“Policy Coherence for Peace in German Government Action: Lessons from Mali and Niger” is the fifth study of the Advisory Board to the Federal Government for Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding. The study was conducted by PRIF researchers Antonia Witt and Simone Schnabel in collaboration with Dr Abdoul Karim Saidou of the Centre pour la Gouvernance Démocratique (CGD) in Burkina Faso and Baba Dakono of the Observatoire citoyen sur la Gouvernance et la Sécurité (OCGS) in Mali. The focus is on the questions of how coherent German government action in Mali and Niger is with its peace policy guidelines and how civil society actors in the two countries perceive this (in)coherence.
The German government's guidelines “Preventing Crises, Managing Conflicts, Promoting Peace”, adopted in 2017, and the principles they set out are intended to serve as a strategic compass for the German government’s actions in (post-)conflict and crisis situations. Among other things, they formulate the claim to be guided by human rights, to act in a context-specific, inclusive and long-term manner, to make risks transparent and to give priority to prevention. Based on the case studies on Mali and Niger, the new study sheds light on the extent to which German cooperation in both countries follows the guidelines and which factors promote or hinder policy coherence for peace.
The study is also particularly relevant against the backdrop of the debate about the reasons for the failure of the military engagement in Afghanistan. Will it be possible to learn lessons and prevent similar developments as in Afghanistan? How will German engagement be assessed in the context of military missions in pursuit of such diverse goals as sustainable development, counterterrorism and the regulation of migration? Particularly important for answering these questions is the perception of German government action by representatives of Malian and Nigerien organized civil society, as well as the participation of local experts in the study team.
The study provides important insights for improving structures and the use of resources in Germany’s peace policy engagement, and not only in the Sahel. The results are thus also important for the formulation of interdepartmental goals within the framework of the future National Security Strategy.
The study is available for download in German on the website of the Advisory Board for Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding. English and French translations of the study will follow. In addition, an article on PRIF blog by Antonia Witt and Simone Schnabel summarizes the key findings of the study. This post is already available in English, French and German.