Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR)

Originally posted in May 2012

I was fortunate enough to be invited to present at one of the quarterly meetings of the HPCR Working Group on “Engaging Armed Groups. Options and Strategies.” The HPCR is currently seeking input on the broader issues associated with engagement with armed groups. One of the great advantages of the Working Group is that its members have an opportunity to discuss sensitive and critical approaches to engagement with armed groups with one another in a private forum, and to share information about operational and policy approaches. In light not only of my recent article in the IRRC, but also my analyses regarding engaging armed groups with respect to development cooperation, improving compliance with international norms, and peace negotiations, I was able to critically outline the contours of the various forms engagement with armed groups may take, especially for NGOs (in particular humanitarian, human rights, and peace building organisations) and UN bodies.