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Fragile Truths

Fragile Truths

By Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

This podcast is about distilling the most important findings of cutting edge research, and capturing conversations between researchers and policy officers about the ideas and assumptions driving current Security & Rule of Law policy. As we find out, what may be assumed as a reliable fact or a solid truth can sometimes crack under scrutiny.
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Uncomfortable Partnerships - Engagement in ‘Politically Estranged’ Settings Like Afghanistan

Fragile TruthsJul 13, 2023

00:00
27:23
Unintended Effects: Backlash to aid and undermining social contracts

Unintended Effects: Backlash to aid and undermining social contracts

There is a growing resentment toward Western aid in recipient countries. There are many possible reasons why: a history of double agendas from donors, creating dependencies; a strong desire for self-determination; an increasingly multipolar world – the list goes on.

 

It’s about time to discuss the unexpected outcomes of aid that can lead to the backlash or undermining of the social contract in recipient countries. We discuss this with our guest Dirk-Jan Koch, Chief Science Officer at the Dutch MFA who wrote the upcoming book ‘Foreign Aid and its Unintended Consequences’. Our other guest, Haley J. Swedlund, Associate Professor, Radboud University, did research on how aid can distort in-country priorities, but can also be used in nationalist politicians’ anti-Western propaganda.


Click here⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast.

To get in touch with Dirk-Jan Koch, you can follow him on ⁠⁠LinkedIn⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠Twitter, or check out his website here⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠. To follow the work of Haley J. Swedlund, you can follow her on LinkedIn or Twitter, or check out her website here. Supplemental reading:

  • ⁠⁠⁠Click here⁠⁠⁠ for Dirk-Jan Koch's new book "Foreign Aid and its Unintended Consequences"
  • Click here for Haley J. Swedlund's report "Power Dynamics in Foreign Aid"


Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Follow us⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and tag ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠#FragileTruthsPodcast⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ to let us know what you think! You can also reach the⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ KPSRL Secretariat⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠info@kpsrl.org⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠.

Sep 12, 202329:03
Uncomfortable Partnerships - Engagement in ‘Politically Estranged’ Settings Like Afghanistan

Uncomfortable Partnerships - Engagement in ‘Politically Estranged’ Settings Like Afghanistan

A string of coups and regime changes in 2021 and 2022 triggered the question: How should the international community respond to such situations? Do you disengage your support and thereby leave people to their threatening fate, or stay engaged with the risk of legitimizing abusive governments?  

 

Our guest, Betty Wainaina (NYU-CIC), worked on a report that highlights responsible options for continued engagement, as most experts agree full disengagement is not the solution. With the help of Dr. Idris Nassery (Universität Paderborn) and his knowledge of community work and (religious) law in Afghanistan, we apply Betty’s recommendations to the Afghan context. 

 

⁠Click here⁠⁠⁠⁠ for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast.

To get in touch with Betty Wainaina, you can follow her on ⁠LinkedIn⁠ or ⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠. To follow her work at NYU-CIC, you can check out their LinkedIn page or Twitter.

To follow the work of Dr. Idris Nassery, you can follow the ⁠Paderborn Institute for Islamic Theology (PIIT)⁠ or the ⁠Institute for Law and Society in Afghanistan (ILSAF)⁠, a non-profit NGO that actively engages in research, collaboration, and evidence-based projects related to the role of law in Afghan society. Check out ⁠ILSAF's LinkedIn page here⁠. Supplemental reading:

  • ⁠Click here⁠⁠ for the CIC report "Aid strategies in ‘politically estranged’ settings: How donors can stay and deliver in fragile and conflict-affected states"

Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? ⁠⁠⁠⁠Follow us⁠⁠⁠⁠ and tag ⁠⁠⁠⁠#FragileTruthsPodcast⁠⁠⁠⁠ to let us know what you think! You can also reach the⁠⁠⁠⁠ KPSRL Secretariat⁠⁠⁠⁠ at ⁠⁠⁠⁠info@kpsrl.org⁠⁠⁠⁠.


Jul 13, 202327:23
The Truth Is Out – Now What? Discussing the Colombian Truth Commission Report

The Truth Is Out – Now What? Discussing the Colombian Truth Commission Report

In 2022, the Colombian Truth Commission published its 10.000-page thick report ‘Hay Futuro Si Hay Verdad’. It describes the immense impact the conflict had – and still has – on the victims of the civil war and society as a whole. Together with María Prada (former advisor to the Truth Commission’s President), we discuss the different roles a Truth Commission has, such as dignity for those affected, non-repetition and evidence for justice. We also looked at the difficulties of upholding recommendations while priorities and levels of continuing violence constantly change. Her conversation partner is the Dutch Ambassador to Colombia, Ernst Noorman, who sheds light on the role the international community can play in such peace processes.

