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The stability assessment framework: designing integrated responses for security, governance and develdopment

Clingendael Institute

January 2005

Any comments and/or suggestions on the attached SAF publication are highly appreciated and may be sent to:Ms Suzanne Verstegen, Conflict Research Unit (CRU), Clingendael Institute:
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Since the 1990s it has become clear that a very important link exists between peace, security and development when it comes to formulating national and international policies. Poverty, extreme inequality, rapid population growth, environmental degradation, poor governance and other problems make societies more vulnerable and susceptible to conflict and breakdown. Once instability increases and violence erupts, the options for achieving sustainable peace are reduced considerably. Situations of instability, therefore, must be given appropriate international attention.

One of the most important challenges today is to design an integrated policy response that enables governance, security and socioeconomic development in unstable societies. The Netherlands Government recently developed new instruments for such an integrated approach.

The Stability Fund is a new Dutch financial-institutional instrument that allows flexibility in supporting activities with the peace-security-development nexus. Such activities may fall outside clearly delineated ODA-budgets and can encompass military or ‘hard’ security measures as well as ‘soft’ developmental ones.

On the analytical side, a practical tool has been developed: the Stability Assessment Framework (SAF). The SAF aims to help practioners and decision-makers develop an integrated strategy for sustainable stability. The nature, steps and applications of the SAF are presented in this booklet.

A Note on Method Development and Testing

The SAF was developed by the Conflict Research Unit (CRU) of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, ‘Clingendael’, at the request of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The SAF method has not been developed from scratch, however. In order not to duplicate efforts, it has incorporated the experiences of a wide variety of early warning models, assessment frameworks, and practioners’ guidelines that have become available over the years. Most informative have been the approaches developed and used by the British Department for International Development (DfID) and International Alert/SaferWorld.

The SAF methodology for assessing stability-especially the trends that affect the stability - especially the trends that affect stability - is drawn from the extensive conceptual and methodological work of the Fund for Peace, which has been involved in a pilot project testing the SAF in a number of workshops. The Fund for Peace adapted its methodology to fit particular requirements of the SAF and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For this reason, the following chapters differ in some respects from the original, copyrighted manual prepared by the Fund for Peace.

The SAF method has been tested within the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and applied to the three country cases: Mozambique (June 2002), Rwanda (October 2002 and November 2003), and Kenya (October 2003). The Royal Netherlands Embassies in these countries have played a crucial role in testing, evaluating and adapting the SAF.

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