(image)Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, Columbia University Professor of Government and Anthropology, responds to an audience question.

An initiative of the Center for the Study of Human Rights with the Humanitarian Affairs Program, SIPA and the African Studies Institute

Darfur Early Recovery and Development Dossier

The dossier is available as a pdf.


The Darfur Initiative is being launched at a conference organized by Columbia's Center for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR) on December 3, 2007. Darfuris, Darfur experts, UN personnel and representatives from donor countries are invited to discuss specific areas of post-conflict planning that are necessary to create conditions for sustainable peace.


The international community is unlikely to start the process of planning/investing in post-conflict until after a peace deal has been negotiated. No country wants to pour resources and manpower into a problem with no end in sight. With the Libya talks floundering, it is more important than ever to engage the international community and Darfuris in working towards sustainable peace in Darfur. Mainstreaming post-conflict planning at an early stage in the conflict resolution cycle would focus the conflicting parties on a “development horizon” and could positively influence the peace talks.


A lasting solution to violent conflict in Darfur will need to address the root causes of the conflict, which lie in the extreme poverty of the region. Since the historic marginalization of Darfur in regard to economic development is one of the prime sources of unrest, sustainable peace in Darfur will require solutions to the development crisis, alongside strategies that address immediate security and humanitarian needs during the early recovery phase. The need for such a three-pronged strategy – security, early recovery, and development – is widely accepted by experts on the ground and advocated by the partners who planned the Darfur Joint Assessment Mission (DJAM). This mission was scheduled for the Fall of 2006, but could not be completed for security reasons. Its methodology and design, however, are still very much valid.1 The DJAM has been structured accordingly to ensure coherence and integration of an overall early recovery and development strategic framework, within which the more detailed early recovery program (DERP) and development strategies will be nested. To address the development dimensions of the Darfur crisis, an early recovery and stabilization phase following an initial settlement is needed. This will require a rapid scaling up, as security permits, of a well-integrated DERP as the foundation for development. That, in turn, must be based on a solid assessment of stakeholders' interests as well as capacities.


CSHR can play a useful role bridging the gap between the current and post-conflict phases by catalyzing a dialog between stakeholders. The outcome will be reflected in a Dossier of Darfur Development Opportunities (DDO), which will be based on the Millennium Development Goals – plus. The Dossier will include, inter alia, the following topics:

Poverty and hunger reduction (soil health, small-scale water management, improved inputs, extension/credit services, storage and marketing, nutrition, social safety nets).

Each chapter will be organized to assess:

The dossier will also include a chapter on “connectivity,” which will consider the governance dimensions required for project implementation, as well as the infrastructure requirements. To the extent possible, each chapter will include budgetary implications.

CSHR will act as overall coordinator. After the December 3 meeting, which is meant to refine this broad outline and generate expert advice on its substance, CSHR will commission experts to prepare papers that will be vetted by others knowledgeable in that topic. The process of preparing and disseminating the dossier will take about 100 days (starting December 4, 2007 and ending March 31, 2008).


CSHR will develop links with agencies and individuals that matter. Outreach will focus on the UN system and donor country representatives. Findings/recommendations will be presented at high-level briefings aimed at positioning the initiative for mainstreaming. CSHR will also convene a meeting of interested parties such as:

The Sudan Consortium will also be targeted. Special emphasis will paid to working with participants in the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue. To this end, the initiative will communicate and seek to establish cooperation with responsible UN bodies and the Office of Transitional Initiatives at U.S.AID. The dossier may be presented to Darfuri leaders in the region.

1The DJAM was managed by a Core Coordinating Group with national partners as well as as the participation of the World Bank, The African Union, the African Development Bank, the United Nations, and a group of donors; it is chaired by the Netherlands (see www.unsudanig.org/darfurjam).


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Towards Sustainable Peace in Darfur
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