CDA Perspectives

The CDA Perspectives Blog is maintained by CDA colleagues, with guest authors welcome to share reflections, present information, and invite conversation on themes relevant to CDA’s areas of focus. On the blog, we share personal experiences of working towards improving impacts of interventions in contexts of conflict and fragility, and findings from collaborative learning projects. In most cases, we discuss issues related to CDA’s key practice areas. In addition to our staff contributors, we invite colleagues and partners to share their experiences and host blog series.

Download our guest post submission guidelines and blog policy. Email Hasi Edema to contribute.

Check out CDA’s other blog series, From Where I Stand, a virtual collaborative learning project prioritizing the lens of local leaders as experts in the global movement to shift power in aid policy and NGO practice.


 

Listening to, learning with, and being led by: Shifting power across the humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding sectors

Listening to, learning with, and being led by: Shifting power across the humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding sectors

What would it take to shift systems of power? And what is CDA’s role – with our partners, in our learning, and in our organizational structure – to actualize this power shift? Explore what shifting power and systems change mean to CDA through our three flagship learning projects on environmental peacebuilding, responsible transitions, and humanitarian risk.
From Do No Harm to Today: Reflections on 25 years of impact

From Do No Harm to Today: Reflections on 25 years of impact

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the publication of Do No Harm by CDA founder Mary B. Anderson and the recent special issue of the journal “Development in Practice” marking that milestone, CDA Board Chair Neil Levine and Advisory Council member Irene Santiago reflect on where we have been over the last three decades, and what needs to happen next to continue building sustainable peace.
Preventing misallocation or misuse of peacebuilding funds – Effective measures

Preventing misallocation or misuse of peacebuilding funds – Effective measures

The role of financial corruption in facilitating conflict has not been studied sufficiently. Nor have positive examples for addressing it with peacebuilding impacts been systematically investigated. Yet, maintaining our focus on conflict sensitivity and localization can encourage and facilitate anti-corruption reforms that ensure peacebuilding funds get to where they’re most needed.
The Challenge of “Donbernabilidad” in Colombia and Elsewhere

The Challenge of “Donbernabilidad” in Colombia and Elsewhere

“Donbernabilidad” – a play on the Spanish word gobernabilidad, ‘governability’ – refers to the form of order Don Berna, former head of Colombia’s right-wing paramilitary and part of the Medellín Cartel, was able to impose on the city. CDA Senior Associate Ben Miller describes how the spread of donbernadilidad suggests that for-profit, criminal governance may be an important social phenomenon that is as determinative of social and political challenges as fragility is, and shows that effective approaches to criminal governance differ significantly from established approaches to peacebuilding.
Integrating conflict sensitivity and Do No Harm with the Islamic Development Bank

Integrating conflict sensitivity and Do No Harm with the Islamic Development Bank

In early 2021, the IsDB Fragility and Resilience Team and CDA joined forces to deliver a bold idea: to integrate conflict sensitivity and DNH across the bank’s operations, starting from ensuring that every staff member has a solid understanding and the capabilities in regards to conflict sensitivity and DNH as an integrated approach, process, and practical toolkit.
We give thanks: Learning with Indigenous communities navigating environmental change, fragility, and peace

We give thanks: Learning with Indigenous communities navigating environmental change, fragility, and peace

Diana Campos, Ruth Rhoads Allen, and Megan Renoir discuss how CDA is learning alongside Indigenous communities in the US and people facing the threats of climate change and conflict worldwide to answer the question: how can aid actors and peacebuilders address environmental change, fragility, and conflict together?
Reimagining Evaluation: Putting Equity At The Center as Global Peacebuilding Comes To The United States

Reimagining Evaluation: Putting Equity At The Center as Global Peacebuilding Comes To The United States

In this CDA perspectives blog Dr. Michelle Garred, former CDA Senior Advisor, wrestles with the question of 'What would it look like to center equity when evaluating programs with peacebuilding goals?' In exploring this question, and drawing on inspiration and guidance from the Equitable Evaluation Initiative (EEI) she explores what it would look like to reimagine the practice of evaluation, globally and in the US, putting equity at the heart of the complex solution of peacebuilding.
Conference Brief Environmental Peacebuilding: Prospects for the Asia-Pacific Region

Conference Brief Environmental Peacebuilding: Prospects for the Asia-Pacific Region

On the 17th and 18th of November 2021, CDA in collaboration with the Initiative for Peacebuilding at The University of Melbourne, the Environmental Peacebuilding Association and Murdoch University convened a diverse set of scholars, practitioners, civil society and government actors to discuss the potential for environmental peacebuilding for the Asia-Pacific region. This conference brief is a reflection of the major themes raised during the conference followed by a conference talk on environmental peacebuilding practice by CDA Senior Associate for Culture, Conflict and the Environment, Dr. Siad Darwish.
As global complex crises abound, how can the US ensure its responses are sensitive to conflict?

As global complex crises abound, how can the US ensure its responses are sensitive to conflict?

In this blog, Saferworld, CDA Collaborative Learning, and Global Emergency Group discuss the U.S. government’s commitment to conflict prevention through the Global Fragility Act and calls on USAID to consider tried and tested models for conflict sensitivity to build on global help desks and facility models used by other international donors.
New USIP Report Gives Us Something to Talk About: The Essential Ingredients for US National Security Grounded in Conflict Prevention

New USIP Report Gives Us Something to Talk About: The Essential Ingredients for US National Security Grounded in Conflict Prevention

Neil Levine, CDA's Board Chair, reflects on the Addressing in a Global Fragility in a Global Pandemic: Elements of a Successful U.S. Strategy Report from the U.S. Institute of Peace. The report offers a timely and comprehensive set of recommendations focused on bringing policy coherence to the U.S. approach to conflict and peacebuilding.
The ‘how’ of shifting power: Transformation in the context of responsible transition processes

The ‘how’ of shifting power: Transformation in the context of responsible transition processes

Across the Stopping As Success cases, the ‘recipe for success’ varies with each organization and context. However, common features of a successful transition process are clear: 1) both technical and procedural aspects of transitions are essential and interconnected and 2) dedicated time to plan for and manage relationships among international and local groups makes responsible transitions possible. In short: the ‘how’ matters.