It is a timely report. ODA is increasingly flowing to development in fragile and conflict affected contexts. In addition, there is growing pressure to stretch the definition of ODA so it can be used in a variety of ways by a variety of Departments.
The report takes as a given that development and security are linked, but it explores the implications for development practitioners and policymakers.
They note that
* Non state actors such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Mungiki in Kenya have claimed the development mantle
* The New Deal endorsed by the g7+ grouping of fragile and conflict affected states is the latest example of how aid recipient countries are increasingly vocal about whether aid works for them
* the aid approaches of non DAC donors such as Turkey, China are more aligned with their own security and commercial interests
Using two case studies from Sierra Leone and Kenya, and an extensive review of several literatures, they argue that these trends require a new approach to development and security. The approach should place relationships with local provides of security and basic services at the centre of policy analysis. Much insecurity is local and development actors need to find ways to respond even though their influence is attenuated.
The report argues that two concepts can help: entrustment and brokerage. The first is about transferring power to local actors to make decisions, define and assess problems and use resources to act on this. Brokerage is about building a shared understanding among actors with very different interests and different capacities to act in support of these interests.
Well, they suggest that development agencies should consider doing the following to operate more effectively in fragile and conflict affected contexts:
(1) commit more staff to the field in recognition of the localised nature of the security and development issues
(2) recruit staff with skills in security, diplomacy, brokering and negotiation
(3) be prepared to take more calculated risks, innovating on risk pooling mechanisms
(4) slow down turnover of staff to ensure more retention of local realities and complexities
They conclude that aid agencies have not gone overboard with development and security--they have merely tinkered at the edges.