What should policymakers, practitioners and strategists focus on during the early recovery stage of conflict resolution? Humanitarian policy experts say it should be defining the problem at hand.

Early recovery, researchers from the Overseas Development Institute explain in a recent report, is a newly emerging approach to promoting peace and recovery in fragile and conflict-torn states. A conclusive definition of early recovery is yet to be arrived at, the researchers add. But in general, they say it is "a way of framing activities, strategies and approaches that take place in humanitarian and transitional contexts."

The ODI researchers argue that early recovery could help improve the recovery process from conflict to peace - under one condition: Policymakers and conflict resolution strategists must focus on defining the problem and identifying the most realistic approach, or approaches, to a conflict situation.

"There is a need to move away from conceptual debates about what early recovery is and who ‘owns' it," Sarah Bailey, Sara Pavanello, Samir Elhawary and Sorcha O'Callaghan write in their report. Bailey, Pavanello and Elhawary are research officers while O'Callaghan is a research fellow at Overseas Development Institute.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.