Getting Infrastructure Priorities Right in Post-Conflict Reconstruction
In this paper, an attempt is made to identify some key challenges for infrastructure sectors in post-conflict reconstruction. In spite of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, infrastructure can be damaged in conflicts, and reconstructing infrastructure is often essential to sustain recovery. Conflicts erode governance institutions, weaken public expenditure management systems, and increase transaction costs making it difficult for principals to monitor their agents. Infrastructure includes both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ assets of societies and the rebuilding of social institutions and capacity of communities is as crucial as reconstructing roads and bridges. A framework is developed here for assessing alternative infrastructure policies for their impact on three key dimensions of (i) governance and state rebuilding, (ii) conflict prevention and peace, and (iii) poverty reduction. Drawing upon evidence from evaluation studies including Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, East Timor and Rwanda, a number of policy tensions and action points for policymaking in infrastructure sectors in post-conflict contexts are identified.