Conflict Sensitive Development: Peace Building in Northern Uganda

By Alejandro Guzman

Abstract: After 20 years of armed violence, the displacement of nearly 1.5 million people, and the internment of approximately 90% of the local population in IDP camps, northern Uganda continues to struggle with the profound devastation left behind by the LRA-era conflict. International aid organizations working in the country face a complex and gradual transition from humanitarian needs to livelihood revival and long-term development. By analyzing four pertinent donor-driven projects in northern Uganda, this study seeks to identify achievements, obstacles and needs for future development in this conflicttorn region. Guiding the analysis are project interventions in livelihood revival, restorative justice, small-scale violence, and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. As local ownership and empowerment become essential for sustained peace and development, there is a clear need for a transition from quick-impact projects to comprehensive capacity-building initiatives.

About the Author
Alejandro J. Guzman is currently an M.A. candidate in the International Development Studies Program at The Elliott School of International Affairs of The George Washington University. He is pursuing an area focus in humanitarian assistance and complex humanitarian emergencies. Since 2011 he has been a consultant for the Organization of American States engaging in program development in areas such as humanitarian assistance, civil-military coordination and disaster response. Before assuming his position at the OAS, he worked in the Office for International Cooperation of the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Management of Costa Rica.

Mr. Guzman obtained a B.A. in International Relations from the Latin University of Costa Rica.

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