Cycles of Violence & Development/World Bank
Independent Films, Interviews, Web Series
World Bank Report on Development conveys that 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence.What can be done?
The 2011 Report calls for strengthening national institutions, improving governance and delivering security and development in complement to break the cycles.
Some 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence, and no low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has yet to achieve a single Millennium Development Goal. Fixing the economic, political, and security problems that disrupt development and trap fragile states in cycles of violence requires strengthening national institutions and improving governance in ways that prioritize citizen security, justice, and jobs, according to a new report from the World Bank.
The World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development follows a speech delivered by World Bank President Robert Zoellick in 2008 to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, entitled “Fragile States: Securing Development.”
Noting that military and development disciplines too often worked on separate paths, Zoellick called for bringing security and development together to break the cycles of fragility and violence affecting more than one billion people.
The report notes that at least 1.5 billion people are still affected by current violence or its legacies. The report shows how 21st century organized violence appears to be spurred by a range of domestic and international stresses, such as youth unemployment, income shocks, tensions among ethnic, religious or social groups, and trafficking networks. In citizen surveys done for the report, unemployment was overwhelmingly the most important factor cited for recruitment into gangs and rebel movements. Risks of violence are greater when high stresses combine with weak capacity or lack of legitimacy in key national institutions, as shown by the recent turbulence in the Middle East and North Africa.
SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Zoellick, President, World Bank
“Well these are tremendous events occurring all across the Middle East and North Africa and I think all of us still have to be alert to learning because it’s been a dramatic source of change, but one tie that we see with the work in the World Development Report is the critical interconnections among security, justice and jobs and not to see these as separate elements in development. Some of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa had reasonable growth rates in recent years. Some had made some progress in achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals, but if you look across society the growth won’t be inclusive. It was a partial modernization, you still had sporadic institutions that were unable to take the full advantage of that growth to a broader segment of people and it led to a sense of social exclusion. So as we try to work with these new governments we need to try to see how we can not only support them as a broader based creation of justice and security and jobs, but also do so in a way that incorporates social accountability, community involvement and a greater sense of inclusion in society.”
Stopping repetitive cycles of violence requires fostering more capable and legitimate institutions and better governance, the report argues. In situations of violence and fragility, deliberate efforts are needed to build political coalitions that are inclusive enough to generate broad national support for change.
SOUNDBITE (English) Sarah Cliff, Director, World Development Report, World Bank:
“There are immediate issues and structural challenges so in the media, if we want to help the situation in North Africa and the Middle East, Central America and South Sudan, or many other challenges world wide, we have to respond quicker and show that we can stay involved in institution building for the long term. But there are also structural mismatches between 21st century violence and the kind of capacity in the international system/ The international economic institutions have tended to focus more on growth than equity or job creation and although we have an international agency for almost every specialized function there is every specialized function there is no agency tasked with justice capacity worldwide. The World Bank is putting much more investment into equitable job creation in the next period, and on the side of policing and justice capacity, a clear lead in capacity in the UN system would help. Last we really need to focus more attention not only on post conflict societies that have taken in some international focus, but also on countries that are struggling in preventing rising political tolerance helping them build the legislative institutions that can provide citizens, security, justice and jobs.”
Building confidence is essential to reducing risks of conflict, and involves signalling positive intent, through credible early results and measures that convincingly lock-in commitments to change. A key lesson from country experiences is that two or three tangible early results are generally sufficient to begin the restoration of confidence.
Year of Production: 2011
Length: 3 mins.
Country: United Nations
Cycles of Violence & Development/World Bank by DiplomaticallyIncorrect is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License.
- Muhamed Sacirbey UNTV-World Bank
- Susan Sacirbey