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Violent conflict represents a significant barrier to development. While Community Driven Development (CDD) programmes have been effective in establishing or expanding essential social services and physical infrastructure at the local level; using CDD approaches in a context marked by conflict represents new challenges. These may include deep social divisions, unequal distribution of power, blurred lines between combatants and civilians, and calls for for inquiries or trials to address past abuse - in addition to the urgent needs for economic recovery and basic services.

This concept paper, commissioned by the CDD unit of the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (ESSD) Network of the World Bank, nevertheless argues that participatory and demand-led development approaches are likely to address critical needs in conflict contexts. These include the needs for speedy and cost-effective delivery of reconstruction assistance; for improvement of the state-citizen relationship; and for alternative forms of community organisation that will foster reconciliation.

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