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 concerns among international aid actors today is the lack of coordination and synergy of the scarce resources to deal with the enormous challenges faced by societies affected by conflict. In order to ensure efficiency and to maximize outputs, they identify 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 project aims to assess the objective and outcomes of the nexus approach through the informative case of the Abyei area in South Sudan, a context that has been severely affected by protracted conflict and political turmoil. 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 humanitarian, development and peace actors working side by side in this region actively for the past fifteen years, there is a need to devise a clear strategy on how their joint efforts can lead toward the achievement of long-term sustainable development and peace. This research project will analyze the existing synergies and coordination mechanisms and assess persistent challenges and gaps. The aim of this project is to discuss the shortcomings and prospects of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in the context of Abyei area and examine possibilities for the pathway forward.