Date of Award
Master of Science
Some of the major developmental casualties in countries affected with violent internal conflicts (CAVICs) have been community based development projects. Carrying out development projects in such situations becomes difficult as continued violence diminishes extant capacities of local communities. Regenerating community capacity to sustain community based development projects and to reduce potential for further conflicts has remained a major concern of both practitioners and researchers. The research notes similarities in terms of the rhetoric, nature, and goal of development and violent conflicts. Both are trying to address the structural violence, and both are conflictual. Given these similarities, there is a possibility that intervention for development can actually help reduce violent conflicts by altering the underlying structures. Drawing from the experiences of four CAVICs, this research extracts principles and practices through which community based development projects can be sustained in such countries. Projects that have achieved greater success espouse neutrality, transparency and flexibility in approach. They train staff to prepare to work in violent situations. They respect affected populations as full participants, listen to them and incorporate their voices in planning. They build on extant social capital. Such projects build both horizontal and vertical relationships by bringing people closer, thereby empowering them to participate fully in projects through various means. Agencies operational in countries recently affected by violence, such as Nepal, have the advantage of learning from the experiences of other countries. Violent internal conflicts indicate failure of development efforts and impede subsequent development. Given this, violent conflicts have provided an opportunity for development agencies to revisit their programs and policies, and learn from mistakes.
K.C., Shyam, "Community based development projects in countries affected with violent internal conflicts: sustaining and utilizing them for peacebuilding" (2003). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 19449.