Case Studies

Case studies provide excellent insight into the practical challenges of SSR initiatives and provide an opportunity to learn from those that have been successful, and not so successful.  They help us to see the patterns of good practice, when to apply different approaches and what pitfalls to avoid.  Please add your own case studies to help us build a rich repository of examples from real experience.

Assessing the EU's conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Georgia

This report presents an overview of the European Union (EU) capabilities in peacebuilding and conflict prevention interventions in Georgia. It was prepared by the ‘Whole of Society Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding' (WOSCAP) team at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. The report mostly deals with the period from 2008 until 2016.

In particular it focuses on three cases: the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM), Geneva International Discussions, and the Confidence Building Early Response Mechanism (COBERM), a joint initiative by the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These cases were chosen for the study as they correspond with three categories of interventions taken on by the WOSCAP research project: multi-track diplomacy, governance reform, and security sector reform. The present study is based on desk research in combination with in-depth interviews. The WOSCAP team conducted a total of 28 interviews with representatives of relevant local and international actors.

The study answers the following question: how can EU civilian capabilities be enhanced in order to make the EU interventions in Georgia more inclusive and sustainable, especially by improving multi-stakeholder coherence. The study further reveals how multi-stakeholder coherence interlinks with issues of local ownership and how it can strengthen the peacebuilding process as a whole.

To read the full case study, Assessing the EU's conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Georgia, please follow the link provided. 

Case Study

Assessing the EU’s conflict prevention and Peacebuilding interventions in Mali

As one of the least developed Sahel countries, Mali is experiencing a critical period in its history. The Malian crisis can be seen as twofold: a security crisis in the North with the presence of armed groups and an institutional crisis followed by the coup d'état of 22 March 2012. The combination of the two interconnected crises laid bare the weakness of the Malian State and led to the occupation of 2/3 of Mali's territory by various armed groups in 2012 and early 2013. Like most of Mali's development partners, the European Union was initially taken aback by the eruption of the 2012 crisis, and expressed its deep concern. Before this, efforts were focussed on initiatives to counter the threat of terrorism and fight against trafficking (drugs, human beings, etc.). But the suddenness of the fall of democracy, the violence of the attacks and the multi-level consequences of the crisis led the members of the international community in general, and the EU in particular, to invest heavily in a return to peace.

This report analyses three spheres of contemporary EU intervention in Mali: multi-track diplomacy; two missions in the field of security sector reform (EUTM and EUCAP-Sahel-Mali), and several programmes in the field of governance reform (PARADDER, State Building Contract and PAOSC I and II). At all levels, the EU policies were reviewed against the background of Mali's peace process, in order to understand to what extent the EU is able to contribute to conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in the case of Mali, and whether and how it uses sustainable, comprehensive and innovative civilian means to do so.

To read the full case study, Assessing the EU’s conflict prevention and Peacebuilding interventions in Mali, please follow the link provided.

Case Study

Assessing the EU’s conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Yemen

This case study was produced by the Political Development Forum (PDF) in Yemen and presents research findings about the ongoing European Union (EU) intervention in the cluster of Multi-track diplomacy (MTD). This study is based on both desk review and field research, including interviews with local and foreign stakeholders. It contains a broad insight into Yemen's national context and the EU's policy, including EU-Yemen relations. Further it provides an overview of Yemen's Arab Spring and the EU's response to it. In this regard, it evaluates and assesses the EU's MTD efforts and concludes with lessons to learn and concrete improvement suggestions. The report largely ignores the EU's interventions in the cluster of Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Governance reform mainly due to the fact that the country is currently undergoing a massive military operation that has led many actors to flee Yemen. Another factor are the travel restrictions within the country and difficulties of communication. Nevertheless, this report offers a broad grass-roots perspective on the EU's contribution to Yemen's transition process and on how to improve.

To access the full case study, Assessing the EU’s conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Yemen, please follow the link provided. 