Click here⁠⁠⁠ for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with María Prada, you can follow her on Twitter⁠⁠. To get in touch with Ambassador Ernst Noorman, you can follow him on ⁠LinkedIn, Twitter⁠ and keep up with the Dutch Embassy in Colombia via their Twitter.


Supplemental reading:

  • ⁠Click here⁠ for the Comisión de la Verdad website
  • Click here for English content about the Comisión de la Verdad

Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? ⁠⁠⁠Follow us⁠⁠⁠ and tag ⁠⁠⁠#FragileTruthsPodcast⁠⁠⁠ to let us know what you think! You can also reach the⁠⁠⁠ KPSRL Secretariat⁠⁠⁠ at ⁠⁠⁠info@kpsrl.org⁠⁠⁠.


Jun 13, 202327:16
Why Indigenous Women’s Views on Climate Security Matter - A Colombian Case

Why Indigenous Women’s Views on Climate Security Matter - A Colombian Case

When we think of security, we usually think of weapons, patrols, war and crime. For many indigenous people in Colombia however, security is more linked to well-being of the collective community and its natural environment. Our guest, Cristina Hoyos (DCAF), represents a recent research on indigenous strategies to adapt to climate change and their broader interpretation of security. With Abigail Robinson (Continua), she will a.o. discuss the role ‘ecofeminism’ and the security sector can play in supporting these indigenous communities.


⁠Click here⁠⁠ for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with Cristina Hoyos, you can follow her on ⁠⁠LinkedIn⁠⁠. To get in touch with Abigail, you can follow her on LinkedIn.


Supplemental reading:

  • Click here for the study discussed in the episode (available in English, Spanish and Portuguese)
  • Click here for the IUCN study mentioned in the episode (links between natural resource extraction and SGBV)


Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? ⁠⁠Follow us⁠⁠ and tag ⁠⁠#FragileTruthsPodcast⁠⁠ to let us know what you think! You can also reach the⁠⁠ KPSRL Secretariat⁠⁠ at ⁠⁠info@kpsrl.org⁠⁠.

Jun 12, 202326:31
The ‘Mental Landscape’ When Living Amidst Violence

The ‘Mental Landscape’ When Living Amidst Violence

Violence and poverty have a large impact on one’s “mental landscape”, as our guest Mareike Schomerus, Vice President of Busara, refers to it. A ‘mental landscape’ encompasses the many experiences, memories and emotions that influence your decisions such as biases and expectations; your willingness to take risks, and what you think is fair or just. Western peacebuilders often lack understanding of such mental landscapes. Our other guest, Nika Saeedi from UNDP, is the global lead on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Peacebuilding, a field where such understanding is key. How do we understand each other’s realities better?

⁠Click here⁠ for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with Mareike Schomerus, you can follow Mareike on Twitter on ⁠LinkedIn⁠. To get in touch with Nika Saeedi, you can follow Nika on ⁠Twitter⁠ or ⁠LinkedIn⁠.

Supplemental reading:

  • Mareike's book Lives Amid Violence: Transforming Development in the Wake of Conflict can be found here. The publisher’s direct open access link can be found here.
  • UNDP's Guidance Note on Integrating Mental Health and Psychosocial Support into Peacebuilding (2022) can be found here.
  • UNDP's story series providing a people-centred perspective on MHPSS in peacebuilding can be found through these links: pilot, story 2 & story 3.

Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? ⁠Follow us⁠ and tag ⁠#FragileTruthsPodcast⁠ to let us know what you think! You can also reach the⁠ KPSRL Secretariat⁠ at ⁠info@kpsrl.org⁠.

Apr 12, 202330:41
A Peacebuilding Legacy By And For Youth

A Peacebuilding Legacy By And For Youth

Peacebuilding initiatives regularly only produce small scale, short-lived results. Our guest Dr. Sukanya Podder (researcher at King’s College London) says it’s time to think in terms of the Peacebuilding Legacy. That means: not-too-tightly planned interventions that fit local norms and behavior, and - with the help of youth leadership - take different interpretations of a conflict across generations into account. A prominent case in the book concerns a community radio initiative in Sierra Leone, so our other guest, Isata Mahoi, will share her experiences as network coordinator of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) - and as a radio star in one of the peacebuilding initiatives, Atunda Ayenda.

Click here for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with Sukana Podder, you can e-mail: sukanya.podder@kcl.ac.uk or follow Sukanya on LinkedIn. To get in touch with Isata Mahoi, you can e-mail: imahoi@wanep.org, follow Isata on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

Mar 14, 202323:12
Women on the Frontlines: Stories of Climate Action Led By Women

Women on the Frontlines: Stories of Climate Action Led By Women

Climate change discussions are often about emissions, finance and sustainable alternatives. However, today’s guests bring in women’s stories; a perspective seldomly included in climate action. Climate change especially affects those who are dependent from natural resources, have little capacity to adapt and are excluded from power. Due to everyday gender dynamics, these characteristics disproportionally apply to women in many countries. To counter this, IDLO’s Nupur Prakash proposes a ‘feminist rule of law approach’ to climate action that takes these gender differences into account, helps women claim their rights and supports gender responsive justice systems. Nupur conversation partner, Jelen Paclarin, from the Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau puts many of these recommendations into practice in the Philippines context, where Jelen supports women’s legal rights around natural disasters.

Click here for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with Nupur Prakash, you can e-mail: nprakash@idlo.int, follow Nupur on LinkedIn or on Twitter. To get in touch with Jelen Paclarin, you can e-mail: womenslegalbureau@gmail.com or follow Jelen on Twitter.

Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

Jul 06, 202222:15
Demystifying 'Trust Building' - A Palestinian Case

Demystifying 'Trust Building' - A Palestinian Case

In our work, we talk about ‘trust’ a lot. Trust between groups, trust within partnerships, trust between people and their governments. However, especially in security contexts, trust can play various roles - in addition, what is considered trustworthy differs across contexts and regions. That’s why Viktoria Budde from the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy – together with Karoline Eickhoff, then with the Berghof Foundation, – studies policymakers' assumptions on what trust is, and how to nurture it in the context of Security and Rule of Law partnerships. Her conversation partner, Inès Abdel Razek, from the Palestine Institute of Public Diplomacy (PIPD), connects these findings to her own experiences on this topic in the Palestinian context – a place where trust-building initiatives have been increasingly rejected by the people and movements, while still promoted by peacebuilding stakeholders despite lack of evidence to their efficiency over the past decades.

Click here for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with Viktoria Budde, you can e-mail her at: budde@ifsh.de, follow her on LinkedIn or on Twitter. To get in touch with Inès Abdel Razek, you can e-mail her at: ines.abdelrazek@thepipd.com, follow her on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

Click here to check out the ‘Fostering Constructive Relations: Approaches to Trust-Building in Peacebuilding Interventions' by IFSH & Berghof Foundation that is referred to in this episode, supported by the Knowledge Management Fund. Click here to check out the analytical piece, 'Thirty Years On: The Ruse of the Middle East Peace Process' by al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network to learn more about Inès' work.

Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

Jun 07, 202226:11
Inclusive Process vs. Inclusive Outcomes

Inclusive Process vs. Inclusive Outcomes

‘Inclusive governance’ is the rising star of development lingo in a time of rising authoritarianism and shrinking civic space. But do the Global North and Global South share a common understanding of what it is, and are development actors aware of what it takes to support this?

In this episode, thinktank ECDPM’s Head of Democratic Governance, Jean Bossuyt, wrote a position paper on this concept for Dutch policy makers and discusses this with Amagoin Keita, Director of Action Research Groupe ODYSSEE and Former Advisor of Mali's 'Decentralization' Minister. They discuss the possible trade-offs between inclusive governance and quick development results and stability, but also its necessity for sustainable interventions.

Click here for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with Jean Bossuyt, you can e-mail him at: jb@ecdpm.org, or follow him on LinkedIn. To get in touch with Amagoin Keita, you can e-mail him at: leuk.keita@gmail.com, follow him on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

Click here to check out the ‘Position Paper on Inclusive Governance' by ECDPM that is referred to in this episode, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Stabilisation and Humanitarian Aid and the KPSRL.

Send a short voice note (~30 sec.) via WhatsApp to +31686837137 and mention a fragile truth or assumption in your sector that you'd like to debunk and what alternatives you might propose. Who knows, you might be featured in our next episode!*

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

May 03, 202225:34
Lacking Evidence for Evidence-Based Policies

Lacking Evidence for Evidence-Based Policies

There is not enough evidence to show that evidence leads to better development policies and programming. This ironic conclusion comes from the paper ‘What Have We Learned About Learning?’, by International Development Consultant, Dr. Pablo Yanguas. Dr. Yanguas is our guest this episode, discussing how the development sector’s many investments in M&E, research and knowledge management systems might not have been the best value for money. His conversation partner is Anna Gouwenberg, Senior Learning Advisor at the Department of Stabilization and Humanitarian Aid within the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Together, they will explore what is necessary to make policies more evidence-based and adaptive to new knowledge.

Click here for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with Dr. Pablo Yanguas, you can e-mail him at: pablo.yanguas@manchester.ac.uk, follow him on LinkedIn or on Twitter. To get in touch with Anna Gouwenberg, you can e-mail her at: anna.gouwenberg@minbuza.nl, follow her on LinkedIn.

