The event was closed by Mr Joost Andriessen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who emphasised the relation between development and security, and the usefulness of IS Academy research for the Ministry’s understanding of, for example, the potential contribution of local actors.
In policy, security and institution building usually do not go hand in hand with attention for socio-economic recovery. At the same time providing employment and basis services, amongst others, is key in ensuring peace dividend and preventing a relapse into conflict. Quantified scientific findings could guide this approach. A continuous critical evaluation of the choice of partners is also key in this process, since there is a tendency to choose from the usual suspects.
Joost Andriessen referred to a recent visit to South Sudan with Minister Ploumen to illustrate the importance of the focus on socio-economic factors in peace recovery: 'All people just wanted peace, education and livelihood opportunities'.
Mr. Andriessen also highlighted the usefulness of the research of the IS Academy: 'critical voices help us reshape policies'. As examples, he referred to the work by Rens Twijnstra which challenges the Ministry’s understanding of what local actors can contribute, and research of Holly Ritchie on women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan, illustrating the importance of contextual factors in value chains.
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