2021 Peace, Security and Conflict Evaluation

Practicing Peacebuilding Principles: A Study of Sweden´s Engagement in Fragile and Conflict‐Affected States

Gary Milante, Jannie Lilja, Jups Kluyskens, Johanna Lindström

Sweden has long been at the forefront of promoting international principles for engagement in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Particularly pertinent therefore is Sweden’s application of the ‘New Deal’ agreement over the last decade, the subject of this report.

No less than 44 internationally agreed principles are grouped into the four areas that are specifically studied: Understanding the context in fragile countries; Coherence between different actors; Ownership and inclusion of partner country government and society; Changes in development cooperation. In general, Sweden has performed well in these areas, and is even regarded as a champion of the principles. However, Swedish practice has varied between different partner countries; for example, through a stronger application in Somalia and Liberia, compared with South Sudan.

In this report four recommendations are developed to strengthen Sweden’s application of the principles. These are:

  • The creation of a new ‘triple-nexus-plus’ policy with improved mechanisms for thematic coordination of Swedish actors.
  • Establishment of a peacebuilding focal function.
  • Ensuring adequate embassy staffing in fragile and conflict-affected states.
  • Work to improve multilateral and regional coordination.