Human Security Projects

Till 2016, ZOA implements 4 reconstruction projects in 7 countries, with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BuZa). Specific aim of these projects is to reduce conflicts and improve peaceful conflict resolution. Three of the four projects are implemented in multiple countries.

The four ZOA programmes are:

  1. Promoting Human Security in Ruzizi Valley (Burundi and DR Congo)
  2. Hope and Recovery on the Ethiopia – South Sudan border (South Sudan and Ethiopia)
  3. Land and Water for Human Security  (Afghanistan, Uganda, Sudan)
  4. Semi-Pastoralist Conflict Mitigation Programme (South Sudan)

In these countries in particular, ZOA works on strengthening the capacity of citizens and civil society for conflict prevention and resolution, and on promoting the inclusion of marginalized groups. We have developed community based approaches for government accountability mechanisms and for participation in development programmes and delivery of services, especially where government structures are weak.

ZOA considers in its peace building policy the strengthening of livelihood opportunities a crucial strategy for fostering peace among conflict-affected people living in fragile states. The design of livelihood interventions from the perspective of human security, is focusing more than ever on bringing peace and stability to beneficiaries. ZOA’s conflict transformation strategy includes ‘software’ components (conflict management, addressing harmful cultural/traditional practices that fuel conflict, different community groups accepting each other) and ‘hardware’ component (addressing conflicts over livelihood resources and over access to social services).


Burundi and DR Congo

In this true cross-border project, ZOA wants to contribute to increased mutual respect and cooperation among communities from both sides of the border in Ruzizi Valley. The project adds to inclusive improved food security and participation in cross border value chains.

South Sudan and Ethiopia

In this reconstruction project, ZOA will contribute to enhance stability and security as preconditions for people to rebuild their lives and strengthen their livelihood strategies. It will facilitate stakeholders in the Jonglei - Gambella border region to develop capacity in conflict transformation – including local level accountable and legitimate government structures, and regional cross border government cooperation initiatives.

Afghanistan, Uganda and Sudan

ZOA wants to contribute to improved human security through increased trust and cooperation, and reduction in conflict over land and water. Also increased utilization of alternative livelihood resources and formal & non-formal  education systems is part of the project design. The project context in these three countries is in particular characterized by water scarcity leading to conflict.

South Sudan

ZOA wants to improve human security in this project through increased intertribal respect, improved local governance and improved access to conflict sensitive sources of water and livelihoods. Many conflicts in the border area of Terekeka and Bor South Counties are due to cattle movements. Improving access to water not only for cattle keepers but also for cattle will limit movements of semi-pastoralists and therefore will mitigate conflict.


Background, goal and ZOA’s mandate

In late 2011, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Netherlands announced a call for proposals focusing on reconstruction projects contributing to human security, legitimate government and peace dividend. The total budget allocation was € 120 million.

The programmes had to contribute to the realization of the Dutch government’s objectives for fragile states: sustainable development in fragile countries and global peace, security and prosperity. In fragile states, governments often lack capacity and legitimacy and there is no effective system for human rights protection. There is also a lack of political capacity and social resilience to peacefully settle conflicts of interest.

The call for proposals fitted exactly within the mandate of ZOA. ZOA focuses namely particularly on countries - and areas within countries - categorized as ‘fragile’. Although fragile states are not limited to countries affected by conflict, conflict is often a main contributing factor. For ZOA’s long term rehabilitation programmes, conflict-related fragility is an essential characteristic of the context we choose to operate in.

The underlying causes of conflict are often related to access to livelihood assets such as water and land. It also has a strong negative effect on the livelihood strategies of people, thereby making the number of conflict-affected people much greater than simply those directly affected.

In response to the call, ZOA submitted four reconstruction projects, which all four were approved for a total amount of  € 17.4 million for four years (2012 – 2016).