At SDDirect, we believe that high quality social and political analysis can make an important contribution to the prevention, reduction and management of violent conflict as well as fostering reconstruction, reconciliation and sustainable peace in the aftermath of violence.
Modern warfare is increasingly complex with an escalation of intra-state conflicts and 'identity-based' violence, the participation of a multiplicity of non-state and informal actors, and the increasing involvement of civilians – including children, youth and women - as victims and perpetrators. At the same time, it is recognised that past interventions have often failed to tackle the underlying structural causes of violent conflict or even aggravated local sources of tension.
Today’s conflicts require more sophisticated analysis and longer-term comprehensive strategies to foster good governance, sustainable development, social justice and inclusion and transform underlying structural inequalities.
Social development professionals can provide advice in key areas including: understanding the local context; the political and social dynamics of violence and peace; analysing 'horizontal' or group-based inequalities; promoting inclusion, cohesion and participation; complementing ‘top-down’ with community-level approaches; and ensuring development interventions are ‘conflict sensitive’.
At SDDirect, we have extensive expertise and skills on conflict issues and wide-ranging experience in conflict-affected environments. We work with governments, development agencies, international organisations, non-government organisations, the private sector and directly with local communities and can engage in both short-term assignments and longer-term in-country projects and programmes.
After over two decades of civil war between North and South Sudan there was some urgency on the part of the development partners to re-engage with the country and kick-start post-conflict recovery through a package of interventions designed to underpin the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
In a report for DFID's Equity and Rights Team, Lyndsay McLean Hilker and Erika Fraser argue that the structural exclusion and lack of opportunities faced by young people in many developing countries can block or prolong their transition to adulthood and lead to frustration and disillusionment, which, under certain circumstances, can result in their engagement in violence.