Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

The ‘Triple Nexus’ in Abyei Area, South Sudan

An Assessment of Challenges and Prospects of Linking Humanitarian, Development, and Peace Programs

One of the major challenges facing international emergency response today is the lack of coordination and synergy of the scare resources to deal with the enormous challenges faced by societies affected by conflict. In order to ensure efficiency and to maximize outputs, there is a need to set clear objectives for the different sectors of international development interventions, including humanitarian, development, and peace efforts. At the policy level, a strong interest persists in cultivating a ‘nexus’ between humanitarian, development and peace programs. However, the evidence base in terms of assessing the actual implementation of this nexus remains scarce. This is particularly important today in an era where specific regions of the world, especially Africa, are witnessing considerable reduction in international funding towards humanitarian aid and peace operations.

There is even a greater imperative to lay out a clear nexus strategy in contexts of protracted conflicts such as that of Abyei area in South Sudan. Placed along the hotly contested border between Sudan and South Sudan, Abyei has witnessed a series of violent and traumatic events over the last three decades. With international development actors involved in this region actively for the past fifteen years, there is a need to devise a clear strategy on how ongoing humanitarian efforts can feed into long-term sustainable development and peace objectives. This research project will analyze the existing synergies and coordination mechanisms, assess persistent challenges and gaps, and examine possibilities for the pathway forward. The aim of this project will be to support the cultivation of a more effective humanitarian-development-peace nexus in the context of Abyei area.