Conflict, Disaster & Reconstruction

What do we do?

Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation and Wageningen University & Research Disaster Studies initiated a joint programme in 2012 called Conflict, Disaster and Reconstruction. This programme supports its partners in responding to the complexities of enhancing development in areas affected by crisis. We do this through interactive research, capacity development and training, supporting policy development and dialogue. We facilitate multi-stakeholder processes to make arrangements for better management of the social and physical environment, even under difficult conditions.

We support policy and practice

Conflict and disaster affect millions of people every year. In many parts of the world, humanitarian crises have become protracted or even semi-permanent. Political and institutional fragility may have a long-term destabilising effect, and conflicts often turn into long periods of no-peace-no-war. Natural disasters affect agricultural production - already weakened by demographic pressures, climate change, ecological deterioration and economic decline – and can contribute towards long term food insecurity. Yet, crises also present continuities and opportunities for development, empowerment and building resilience. We support partners in identifying these opportunities and transforming conflict and disaster into positive change. This change can be reflected in an improved policy environment, challenging ‘business as usual’ modes of programme implementation, strengthened organisations, and innovated practice.

We are committed to development in crisis situations

People and communities in crisis situations retain capacities for survival, initiative, innovation and institutional ordering. They find ways to deal with crisis and aspire to seek a normal life in the midst of crisis. Government, non-government and private agencies can build on these drives to further development goals. Crisis also intensifies political processes and power struggles. Enhancing development in crisis requires sensitivity to these dynamics. Gender relations are also subject to significant change in crisis situations, so that a gendered approach is required as well.

We combine research, training and action

This programme brings together academic specialists from the Disaster Studies group and specialists in capacity development and policy support from Wageningen Centre of Development Innovation. Our initiatives build on analytic insight into the causes and dynamics of crises; the ways they affect people's lives and re-order their institutions and societies; and the workings of different intervention mechanisms - including humanitarian action, disaster risk reduction, peace building, reconstruction and development. These initiatives focus on institutional development and reconciliation, and the promotion of voice and accountability. Furthermore in-depth expertise on vital sectors such as livelihoods and agriculture, governance and management of natural resources like forests, wetlands, fisheries resources is combined with process facilitation, stakeholder engagement, training and knowledge brokering skills.

What we believe

Interactive research, that combines academic rigour with stakeholder dialogue, forms the basis of an integrated approach to knowledge generation and its use for policy and practice.