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Strategic Conflict Assessments

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries have been subject to a strategic conflict assessment by his Department; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of such tests. (110365)

Strategic conflict assessments (SCAs) have been used in 18 countries by my Department to date. These are (with dates):

Asia Pacific

Burma, 2006

Nepal, 2000 and 2002

Solomon Islands, 2000

Sri Lanka, 2001 and 2005


Angola, 2006

Mozambique, 2006

Nigeria, 2003

Uganda, 1999, 2003 and 2006

Zimbabwe, 2006

Middle East and N. Africa

Iraq, 2005

Yemen, 2005

Europe and Central Asia

Armenia/Azerbaijan, 2002

Balkans, 2005

Georgia, 2003

Kyrgyzstan, 2001

Moldova, 2002 and 2006

North Caucasus, 2005

Tajikistan, 2003

DFID has also undertaken regional conflict analyses and in 2006 completed the following:

an analysis of conflict trends in Africa, 1946-2004;

the Horn of Africa regional conflict analysis; and

a regional strategic peacebuilding assessment for Central Asia.

In 2007 DFID plans to carry out SCAs in Southern Africa, Zambia and Pakistan. DFID will also be assessing the causes of conflict and insecurity as part of our new country governance assessment, outlined in our 2006 White Paper.

In November 2005 DFID carried out a review of our use of the SCA methodology over the past five years which concluded that

“all the SCAs reviewed had produced at least some positive impact on the relevant country programmes and some had led to significant shifts in thinking”.

Specifically the review found:

SCAs directly inform DFID policies and programmes. In Nepal, the SCA led to DFID’s policies and programmes fundamentally changing. New staff were recruited, new offices opened and new programmes developed to focus on the issues of social exclusion, an underlying cause of the Maoist insurgency. In Yemen the SCA helped identify and prioritise the need to strengthen access to justice, and led to the development of a new security and judicial reform programme. In the Balkans, the SCA process helped refocus the UK assistance programme, for example increasing support to final status talks in Kosovo.

The SCA process ‘joins up’ thinking across UK Government Departments. The majority of SCAs have been conducted in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). This has helped develop a shared understanding of the factors underpinning violent conflict. For example, in Sri Lanka the SCA process brought together the UK’s diplomatic, defence and development work and led to a unified policy framework focused on conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

The SCA process strengthens coordination between different donor agencies. For example, the SCA for the North Caucasus was widely disseminated and used by other international actors to inform the strategy of moving incrementally from humanitarian assistance to reconstruction and development aid.