Archive for September, 2006

What’s Bill Gates gotta do with it?

Peter Baumann pointed me to an interesting (well, Brandon’s articles are all interesting) piece by Brandon Hamber on the missing link between domestic business and charities/NGOs in Africa:

Donor money should be coming not only from the international community and channelled by local funders, but local sources should also provide funding.

Brandon website is a source of knowledge on most issues dealing with the psychological effects of conflict, such as truth commissions (he was working with the TRC in South Africa). In above article, he features the foundations for peace as an effort for sourcing funds locally - versus the all-too-present mentality of NGOs waiting in line for international donor money. There’s another role for local business, it seems.

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The business of business is … peacebuilding

The publication by International Alert defines peacebuilding as broad as its cause: violent conflict is the manifestation of a profound breakdown within a society. “Peacebuilding therefore needs to be a comprehensive transformative process: it is not an adjunct to economic growth, but rather the function of economic growth in conflict contexts.” (p78)

Clearly the meta-analysis approach to conflict (Mari Fitzduff) has arrived.

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Local Business, Local Peace

International Alert deserves credit for looking closely at the peacebuilding potential of the *domestic* private sector. In line with the 2005 sector strategy of the German Ministry for Economic Development, this publication shows why business is often motivated to contribute to peacebuilding. There are numerous practical examples in how the private sector in conflict-affected societies can set the agenda for peace and facilitate contacts between opposed conflict parties.

It will be interesting to see how this research will feed into program and policy recommendations - as well as how MNCs can tap into the incredibly rich local knowledge of the domestic private sector.

Update: All documents and transcripts from the conference.

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Can’t buy me peace, then?

“Do no harm” - The guideline of Mary Anderson has proven to be necessary countless times. When aid is fed into conflict zones it is often ineffective or can even exacerbate the conflict, e.g. through regional or unequal distribution. And whenever business gets involved with conflict settings, they have to be very careful not to fuel existing regional or intrastate conflict. But what happens, if businesses and donor agencies, maybe negotiated by international NGOs, realise that they already are on the same plane - working towards a sustainable environment? There is a hefty debate between donor agencies, how this could work. However, the debate is largely ignored by the business community. This is, what this blog is about.

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