Importance of Local Ownership in Peacebuilding Emphasized at CCCPA Conference in Cairo (13/07/2016)

 Lieutenant Colonel Norihisa Urakami of US Army War College advocates providing advanced technology and intelligence support to counter trans-national crimes, extremism and human-trafficking and other immediate threats to peace and security in Africa.


 The following is the full text of Colonel Urakami`s deliberation at the CCCPA TICAD preparatory workshop held in Cairo on 13 and 14 July 2016.

Partnership in Training and Capacity Building in Peace and Security:
International Cooperation and Local Ownership


July 13, 2016, Cairo


Lieutenant Colonel Norihisa Urakami
International Peace Operations Analyst
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute
U.S. Army War College


 Partnership in Training and Capacity Building in Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding,

Hosted by the Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA)


What is ‘Local Ownership’?

 The local ownership in an implementation and support policymaking is critical to realize an effective and fair involvement of the international community in a host nation. In the UN Peacekeeping Operations, Principles and Guidelines – the so–called Capstone Doctrine — published in 2008 by UNDPKO, it states that ‘effective approaches to national and local ownership reinforce the perceived legitimacy of the operation and support mandate implementation’.

 The premise of ‘local ownership’ as indicated in the doctrine, is subject to UN Peacekeeping Operations. At the same time, the importance of local ownership is pointed out in the field of Peacebuilding activities and Economic Development Support. Development Agencies like the USAID and JICA, and international organizations like the World Bank, all of which have different criteria and methods for evaluation of ‘local ownership’.

 An independent definition of ‘local ownership’ — from the viewpoint of supporter, has also been seen in papers from the UN and Development Agencies; however, no single, authoritative, integrated, international standard exists nor has one been agreed to by all parties. How to unite those concepts on local ownership remains a fundamental research question. I have organized a logical framework of local ownership in this Workshop. Based on that logical framework, I determined the challenges for the African Peace and Security Architecture, particularly, those challenges on the operationalization of an African Standby Force, and current efforts of Peacekeeping and Peace Support Training Centers in Africa. I also prepared a review on the partnership in training and capacity-building.

Framework of Local Ownership

 There are several factors needed to achieve true local ownership. No one will deny that these factors will include ‘Leadership’ at the political/strategic level. Apart from looking at leadership at the national or local government levels, one must consider not only leadership within political parties but also leadership within non-governmental organizations who have some policy ideal that need to exert their ‘Initiatives’, and that these initiatives should encourage and advocate their activities to all levels and communities — the international community, domestic country and local communities. If government entities look to implement some political development project, they will be required to achieve and demonstrate an ‘Accountability’ to the global community.

 It must be that enforcement by the government is based on the proper, legitimate authority. If it follows that accountability is therefore achieved for both the international community and the local society. The necessary funding is required which can be obtained and attributed to donors and supporters. ‘Transparency’ must be applied in the distribution of funding process in order to exercise and demonstrate fair allocation of funds and how these funds were spent. Achieving and demonstrating transparency of organization and processes will win the trust and support of partner nations and the local populace. Given that ‘Transparency’ and ‘Reliability’ are the structural factors needed to achieve ‘Accountability’, I will now focus on Leadership, Initiative and Accountability as the factors needed to define and attain ‘Local Ownership’.

Challenges the APSA is facing

 The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is currently a
‘work-in-progress’ and has not yet been fully institutionalized. The Peace and Security Committee in the AU and African Standby Force have key roles to play in the APSA. They expect (1) a Military Intervention at the initial phase of conflict; (2) peacekeeping, peacebuilding, stability operations in the Conflict Management Phase, and (3) a post-conflict/recovery phase. The African Standby Force was operationalized in 2015, in four regions — East, Central, West and South; this did not occur in the North region.

 However, currently the Regional Standby Forces have mainly two challenges to achieving full operational capacity. The first is ‘Readiness’, and the second is ‘Sustainability’ of operation. ‘Readiness’ requires the capability to rapidly deploy necessary troops/units into a conflict environment/country upon the occurrence of a crisis. In order to do that, decision making/authorization by the Peace and Security Committee in the AU has to be done; and then, based on that decision, an immediate strategic deployment of troops into a receiving country is required. ‘Sustainability’ means that sufficient logistical support and a budget to sustain a military operation for a few months or years is or will be made available.

 Currently each Regional Standby Force has shortfalls in both their budget and the availability of military assets needed to conduct a military operation for more than a few months. The logistical resources needed – especially for supply, transport and medical are sorely lacking. As far as Command and Control, headquarters staff and experts are lacking in both number and capacity. In particular, the shortage of experts and knowledgeable practitioners in the areas of supply, transport, medical and finance are significantly reducing the effectiveness of operations by Regional Standby Forces.

