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Thu, Dec 31, 2009

Community-based Dispute Resolution Practices in Afghanistan

An interesting new series of reports has been released exploring informal, community-based dispute resolution practices in Afghanistan. The qualitative research project was conducted by Deborah Smith and colleagues from the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development. Interviews and focus groups were used to get a close-up look at local practices.

As noted in the reports,

In studying the processes used for dispute resolution, this research has focused on four central themes: the processes used in resolving and or regulating disputes at community level; the relationships between these processes at the community level and state actors at district-level; the principles underlying the outcomes of dispute resolution processes; and equity within these processes, with a particular focus on gender equity. Gender equity itself has been analysed in regard to four dynamics: womenx92s ability to access dispute resolution processes which are dominated by men; womenx92s contribution to these processes, in comparison to menx92s contribution; womenx92s role as decision-makers in resolving disputes; and the outcomes for women as compared to men of the decisions made within these processes.

A zipped up package of 3 pdfs provides the following…
- A Holistic Justice System for Afghanistan (Policy Note), by Deborah J. Smith and Jay Lamey
- Community-Based Dispute Resolution in Nangarhar Province (Case Study), by Deborah J. Smith
- Community-Based Dispute Resolution in Bamiyan Province (Case Study), by Deborah J. Smith and Shelly Manalan
Note: Case studies from Balkh and Kabul Provinces will be released in 2010.

Here’s a short sample from the report on the Bamiyan Province:

A wide variety of disputes are resolved at the community level; most common among these are disputes about access to and use of resources, particularly land, but also water and sources of fuel and fodder. Other disputes that may be resolved at the community level are both deliberate and accidental killings, disputes about marriage arrangements, disputes about sexual abuse or deviance, other acts of violence, theft, and payment for services. These disputes vary in size considerably, from those between neighbours over a land boundary to those between villages over access to and ownership of larger portions of land. They can be disputes between family members of both a criminal and domestic nature, such as violence within the family or issues of inheritance.

table of dispute types
Interesting stuff!


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 12 31 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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