I had a guest post on Global Integrity’s blog last week, based on a recent event in DC. The teaser:
It takes two: What happens when the open governance and peacebuilding communities work together?
Governance reform is a nearly universal need—even the world’s oldest democracies still struggle—yet the need is greatest in fragile states. However, external support for governance reform often takes a back seat in such places. Where the social contract has broken down and the institutional capacity of the state to deliver goods and services is nearly non-existent, ending or preventing violent conflict is often seen as a more pressing concern. What if that didn’t need to be a trade-off, and instead we found ways for governance and peacebuilding to support one another fragile contexts?
That question was at the heart of a conversation in DC last month. The hosting organizations were wide-ranging: Global Integrity, Saferworld, the OpenGov Hub, and Development Gateway. There were also representatives in the room from a handful of other NGOs, plus a few donors, and a smattering of consultants. The topic: “Openness in Fragile Environments.”
As Saferworld’s Chris Underwood pointed out, this was explicitly a gathering of two tribes. Though there were some participants who blurred the lines between governance and peacebuilding, we were largely drawing from two different analytical frameworks, types of expertise, and even sets of experiences.
(With thanks to Alan Hudson for comments on an early draft.)