n Conflict Trends - Connections and disconnections : understanding and integrating local perceptions in United Nations peacekeeping

Volume 2014, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


This article argues that the international community needs to do more to systematically collect, share and analyse local perceptions and ensure that they are used when monitoring progress towards key benchmarks and informing decision-making on the ground and at the United Nations (UN) Security Council and UN Secretariat/headquarters. Some practical recommendations are provided for policymakers and the international community.

In the academic literature on peacebuilding, criticism of the UN and the international community as post-colonial and arrogant vis-à-vis local circumstance has dominated. It is often believed that the staff working for these organisations are representatives of the 'Western world' and incapable of looking beyond their own ways of organising a society. Although local perceptions are integrated in peacekeeping operations, to varying degrees, this is not established as regular practice within the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and no guidelines have been developed in this regard.

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