Introduction: Economic Recovery Strategies: Activities
In each of the economic recovery sub-sections, activities are discussed at some length. While the meaning of economic recovery is debated by scholars and practitioners, given the emerging consensus surrounding what it constitutes, this portal focuses on five prominent areas of economic recovery that are critically linked to peacebuilding, as well as the activities that comprise them, which are discussed in greater length in consecutive portal sections.
Community reintegration of displaced persons
Employment and peacebuilding
Public finance and economic governance
Natural resources and peacebuilding
Private sector development and peacebuilding
1 The BCPR suggests a focus, in particular, on strengthening local financial institutions, which have usually collapsed or been incapacitated by conflict. "Capacity development," a term often used synonymously with capacity building, is defined by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as "the process by which individuals, groups and organizations, institutions and countries develop, enhance and organize their systems, resources and knowledge; all reflected in their abilities, individually and collectively, to perform functions, solve problems and achieve objectives."2 In practice, for example, the United Nations Development Group views capacity building of local institutions as the overall goal of the United Nations country teams (UNCTs): "The overall goal for the UNCT at country level is to support national counterparts [to] develop their capacities to lead, manage, achieve and account for their national development priorities. This is especially so for those related to the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals] and internationally agreed development goals, as well as human rights obligations in ratified UN conventions and treaties."3
Issues affecting the capacity of states and their people are discussed throughout the economic recovery section of this portal. For example, "brain drain" and the lack of skilled workers is addressed in the section on employment, and the difficulties in restoring government function with limited capacity to mobilize revenue for social investments and recovery is discussed in the public finance and economic governance section. addition, a broader view of capacity building is provided in the community reintegration of displaced persons section.
Social cohesion, social capital, and social networksThe creation of community cohesion and (re)establishment of social capital following conflict are key components of economic recovery and the establishment of a lasting peace. They are also one of the most challenging hurdles, as tensions and distrust may remain high. Social networks can help to facilitate the growth of social capital by uniting various groups, including displaced persons, remainees, and former combatants, and providing financial support when formal employment opportunities are low.
Go to Community Reintegration, Reconciliation, and Employment
Community development approach
The community development approach is increasingly being used as a holistic strategy for rebuilding communities, which is a necessary foundation for economic recovery. A community development approach seeks to empower refugees, internally displaced persons, former combatants, and their communities to determine their own futures through involvement in the recovery process.6
2. Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, "Glossary of Statistical Terms: Capacity Development."
3. United Nations Development Group (UNDG), Enhancing the UNs Contribution to National Capacity Development: A UNDG Position Statement (New York: UNDG, October 2006), 4.
4. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Handbook for Self-reliance (Geneva: UNHCR, August 2005), 7.
5. BCPR, Post-Conflict Economic Recovery: Enabling Local Ingenuity, 59.
6. World Bank Post-Conflict Fund, "Workshop on Closing the Gap on Community Reintegration Activities: Learning from Inter-agency Collaboration" (Geneva, Switzerland, June 23-24, 2003), 2.