 For example, consider the case of AMISOM. This is the longest standing AU Mission with 9 years of operations since its establishment in 2007. The AMISOM has focused on anti-terrorism operations. Each Troop Contributing Country (TCC) maintains responsibility for their assigned operational sector; these countries are conducting military operation independent of other TCCs. There is no effective coordination or collaboration between the sectors and TCCs. This is especially noticeable in intelligence operations, logistics operations, and overall operational command and control for the UN Mission. Although overall control across the sectors is the responsibility of a Joint Command HQs, we are not able to say that the Joint HQs can truly function to provide sufficient authoritative oversight to achieve true operational control. Due to a lack of medium and heavy helicopters lift capability, the ‘accessible area’ is limited. Force projection, troop deployment, supply and transportation operations can only be delivered within the ‘accessible area’ by ground transportation means.

Challenges in Training and Capacity-Building

 ‘Complex emergencies’ in Africa tend to spread across national, regional and local borders. Effort at the regional level is critical for support to conflict prevention, and then enabling conflict management, and post-conflict recovery. There are Sub-regional organization like ECOWAS which deal with civil war in Mali by leading multinational peacekeeping forces. The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) plays the role of providing mediation of South Sudan’s conflict. The capacity of Regional Standby Forces for full-scale operations has accumulated little by little. The roles Peacekeeping Training Centers in Africa play are important for the inclusive institution-building and effective operationalization of African Standby Force.

 International support should be delivered to political leadership and provided to support initiatives by the regional and sub-regional organizations, and Peacekeeping Training Centers as appropriate. Capacity-building must include institution-building and human resource development – incorporating, the funding support and technical support of the international community. The primary effort for any capacity-building must be the institutionalization of the Regional Standby Forces and their human resource development. This institutionalization needs to cover national governmental administrations, African Standby Force, and Peacekeeping Training Centres. A well-institutionalized organization and system, with adequate human resource such as experts, special staff, and practitioners are essential in order to realize complete local ownership, while exercising reliability and transparency in the process of implementation of local authority.

 The human resource development need to focus on training Subject Matters Experts (SMEs) for peacekeeping, rule of law, human rights, international humanitarian law, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reform (SSR). In addition to these fields, SMEs for supply, transportation, finance, and the medical fields — which means experts of logistic management — as well as strategic force employment are the immediate needs which to be enhanced and developed in the context of readiness and sustainability of the African Standby Force.

Partnership in Support from the International Community

 Support from the international community is mainly based on bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Those supports are categorized as funding support and technical support. The technical support includes capacity-building and institution-building. The capacity building means human resource development for both the individual person and at community level. Self-help efforts from local entities are key in this process. International support should be maintained to aid the self-help efforts of local entities. Support by from external nations should proceed on the basis of the bi-lateral agreement with host nation. Achieving transparency and reliability of organizations and entities will lead to the realization of local ownership, we can then review how our support should be addressed for human resource development and institution-building. It is important to remember that technical support is significant for both of human resource development and institution-building.

 International partnerships need to be integrated across all relative actors pertinent to the development of an inclusive support strategy; not just through bilateral talks and coordination between a supporting country and receiving country. For this purpose, it is absolutely essential to coordinate and cooperate among all related international actors. Coordination and cooperation must be achieved at several levels.

 The concept of Integrated Mission is a recent, mainstream thought in the UNPKO; we should note that the difference in the level of cooperation may occur based on the kind of actor we are focusing on and intending to cooperate with. There is no simple application form for the role to be played by the UN.

 There must be various efforts in the support of capacity building and institution-building, for example, providing for the delivery of education over particular field; the support for the management of training and education; and technical advice for development of training materials. Consequently, an accurate needs assessment is required to fully understand how to achieve an effective support plan. Instead of a hard-sell approach for support from the supporter’s side, coordination for the most appropriate allocation of resources for the local needs is what we call International Partnership.

The Way-Ahead

 There are immediate threats, like trans-national crime, expansion of extremism, and human-trafficking, impacting on peace and security in Africa and the international community. Providing advanced technology support, human resource development, experts, specialists, practitioners, effective institution-building — in particular enhancing the intelligence system, effective border control and migration management are highly recommended to reinforce ongoing and future peacebuilding efforts. Support for these should be enhanced by building the partnership with a willing country which has the capacity and technology needed to support the building of local ownership.

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