This booklet provides a short introduction to the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium and an overview of our main findings from the last eight years of research on what matters to people recovering from conflicts. Our research can be split into two distinct phases: Phase I 2011 2017 and Phase II 2017 2019. For more information on our research findings and what we are doing, visit our Phase I and Phase II project pages.
Phase I: 2011 2017
The Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) is a global research consortium exploring livelihoods, basic service delivery, legitimacy, and behaviours in conflictaffected situations. Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), Irish Aid, and the European Commission, the SLRC was established in 2011 with the aim of strengthening the evidence base around recovery after conflict, in order to inform policy and practice.
The first phase of our research (2011 2017) explored questions on state legitimacy, state capacity, and livelihoods trajectories. We learned that livelihoods recovery and statebuilding are turbulent, nonlinear, processes and supporting them requires more than technical 'bestpractice' fixes. Policy and programming need to be adept at interpreting what issues matter locally, navigating politics, building relationships, and responding to everchanging situations.
Our findings challenged a number of commonlyheld assumptions about how people recover from conflict and the relationship between individuals, services and the state:
Access to and satisfaction with services does not automatically lead to improved perceptions of government. Instead, we found that it is the 'how' that matters when it comes to the question of whether service delivery can enhance state legitimacy.
Livelihood recovery is neither automatic or linear after conflict. We observed that although food security on average increased after the end of conflict, the overwhelming majority of households continued to 'churn' in and out of food security.
After conflict ends, people often struggled to perceive their lives as getting better. This perception persisted even when indicators showed that security, access to services, and infrastructure were improving. An overarching sentiment is that communities feel that they cannot recover from war. Peacebuilding and conflict prevention need to help create environments that are not just peaceful, but that people actually experience as being peaceful.
Source: Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium