8. maj 2014

Cooperation between International Organizations in Complex Emergencies in Eastern Africa

This report is addressing the challenges of cooperation between international organizations in complex emergencies in fragile states of East Africa.  An expert seminar was conducted on the basis of a paper on the subject to discuss problems, challenges, and possible solutions.  Denmark and the rest of the international community often face the problem of poor coordination, lack of cooperation, and de-confliction of assistance in such situations.  Countries and organizations are aware of these problems and have undertaken efforts to resolve them, but it remains insufficient.  Attempts to better coordinate have been made at various levels—between governments, between organizations, and between local actors.  Some improvements in effectiveness are being observed.  Since 2005, Danish development policy has tried to take these efforts into account, as do policies that are still under development.  The necessity of a comprehensive, coordinated, and fully analyzed approach are among the lessons learned.  Local ownership and involvement is a must, and one way of doing so could be to follow the “New Deal” principles.  The Danish approach is currently leaning in this direction, and Denmark must work to influence its partners to use this approach to achieve the best results possible in complex emergencies.

This report is a part of Centre for Military Studies’ policy research service for the Ministry of Defence. Its purpose is to provide a conceptual and empirical context for Danish decision makers about the state of international development assistance in countries where the ability of local authorities to provide governance and essential services have been severely attenuated. International, nongovernmental, governmental, and private organizations have developed mechanisms for exchanging information about their activities, for dividing efforts amongst themselves, for reconciling conflicting efforts, and even cooperating on common objectives amongst themselves. These should be developed further and extended to incorporate local actors so that their capabilities to govern themselves and provide essential services on their own can be improved.