Although transitional justice (TJ) has been an area of significant donor engagement for more than a decade, little is known about the scope, trends, and experiences of that engagement. This study examines patterns and priorities of the aid that was given from 1995 through 2005 in support of transitional justice in Rwanda and Guatemala. It is based on statistical data from 15 donors and on interviews with 20 donor officials. The size of the TJ aid to the two countries was modest, accounting for about five percent of total development aid. Security sector reform received the bulk of the TJ assistance. In Rwanda the remaining TJ aid targeted retributive justice processes such as national criminal courts and the gacaca decentralized courts, while in Guatemala it focused on restorative justice institutions such as truth commissions and reparations. In Rwanda most of the TJ aid went directly to the government, while in Guatemala donor loyalties lay first and foremost with the peace accords. Guatemala received more TJ support immediately after the end of the conflict, while in Rwanda aid levels were higher in the last half of the post-genocide period. While identifying such aid trends is a vital first step, further research should examine how transitional justice aid works across additional country cases, over extended periods of time and for different actors.

 

Vibeke Wang

Senior Researcher and Coordinator: Gender Politics

Aid to transitional justice

Mar 2007 - Jul 2007