To help approximately three million South Sudanese by providing critical life-saving support and helping people to better cope with shocks from conflict, drought and flooding. This programme aims to save the lives of an estimated two million people who will receive at least one form of humanitarian assistance; and build the capacity of an estimated one million people to recover and cope better with shocks. Over five years this programme will provide food, shelter and access to water and health services to millions of vulnerable people, including women and children.
To strengthen the democratic character of Nigerian political processes and outcomes by providing support to key electoral bodies, other relevant arms of government (such as the Legistaure) and civil society organisations. Credible elections, an efficient legislature and the scrutiny of government performance by an informed society will motivate government to perform better and be more responsive to the needs of citizens.
To produce research analysis and best practice guidance that will help to inform global policy on how development programming and policy can have the greatest impact on stability and security overseas.
The project selects 4 ODA partners to represent a wide range of different environments, types of conflict/fragility and different scales and facets of poverty. Despite their diversity, they all face similar challenges associated with legacies of the Soviet past; inefficient governance structures; outdated and inaccessible Higher Education (HE) sector failing to support national transformation and integration into a global resource environment. While there is higher potential for capacity-building in each given case, they all suffer from 'weaknesses in organisational structure and research facilities, limited labour agility, underdeveloped gender perspective, and weak civil society participation' (UNDP 2015: 158). These factors by far remain the prime contributors to enduring poverty, human insecurity and growth stagnation across the region. As such these cases do not only offer opportunities for facilitating lasting research synergies. Most of all, they may enable the development of a new sustainable and credible governance approach. The project thus sets to address at a minimum three core development challenges, in full alignment with the UK Aid Strategy, UNDP and WB millennium goals for the selected countries. This focus would also meet the needs for more intensive internationalisation, and research partnership-building for the UK HE sector, crucial for a rapidly changing global environment. The core development challenges include: - inclusive and equitable quality education - resilient and sustainable livelihoods supported by strong foundations for inclusive economic growth and innovation; inclusive of sustainable cities and communities - reduction of conflict and promotion of peace, justice and humanitarian action; reduction of poverty and inequality, including a gender dimension In addressing these challenges the project seeks to establish 'regional hubs of excellence' across Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia to develop their specialist excellence capacity in three particular areas: 1) research integration and learning capacity by (i) identifying specialist research synergies and developing pilot projects to aid partners' integration into the wider funding framework area; (ii) sharing 'best practice' and knowledge for inclusive equitable education comprising staff skills training workshops, PhD learning schools, and UG/PG student high-impact research forums to facilitate linkages with wider stakeholders; (iii) developing internationally recognisable policy platforms (e.g. Caspian Energy Forum; Minsk Peace Dialogue; Eurasia Silk Road Diplomacy; and Tajik Cultural Diplomacy) to enhance the hubs' specialist profiles and develop internal/external linkages 2) higher-impact governance capacity by (i) surveying needs of public administration, civil society and business sectors; (ii) developing Executive Education provision for all relevant sectors; (iii) offering networking and skills-development opportunities with key institutions in Brussels 3) sustainable community capacity by (i) developing engagement with schools via pilot projects; (ii) surveying community needs; (iii) organising citizen juries with local authorities to enhance outreach and raise critical awareness. Project partners are selected on the basis of their inter-disciplinarity and specialisms to include EU Studies in Azerbaijan; History, Sociology and IR in Belarus; Peace Diplomacy and Negotiations in Uzbekistan; and Cultural Studies in Tajikistan. Each partner also offers linkages with all-level national stakeholders to serve as a 'hub of excellence' for knowledge production and transfer. EURAFFEX partner in Brussels would assist with skills training and integration into a wider European network. The principal aim is to enhance 'the hubs' excellence capacity; integrate them into a wider research community and mobilise them to act as 'nodes' for knowledge transfer across the region and beyond, in lasting partnerships with UK HEIs
First, the project will engage scholars working on the political economy of conflict and war to peace transitions. This includes researchers working on issues of violence (e.g. Christopher Cramer, Stathis Kalyvas, Teo Ballve), resources, statebuilding and political settlements (e.g. Jonathan Di John, James Putzel, Philippe Le Billon, Douglass North and Mushtaq Khan), and hybrid political orders (e.g. Volker Boege, Kate Meagher). The research will contribute to this literature by providing a comparative evidence base regarding the perpetuation of criminalised economies in peacetime and the complex dilemmas and trade-offs that exist between peacebuilding, development and counter narcotics efforts to tackle illicit economies. The research will be disseminated through publication in leading development and politics journals, through engagement with existing research networks (such as the Political Settlements Research Programme) and UK and international conferences. Second, the research will benefit scholars working on drugs and other illicit economies, including Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Carolyn Nordstrom, Richard Snyder, Ko-Lin Chin, Francisco Thoumi. The research aims to redefine the field of drugs and development by generating an innovative, interdisciplinary framework for conceptualising the dynamics surrounding drug economies that combines political economy, livelihoods, gender, and public health analysis to understand the tensions that exist between counter-narcotics policies and concurrent efforts to address state fragility and poverty. The project is well-placed to disseminate research to audiences across different disciplines through the SOAS Violence, Conflict and Development research cluster, the new SOAS Corruption Centre, the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project, the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour (CRDHB) and The Centre for Health and Social Change (ECOHOST) (both hosted by the LSHTM). Third, the research will strengthen recent borderland studies scholarship focused on how state margins are not simply reflective of power relations at the centre, but are often constitutive of new political and economic orders (e.g. Hastings Donnan, Thomas Wilson, Benedikt Korf, Timothy Raeymaekers, Paul Nugent, James Scott and Willem van Schendel). Research will strengthen this growing body of literature by demonstrating how a borderlands perspective can address the lack of sensitivity to space in much of the literature on war to peace transitions and statebuilding, which focuses predominantly on national-level political settlements. The research will engage beneficiaries by submitting publications to targeted journals including Geoforum and Journal of Borderland Studies, and through interacting with the Asian Borderlands Research Network, the Association for Borderland Studies and the African Borderlands Research Network. Fourth, the project will provide an important contribution to the literature engaged with developing new research approaches for working in insecure terrain (e.g. Gutierrez-Sanin, Mansfield, Ko-Lin Chin). The research's integration of in-depth fieldwork, GIS spatial imagery and public health analysis will showcase methodological innovation that may then be adapted to other research initiatives in drugs and conflict-affected environments. These findings will be disseminated through the project's workshops and capacity building initiatives with UK-based and southern researchers. The project aims to strengthen the links between UK and southern researchers in Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar across all of these areas of knowledge by establishing an extensive research network through the project's proposed Policy Lab and subsequent Research Consortium for Transforming Illicit Economies.