Realities and Myths of the 'Triple Nexus': Local Perspectives on Peacebuilding, Development, and Humanitarian Action in Mali

Humanitarian Action at the Frontlines: Field Analysis Series, 2019

61 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2019

See all articles by Emmanuel Tronc

Emmanuel Tronc

Harvard University - Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Rob Grace

Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies; US Institute of Peace; Harvard Program on Negotiation

Anaïde Nahikian

Harvard University - Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Date Written: June 14, 2019

Abstract

Despite decades of development programming for a country once upheld as a “model democracy” in Africa, Mali remains a country destabilized by extreme poverty; escalating violence and instability; and diminishing prospects for Malians’ futures in education, livelihoods, and security. Even in light of an ongoing international presence and intervention in the country, and millions of dollars raised and spent each year on humanitarian programming, the persistent degradation of governance, livelihoods, and security continues. What drives this state of affairs? How have international and regional actors contributed to sustaining a stagnating state at the expense of civilian populations and in the interest of preventing transnational Sahelian turmoil from expanding into the Maghreb and beyond to European borders? What are the expectations and aspirations of local communities as they navigate the interconnected influences of extremist groups, government actors, and international military forces? This paper examines these questions and offers reflections on various dynamics of the international response and the perceptions of local communities in this context. In particular, this analysis assesses the viability of the “triple nexus” concept, which aims — in protracted and complex crises such as Mali — to forge an operational and policy alignment between international peacebuilding, development, and humanitarian efforts. The paper is based on a desk analysis of relevant literature, as well as over 130 interviews and consultations undertaken with a variety of stakeholders, including government and non-state armed group representatives, civil society members, activists, journalists, humanitarians, analysts, diplomats, entrepreneurs, beneficiaries, displaced people, and students. The interviews were conducted in Mali, particularly in Bamako and in Central Mali, as well as abroad, between December 2018 and March 2019.

Keywords: Mali, Negotiation, Armed Conflict, Humanitarian, Humanitarian Assistance, Humanitarian Protection, Humanitarian Aid, Humanitarian Principles, Humanitarian Access, Triple Nexus, Development, Security, Peacebuilding

Suggested Citation

Tronc, Emmanuel and Grace, Rob and Nahikian, Anaïde, Realities and Myths of the 'Triple Nexus': Local Perspectives on Peacebuilding, Development, and Humanitarian Action in Mali (June 14, 2019). Humanitarian Action at the Frontlines: Field Analysis Series, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3404351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3404351

Emmanuel Tronc

Harvard University - Harvard Humanitarian Initiative ( email )

Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action
14 Story Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Rob Grace

Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies ( email )

280 Brook Street
Providence, RI 02906
United States

US Institute of Peace ( email )

2301 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Harvard Program on Negotiation ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

Anaïde Nahikian (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Humanitarian Initiative ( email )

Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action
14 Story Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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