Getting the Policies Right

The Prioritization and Sequencing of Policies in Post-Conflict Countries

by Anga R. Timilsina

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One of the most pressing issues of post-conflict reconstruction is how to prioritize and sequence political, social, and economic policies to enable post-conflict countries to sustain peace and reduce the risk of violence reoccurring. This dissertation analyzes three cases of post-conflict reconstruction, Cambodia, Mozambique, and Haiti, surveys expert opinions of 30 academicians and practitioners, identifies major reconstruction policies, outlines the preferred way to prioritize and sequence them, and develops a framework to help policymakers better navigate the complexities and challenges of forming appropriate policies It finds that security and development are interdependent. However, in the early stages of reconstruction, security must be achieved first. After security, important policy priorities should be building effective, accountable, and inclusive governance institutions, institutionalizing democracy at the national and local levels through free, fair, participatory, and inclusive elections. Similarly, economic stabilization is needed to revive market, attract investment, generate employment opportunity, and create an environment for economic recovery and stability.

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in July 2006 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Gregory Treverton (Chair), James Dobbins, and Robert Lempert. Francis Fukuyama of Johns Hopkins University was the external reader for the dissertation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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