The law of protracted conflict: bridging the gap between humanitarian aid and development.

Project: Research Project

Project Details


Contemporary armed conflicts have become protracted, complex and urbanized with far-reaching socio-economic consequences, such as severe damage to infrastructure, disruption of services and prolonged displacement.

The dire socio-economic dimensions of protracted conflict, as well as the link between poverty and fragility, make the traditional division between humanitarian assistance and development assistance unviable to address the short- and long-term needs of affected communities.

The proposed project will provide a comprehensive analysis of the institutional and substantive legal frameworks within which humanitarian and development assistance is delivered.

Its objective is to investigate the extent to which law (national and international) allows for integrated, sustainable and responsible humanitarian and development assistance in contexts of protracted conflict.

The project will achieve its objective through three closely connected work packages (WPs) that focus on institutions, legal regimes and accountability, respectively.

WP 1 maps the multitude of humanitarian and development actors operating in protracted conflict contexts and examines whether their mandates, principles, legal relationships and institutional structures are likely to create a humanitarian-development nexus.

WP 2 focuses on the interactions between the legal regimes applicable to protracted conflicts, with a view to assessing whether international law contributes to the creation of the divide between the two sectors or whether it can in fact provide common legal bases to overcome the divide. among them.

Finally, WP 3 assesses the need for new standards and mechanisms to ensure inclusion and accountability to affected communities in light of the expanding and interconnected nature of humanitarian and development responses.

The project will be the first to address the divide between humanitarian assistance and development assistance comprehensively from an international law perspective.

Furthermore, it will clarify the law applicable to the underexplored socioeconomic dimensions of protracted conflicts.

The project will therefore achieve fundamental advances in the field of international law, as well as in the multidisciplinary fields of humanitarianism, development, transitional justice and peacebuilding.

More generally, the project's research results will contribute to some of the fundamental debates in international law, for example on the evolution of international (humanitarian) law in the face of the changing characteristics of armed conflicts, regime interactions and the fragmentation of international law.

And the increasing role and authority of non-state actors, particularly international organizations, in global governance.

Beyond its research contributions, the project will develop legal and policy recommendations for the interpretation and design of international law and will therefore participate in the transfer of knowledge for international cooperation towards the operationalization of the humanitarian-development nexus.

The Universidad del Rosario team will carry out a case study in Colombia.

To do this, the cooperation resources that have been received for the implementation of the Agreement signed with the FARC will be mapped, their geographical destination and the type of projects they have financed.

Additionally, a qualitative case study will be carried out that will be based on some specific projects in two departments that will be built from the initial mapping. This study will include semi-structured interviews with public officials, officials from international organizations, NGOs, and members of communities receiving these resources.
Effective start/end date10/1/201/31/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Main Funding Source

  • International


  • Bogotá D.C.


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