stimulation of the agricultural sector has been pursued as a way to consolidate peace and promote recovery after years of displacement.
The thesis finds that the processes and dynamics of transition in northern Uganda involve: (1) Messy transitions between humanitarian services and state-led market ‘modernisation’(2) an attempt to bridge policy and practice mismatches – a process through which institutional relations or new institutions evolve out of the process of recovery and reconstruction (3) that the transition and recovery in northern Uganda relates to the linking of Relief Rehabilitation and Destitution, rather than linking to Development. Assets erode to such an extent that development is not an achievable goal for many of those formerly displaced. Many people see their ‘normality’ becoming a state of ‘Destitution’ instead of ‘Development’.