Post-conflict political transitions represent an important opportunity for CEPPS, USAID, and other democracy and governance actors to partner with local stakeholders to support stabilization efforts. While academic research has closely interrogated key questions in the field of post-conflict transitions – including democratization and authoritarianism, the sequencing of peace negotiations and truth and reconciliation processes, electoral system design, and democratic backsliding – the Elections and Political Processes (EPP) community has not thoroughly applied this research to a programmatic context. Through a careful examination of EPP interventions in post- conflict transitions, and in consultation with USAID and academic peer reviewers, this project will seek to highlight lessons learned from a long record of interventions that support stabilization during political transitions from conflict.
This project will be implemented in two phases in close coordination with USAID and academic partners. Phase I will focus on developing appropriate research questions and identifying research countries. In Phase II, CEPPS/IFES will:
Project findings and analysis will be used to inform future USAID programming, as well as programming in the EPP community of practice more broadly. Findings will be disseminated through a “lessons learned” workshop and debriefs with USAID and Department of State stakeholders, and will be used to increase understanding of how future interventions can best be designed to contribute to post-conflict stabilization. Special emphasis will be placed on programmatic and analytical approaches that enable the design of programs to more effectively engender participation of marginalized populations in the transition process. CEPPS will consider additional formats for displaying data and analysis, including an online democratic transition time- line highlighting promising points for programmatic intervention and successful examples of such interventions.
Overcoming Challenges to Democracy and Governance Programs in Post-Conflict Countries
This report is the first of two in this project. It is based on a review of academic literature, data from program reports and interviews with 28 implementers to gather their perspectives and experiences in the past 25 years of democracy and governance programming in 18 post-conflict countries.