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Do No Harm-Do Some Good-The Ethics of Development and Peacebuilding

Do No Harm-Do Some Good-The Ethics of Development and Peacebuilding. Kevin.P. Clements NCPACS, University of Otago. The Enlightenment Project. Western enlightenment project lies at the core of Capitalism, Imperialism and “Modernity”: Geographic expansion

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Do No Harm-Do Some Good-The Ethics of Development and Peacebuilding

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  1. Do No Harm-Do Some Good-The Ethics of Development and Peacebuilding Kevin.P. Clements NCPACS, University of Otago

  2. The Enlightenment Project • Western enlightenment project lies at the core of Capitalism, Imperialism and “Modernity”: • Geographic expansion • Economic growth-the development of a single global market • Efficiency • Control • Instrumental rationality • Freedom to Consume

  3. Oriental Challenges to Enlightenment • Non-Western traditions bring: • greater attention to human need –localised markets • closer connection between rights and obligations and between individuals and community • richer, more varied conceptions of political community • rejection of Western hegemony • more consensual approaches to decision-making • Freedom in community

  4. Being in the Middle • How do development specialists, humanitarian specialists, and peacebuilders stand between and in tension with these two traditions? • Is it possible to do justice to both or are they mutually exclusive? • What specific ethical values do peacebuilders bring to the building of creative connections and emancipatory partnerships between first and third worlds? • How do we satisfy basic human needs and enhance peacefulness simultaneously?

  5. Two Objectives of Development and Peacebuilding • Stopping Violence and Destructive Conflict. When agencies work to end war, their programs are aimed at ending cycles of violence which become a cause for continued war, getting warring sides to negotiate and fighters to disarm, mobilizing the public against continued war, etc. (Negative Peace) • Building Just and Sustainable Peace When agencies focus on supporting social change, their programs are focused on addressing political, economic, and social grievances that may be driving conflict. Such changes are seen as foundations for sustainable peace. (Positive Peace)- Mary Anderson Do No Harm.

  6. The Ethics of Peace Practice • Peace Practice is Liberating • Peace Practice is Honest and generates Trust • Peace Practice Values life • Peace Practice is Reliable • Peace Practice respects and celebrates differences-avoids simplistic dualisms • Peace Practice Eschews Violence and Intimidation • Peace Practice Commits to Justice as essential to Peace • Peace Practice acknowledges that Peace Belongs to the people who make it. • The means used in peace work defines the outcomes-you can only pursue peace by peaceful means.

  7. Other principles for Peace Building • Indigenous Empowerment • Cultural Relevance • Long term Commitment • Work on Trust/networks/relationships • Intentional integration focus on connectors instead of dividers.

  8. Rediscovering Non-Violence • “Violence is the behaviour of someone incapable of imagining other solutions to the problem at hand” Bettelheim • “I oppose all violence because the good it does is always temporary but the harm it does is permanent” Gandhi

  9. Satisfying Basic Needs • Are basic human needs for food, security, housing, water sanitation, health care education satisfied? • Security Needs, Welfare Needs, Acknowledgment Recognition needs? Participation needs? • What are the appropriate satisfiers and what can outsiders do in relation to them?

  10. Peace Conflict Development Impact Assessment • Focuses on analysing development in terms of its • (1) Peacebuilding impact-or those factors that strengthen the chances for peace and decrease the chances that violent conflict will breakout, continue, or start again, and its • (2) Conflict-Creating Impact- which are those factors that increase the chances that conflict will be dealt with through the use of violence.[1] • [1]Kenneth Bush Personal Communication with Kevin Clements April 26 2004

  11. Empowering/Disempowering Evaluation • To ensure that any initiative has a positive peacebuilding and developmental impact, it has only to answer “yes” to the following two questions: • (1) Does the initiative increase the capacity of locals to identify problems, and to formulate and implement their own solutions non-violently and effectively? • (2) Is the initiative built on a partnership that leads towards genuine ownership?[1] • [1]Kenneth Bush to Kevin Clements ibid

  12. Partnerships • Strive for mutually empowering and emancipatory partnerships-eschew the dependent and tyrannical • Develop Ethical Code of Conduct to guide behaviour. • Joint Analysis-Joint intervention design • Joint evaluation and impact assessment

  13. Krishna Kumar’s Caveats • It is vital that development does not generate dependency. • That we do not move into complex environments with limited expertise • That we do not impose external solutions and undermine local ownership • That we commit for the long haul-peacebuilding is a marathon not a sprint. • That we are inclusive and non partisan • That we do not rebuild the west in the east

  14. Importance of Vision • Become actively engaged with and understand history in all its violence and complexity in order to establish benchmarks and criteria for human improvement and betterment. This is vital to understanding what human beings are capable of doing and what they are capable of becoming.This is not just a question of studying history to learn from its mistakes but rather what I would describe as “redemptive history” interrogating the past in order not to reproduce the institutions or processes that have resulted in oppression or widespread inhumanity between peoples

  15. Hopefulness to replace cynicism • Be hopeful in a cynical world so that we might be an inspiration to many. In particular we have to be willing to replace mistrust with trust in order that good can be achieved amongst human beings who are prepared to believe in the goodness of people. If we operate from worst case assumptions or adopt a paranoid disposition to others we will never be able to generate the right sorts of conciliatory gestures to break cycles of violence or generate creative options.

  16. Opt for the weakest • Place the weakest citizens at the centre of political decision making. States do not exist to serve the interests of the rich and the powerful. These groups can look after themselves. On the contrary assert the centrality and a radical preference for sharing the material fruits of the economy with the poor, marginalised and vulnerable. As Mandela put it “The common good ultimately translates in to a deep concern for those that suffer want and deprivation of any kind”

  17. How do we know we are being we are being effective? • Three major problems in relation to determining impact and effectiveness. These are: • (i) The attribution problem-How do we prove that peace activity A caused social outcome B? • (ii) The Credibility problem-How do we establish the validity of reported impacts since they often concern intangibles such as values, ideas, processes rather than visible tangible actions/events?

  18. The Micro-Macro problem • (iii) What is the significance of the activity or project for “peace writ large”. How do we establish the connections between small initiatives that focus on a “piece of peace” and the overall conflict?This is sometimes known as the micro-macro problem.

  19. Activities are Effective if they • Increase the number of people or organisations actively working , or speaking out for peace,(or reduces the numbers of people actively engaged in or promoting conflict) • Engage people in positions to make or influence formal peace agreements in the process of doing so.

  20. Activities are Effective if they • Promote peace related activities that are able to sustain themselves when violence worsens or threats are made. • Establish links between leadership and the general public by which either the leadership or the general public communicate to the other in ways that encourage their commitment to move toward a settlement.

  21. Activities are Effective if • Specific acts of violence are stopped (when these acts are themselves unjust and breeders of further violence. • They address institutional weaknesses for dealing with conflict in non violent ways. • If they do not do these things they are probably misguided,unethical and unhelpful.

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