[DEBATE] : Economic Impact of Peacekeeping
soenke.zehle at web.de
Tue Apr 11 14:44:46 BST 2006
Economic Impact of Peacekeeping
FOPO co-director William Durch is the co-author of Economic Impact of
Peacekeeping, a ground-breaking and detailed study of peacekeeping
operations’ effects on the war-torn economies into which they deploy.
The first multi-mission study of its kind and the first effort to
quantify the economic impact of UN operations since 1993, the study was
recently released by the Peacekeeping Best Practices Section of the UN
Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Durch worked in collaboration
with Scott Gilmore, executive director of the Peace Dividend Trust,
Ottawa, which managed the Economic Impact of Peacekeeping Project, and
economist Michael Carnahan, based in Canberra, Australia.
In addition to his work as co-author, Dr. Durch served as political
adviser to the project and participated in project fieldwork in Sierra
Leone in July 2005. The project aimed to generate new policies and
practical reform measures that would minimize negative economic effects
on UN peacekeeping mission areas, yet better utilized mission spending
to help jump-start post-war economic growth. The project began in
January 2005 and undertook fieldwork in one former and nine current
Through 400 interviews in the field and at UN headquarters, plus surveys
of mission staff and analysis of operational spending, staffing and
macroeconomic data from each mission area studied, the project has
produced the first quantitative analysis of the economic impact of UN
Only about 10 percent of the budget of a UN peacekeeping operation lands
in the mission area, on average. The rest pays global vendors, pays
international staff salaries, and reimburses states for the cost of
troops and police. Of the 10 percent spent locally, on average about
half comes from spending of international staff per diems on housing,
food, and incidentals; one quarter from the mission’s direct procurement
of local goods and services; and one quarter from salaries of local
staff hired directly by the mission. The two tables below illustrate
this spending breakdown.
The report’s thirty-seven recommendations built on the ideas of UN staff
who have grappled with the problem of economic impact first-hand and in
some cases developed innovative mechanisms to enhance that impact. They
address three broad themes:
* First, the need for greater consciousness within missions of the
potential economic impact of every policy decision and of the
relationship between economic recovery and other mission objectives.
* Second, the need to maximize local procurement, consistent with
quality and the guiding principle of value for money.
* Third, in order to avoid serious distortions in local labor
markets, the need to better adapt UN operating principles to the
war-torn economies where peacekeepers deploy.
For additional information on the project, including previous reports,
please visit the Peace Dividend Trust website or the DPKO Best Practices
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