© Filipino Muslims shout after hearing the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed in Mendiola Bridge, near the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, the Philippines, 27 March 2014.
An abundant number of cases show that peace and transition processes regularly collapse in the implementation phase even if military and political elites strike an agreement. The frequent failure of elite deals has drawn researchers’ and policy-makers’ attention to the inclusion of a variety of societal and political actors in peace negotiations and political settlements. The continued implementation gap has also prompted renewed interest in the conditions for the successful implementation of peace agreements. However, the role of participation in complex implementation processes has so far received little scholarly attention. IPTI’s Inclusive Agreement Implementation research project, financed by the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre, explores conditions for societal and political participation and its effects on implementation processes.
The Inclusive Agreement Implementation Research Project investigates the following central questions:
- Through which modalities can societal and political groups who do not exert coercive and veto power over a peace or political transition process participate in the implementation of agreements?
- What enables or constrains the ability of these actors to impact the implementation process?
- What implications do different types of participation have for the prospects of successful implementation, and how can the impact of inclusion be understood and conceptualized?
The exploratory study undertakes a combination of overlapping and interdependent research steps and relies on qualitative methods. First, it develops a comprehensive analytical framework, drawing on the research literature as well as a screening of 32 empirical case studies on inclusion in peace and transition processes. Second, the study applies a qualitative comparative approach to 12 country cases to investigate the effects of a set of features of implementation mechanisms on the ability of civil society and non-armed actors to participate in and influence implementation processes. Third, a concise case study on inclusion in the implementation phase of the Mindanao peace process in the Philippines will investigate all the parameters entailed in the comprehensive analytical framework.
The findings will be published in a report and an issue brief. IPTI and the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre will convene a workshop of scholars, policy-makers and civil society activists who will review the objectives, research plan, and findings. The study is expected to produce policy-relevant empirical insights on effective implementation and the roles various actors play in effective implementation, as well as on the conditions that are necessary to enable the inclusive implementation of peace and political transition processes.