Click here to check out the paper, ‘What Have We Learned About Learning?' by Dr. Pablo Yanguas, published by the German Development Institute, that is referred to in this episode.

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

Apr 06, 202228:02
The Knowledge Economy: Somalia

The Knowledge Economy: Somalia

‘Knowledge is power’ is true on many levels for data collection and analyses within the development sector. Too often, the voices of western consultants that are shortly flown into the country are valued over local voices. In this episode, Somali Public Agenda director Mahad Wasuge discusses his report on how this ‘knowledge business’ is especially harmful in countries like Somalia, with a weaker state and security issues. He does so with Abdinasir Hussein, who will share his experiences on the topic from his work as Sr. M&E Officer for Conflict Dynamics International.

Click here for more information about the Fragile Truths Podcast. To get in touch with Abdinasir Hussein, you can e-mail him at: ahussein@cdint.org, follow him on LinkedIn or on Twitter. To get in touch with Mahad Wasuge, you can e-mail him at: mahad.wasuge@somalipublicagenda.org, follow him on LinkedIn or on Twitter

Click here to check out the report "Who owns data in Somalia? Ending the country’s privatised knowledge economy" by Somali Public Agenda that is referred to in this episode.

We apologize for the sound quality in this episode! We are working on making sure voices are clearly heard in the episodes to come.

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

Mar 01, 202231:07
Strategic Confusion: Lebanese Refugee Governance
Feb 01, 202226:26
Returning to Stability? Refugee Returns in the Great Lakes Region

Returning to Stability? Refugee Returns in the Great Lakes Region

Return is often seen as the preferred solution for refugees. However, this is not merely a logistical exercise; it has profound consequences for political dynamics in a given region. In this episode of the Fragile Truths, Frank Huisingh (Senior Policy Officer at the MFA) talks to Thijs van Laer (Researcher, formerly at International Refugees Rights Initiative) on their research project on the impact of returning migrants.

Click here for more information on the NWO-WOTRO research program. To get in touch with Frank Huisingh, you can e-mail him at: frank.huisingh@minbuza.nl, or follow him on LinkedIn. To get in touch with Thijs van Laer, you can e-mail him at: thijsvanlaer@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Let us know what you thought about this episode via our feedback form here (it should take about 5 min.)

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

May 13, 202129:34
Grounded Legitimacy: Strengthening Local Land Registration In Conflict-Affected Northern Uganda

Grounded Legitimacy: Strengthening Local Land Registration In Conflict-Affected Northern Uganda

Although a key policy intervention for addressing conflict, land reform programs have complex implications for legitimacy of (inter)national and local actors. In this episode of Fragile Truths, Sudi Suleiman (Policy Officer at the Dutch MFA) talks to David Betge (Senior Specialist Land Rights at ZOA) about his research project on this relationship, illustrated by the case of Northern Uganda. Are NGO and policy officers paying enough attention to how land reform interventions impact the perceived authority of local actors, or their own legitimacy? How can interventions be better attuned to this ‘unmeasured’ local impact?

Click here for more information on the NWO-WOTRO research program. To get in touch with David Betge, you can e-mail him at: d.betge@zoa.ngo, or follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. To get in touch with Sudi Suleiman, you can e-mail her at: sudi.suleiman@minbuza.nl, or follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Let us know what you thought about this episode via our feedback form here (it should take about 5 min.)

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

Apr 29, 202135:58
Legitimacy Of Traditional Authorities: Mali, Niger And Libya

Legitimacy Of Traditional Authorities: Mali, Niger And Libya

Traditional or informal authorities play a significant role in governance – especially in fragile settings in which the formal state is absent, weak or contested. In this episode of Fragile Truths, Asma Hashi (Policy Officer Human Security at the MFA) talks with Anna Schmauder (Research Fellow at Clingendael) and Volkert Doop (Project Manager at VNG) about their research project on the legitimacy of traditional authorities in Mali, Niger and Libya.

Click here for more information on the NWO-WOTRO research program. To get in touch with Asma Hashi, you can e-mail her at: asma.hashi@minbuza.nl, or follow her on LinkedIn. To get in touch with Anna Schmauder, you can e-mail her at: aschmauder@clingendael.org, or follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn. To get in touch with Volkert Doop, you can e-mail him at: volkert.doop@vng.nl, or follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Let us know what you thought about this episode via our feedback form here (it should take about 5 min.)

Are you on Twitter? Follow us and tag #FragileTruthsPodcast to let us know what you think! You can also reach the KPSRL Secretariat at info@kpsrl.org.

Apr 14, 202136:01
Fragile Truths: Trailer
Apr 07, 202103:15