New research programme on the Sudan peace process
"This is a joint project with the University of Khartoum, Al Ahfad University for Women, University of Bergen and PRIO financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It confirms Norway's continued committment to peace in the Sudan," says Sørbø.
A characteristic feature of the situation in Sudan is that there are multiple conflicts in the country, some of them localised or of a regional nature. They have their own dynamics, yet they are interrelated in complex ways. Interventions must be sensitive to such facts. Successful peace implementation in Sudan will depend on the ability of government and international actors to address root causes of different conflicts in productive and creative ways. This will, in turn, depend on a parallel ability to identify the main drivers of change (and conflicts) in the country as well as possible entry points for intervention.
A systematic assessment of past aid to Sudan has not been carried out. However, we know that appropriate aid can help to build peace, whereas inappropriate aid can fuel war by deepening the social fault lines of conflict and tilting power balances in favour of those inclined to resolve conflicts by violent means. Aid may also erode local capacity rather than enhance it.
There are at least two main challenges to aid management in Sudan:
- The aid management system must be able to clearly organise the coexistence of humanitarian, recovery and developmental activities, the latter including peacebuilding and conflict prevention.
- Sudan must break the "low ownership trap" through capacity and competence building. There must be a progressive transfer of ownership (technical and political) in the management of aid.
The research and monitoring programme will be designed in such a way that a balance is struck between bona fide research agendas, capacity building (primarily in Sudan) and policy oriented needs.