Transforming Development in the Wake of Conflict
On 30 November 2023, the Rift Valley Forum, in collaboration with the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) and the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA), will launch a book by Mareike Schomerus, titled Lives Amid Violence: Transforming Development in the Wake of Conflict. Drawing on a decade of research across eight countries by the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, the book challenges traditional approaches to development in conflict contexts.
Schomerus argues that, in conflict situations, violence may be the least disruptive element in people's lives. It is the invisible elements of what she calls 'the mental landscape' that are the most important parts to pay attention to, such as memories and narratives.
The author questions the idea that state legitimacy can be achieved through service delivery. Instead, she advocates for a genuine shift towards more creative cooperation, emphasizing an empirically-grounded relational approach that prioritises relationships over everything else and a profound questioning not only of international development practices but also of the underlying beliefs, imagery, metaphors, and ideologies.
Download the free copy of the book here.
The forum will open with a poem by Michael Onsando, which features in the book.
This will be a hybrid event. Register here to join online.
Author & Vice President, Busara Center
University of Juba
Bukavu High Institute of Medical Technique
Life and Peace Institute
Somalia Gender Hub