Engaging civil society in the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus

The current world is witnessing growing interlinked challenges, including ongoing conflicts and political tensions, climate change, poverty, food insecurity, socio-economic inequalities and discrimination against marginalised groups, among others. In this context, a comprehensive and global approach to address these challenges is highly needed in order to reach sustainable and lasting solutions that meet the needs of everyone. For this reason, the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopted in 2019 the Recommendation on the Humanitarian-Development (HDP) Nexus, with the aim of providing guidance to donors in addressing conflict and fragility through funding and implementing triple nexus programs and through ensuring collaboration, coherence, and complementary across involved actors. 

Four years following the adoption of these recommendations, the International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) - who is monitoring the DAC Nexus Recommendation - is evaluating its progress. Civil society actors, represented by the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS), the Reality of Aid - Asia Pacific (RoA-AP) and the International Council for Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), actively engaged in this process, by issuing a spotlight report. The report, entitled “The Nexus in Practice. A Spotlight Report by the Peace & Security Thematic Working Group DAC-CSO Reference Group”, looks into the uptake and implementation of the recommendations while also zooming in on the HDP Nexus areas that are insufficiently taken up and those that need accelerated action from relevant HDP actors. This spotlight report, issued in April 2024, is based on a global survey and inputs harvested through an online consultation with civil society actors.

On 4 and 5 April, Peter van Sluijs, CSPPS Coordinator, had the opportunity to present the main assessment points and recommendations of the spotlight report, during the DAC-UN Dialogue on the HDP Nexus in Paris. In his intervention, he highlighted the following assessment points: 1) Donor’s lack of political will when it comes to commit to the Nexus Recommendation, which therefore limit HDP actors, specifically local actors on the ground, from carrying out their work efficiently ; 2) Failure of putting the peace component, along with the prevention agenda, at the core of HDP programmes, resulting on 55 protracted conflict remaining all over the world ; 3) Insufficient funding that remains ‘standalone’ and ‘unsystematised’.

On the basis of this assessment and consultation with civil society actors, the report identifies three main recommendations: 1) Transform the current donor-driven system into a more people-centered system, with a more coherent and better aligned and coordinated support in order to have an optimal impact on people’s lives ; 2) Intensify efforts toward localisation as locally-led development should be entrenched in any HDP frameworks, policy and/or approaches ; 3) Strengthen capacities of civil society in order to have all actors brought to same level of understanding which will help coordination and alignment of efforts. 

The full potential of the Nexus Recommendation can only be achieved via a fundamental change in the financing architecture, increased funding to peace and prevention components, and optimally integrating the nexus approach within the current response models.” - Peter van Sluijs, CSPPS Coordinator

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