|View the slideshow|
I recently wrote a piece here with highlights from a survey about the impacts of violent conflict on the population of Central Mindanao, in the Philippines--you can also view the main points in the slideshow to the right.
So how has the government responded to these findings? In their joint message commending the report, the Secretary of Social Welfare and Development and the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process have urged all agencies to use the survey data to improve their assistance in the affected areas. They want to see greater understanding of people’s experience of governance, security and access to services, and decisions based on detailed knowledge of how livelihoods, access to land, credit and food vari es from place to place.
What should be done now?The report does not make specific recommendations because concerned agencies have such a wide range of mandates and capacities. Some strategy and operational implications, however, are emphasised:
- Displacement is not only a humanitarian concern. It is a significant, multi-faceted development issue, and the challenges of displacement do not end with a return to home
- Although the quality of the participatory process remains a vital concern, it is important also to investigate needs that may not be self-identified by the population. If not, gaps such as water supply and sanitation may get inadequate attention.
- Access to information should be a cross-cutting priority, particularly among the poorest groups.
- Agencies urgently need to improve the targeting of assistance so that it reaches the most vulnerable first.
By providing insights on these and other challenges, it is hoped that the study will help shape successful strategies for sustainable peace. That way, families and communities will be much less likely to experience again the destructive impacts of conflict and forced displacement.