Case Study

Assessing the EU's conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Ukraine

The European Union has been slow and reactive in responding to the crisis in Ukraine and the following conflict between the Kremlin and Kyiv but, nevertheless, provided some positive impact on the peacebuilding process.

This in-depth case study analyses three EU conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Ukraine: one diplomatic case (Normandy Format), two missions in the field of security sector reform -The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) and The European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM)- and one in the field of governance reform (decentralization).

The study reflects how the EU's civilian capabilities in conflict prevention and peacebuilding can be enhanced and implemented in a more inclusive and sustainable manner.

To read the case study, Assessing the EU's conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions in Ukraine, please follow the link provided.

Case Study

Mainstreaming Gender in the framework of the Nepal Justice Sector Assessment (Norwegian mandate)

Norway mandated ISSAT to map an overview of the Nepalese population’s emerging needs and identification of possible areas for future programmatic support related to justice sector reform.

From conception, the mandate strived to incorporate gender perspectives into the methodology by creating a diverse team of experts with profiles that were able to reflect upon the full spectrum of security and justice challenges.  This meant that the team did not select female or male members so as to create a gender-balanced team, but instead prioritising the knowledge of each expert. Hence, the ISSAT team included a regional expert, who had previous in-depth knowledge and understanding of governance, security, and justice issues in Nepal, as well as two further experts who were able to capture links between gender and the sector areas or issues being dealt with, in the aim to promote gender equality whether in developing policy or initiatives in specific institutions. 

The mandate focused on the identification of the institutional gaps stemming from unmet needs of some of the most vulnerable individuals/groups. For example, cognisant of the endemic level of gender-based violence in Nepal, the team engaged ten local organisations that specifically worked on gender-related abuses to guide in the data collection. The team further articulated in its methodology, the need for institutions to become more responsive to the security and justice needs of women/girls by enabling more access and providing more inclusive approaches to gaining access.

The methodology employed the collection of sex-disaggregated information to capture the specific gender-related vulnerabilities, gaps and issues. To provide recommendations conducive to the goal of reaching a basic level of justice provision, the team took into account the diverse needs of the population by using a methodology aimed to mainstreamgender perspectives throughout the mandate as part of a set of critical core issues. For example, to ensure that the assessment process was gender sensitive, the ISSAT team mainstreamed gender via key questions relevant to some of the most vulnerable groups, and integrated sex-disaggregated data collection in order to create an evidence base. In addition, the mandate’s Terms of Reference articulated the requirement of an Options Paper, so as to gain a clearer analysis on specific issues that relate to gender.  For example, for many women, marginalised communities and children, social barriers remain the primary obstacle preventing access to justice. The social barriers differ substantially amongst ethnic groups and can range from lack of economic empowerment, traditional values, or even established practice at community level.

Understanding that substantive progress in security and justice reform will likely be a determining factor in the extent to which the Government of Nepal will be able to achieve meaningful and sustainable progress across all Sustainable Development Goals beyond just Goal 16, the team presented the crucial link to gender equality (goal 5). Therefore, the report reiterates incorporating a gendered analysis across all sections.

Proposed takeaways:

  1. There is a proved benefit to engaging with local partners to identify the most vulnerable and marginalised groups and disaggregating justice needs based on age, ethnicity, geographic location etc. 
  2. The inclusion of professionals with relevant diverse expertise who have a cross-cutting gender lens, played a critical role in determining and capturing clear linkages between gender and broader issues such as access to justice, and gender-related threats such as human trafficking and modern day slavery (to name a few) which disproportionately impact vulnerable and marginalized groups, and significantly children, women, and members of lower caste who are more at risk.
  3. The added value of providing an Options Paper as one of the outputs, specifically targeting gender equality, ensures that gender is a core issue with complex characteristics (encompassing class, race, religious affiliation and poverty levels) and thus needs to be addressed consistently to promote more gender responsive and inclusive security and justice institutions.
Case Study