Balancing Acts: Transitions from Peacekeeping to Peacebuilding

Wagner 2020 Transitions Podcast

Source: MONUSCO /​Flickr

For countries emerging from violent conflict, transitions from peacekeeping to peacebuilding efforts often represent critical junctures. What challenges do actors face when planning for such handover periods? What opportunities does this process provide? And what does it look like in practice in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Based on interviews with experts and senior policymakers, this two-part podcast explores the major pitfalls on the road to lasting peace and takeaways from the process.

Part 1: Lessons Learned and the Importance of International Coordination

In episode one, we dissect the anatomy of transitions from peacekeeping to peacebuilding and dig deeper into why this topic has garnered more and more attention in recent years. We take stock of key lessons learned from past transitions in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Haiti and discuss three typical challenges that international actors and donors have faced in these situations: maintaining organizational coherence and external partnerships; crafting joint strategies and analyses; and avoiding gaps in financing. 

In this episode, our host Marie Wagner is joined by five expert guests: 

  • Roselyn Akombe, co-chair of the UN Transitions Project; 
  • Franck Bousquet, senior director of the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict, & Violence Group; 
  • Daniel Forti, senior policy analyst at the International Peace Institute (IPI);
  • Hilde Hardeman, head of the Foreign Policy Instruments Service of the European Commission; 
  • Rüdiger König, director general for Crisis Prevention, Stabilization, Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Assistance in the German Federal Foreign Office.

Part 2: Transitions in Practice: What Is at Stake in the DRC?

Episode two outlines how the lessons learned that we pinpoint in episode one could be applied in a concrete context: the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Currently host to the UN’s largest peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), the DRC has a long and complex history of violent conflict as well as international peacekeeping efforts. As MONUSCO’s current mandate is valid until December 2020, the mission is preparing to withdraw from the country. What are current developments in the DRC and the peacekeeping mission? What does it take to avoid the most common pitfalls and ensure a smooth transition to peacebuilding efforts? And how can national ownership of the transition process be assured?

This episode features five experts:

  • Ruphin Bo-Elongo, director general of the DRC’s Social Fund;
  • Passy Mubalama, executive director of AIDPROFEN;
  • Leila Zerrougui, special representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC and head of MONUSCO;
  • Jean-Marc Châtaigner, the European Union’s Ambassador to the DRC;
  • Paul Bance, social protection team leader for DRC at the World Bank.

The full series is available on the PeaceLab Blog.


This special edition PeaceLab Podcast was produced in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office as a contribution to the World Bank’s virtual Fragility Forum 2020. The Fragility Forum 2020 Seminar Series is a virtual and interactive series of events organized by the World Bank to share practical solutions and explore innovative ways of responding to the most challenging Fragility, Conflict, and Violence (FCV) issues of our times.