In the network, we have a strong focus on partnership and encouraging close, practical collaboration between our members.
When discussing potential barriers to partnership, the triple nexus kept coming up, with members using nexus-type approaches but having their own definitions and ways of describing the work.
While our purpose wasn’t to pull together a single approach or definition for our members, we did come up with a working definition that integrates the broad approach taken by most EU-CORD members:
Working in partnership with local organisations, faith actors and communities to take advantage of the specificities and minimise the constraints inherent in humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding approaches and how they interrelate to transform communities and build long-term community resilience.
Therefore, the idea of a nexus study came from a desire to understand each other better. As we developed the concept further, it became clear that members also wanted to understand better the evolution of the nexus approach in the EU. It was also important for us to reflect on issues such as the role and value of faith-based organisations, local partner approaches and respect for humanitarian principles. Reflections on these, and more, can be found in the study.
Nexus Webinar Series
We’ve also realised that there are elements that we still need to explore further together which is why we have partnered with ActAlliance EU and Caritas Europa to look at all three aspects of the nexus to explore the role of INGOs to ensure their integration, how this occurs in practice, and the role of context analysis, programming and organisational structuring. These reflections will be based and inspired by the action, framings and experience of local actors and local faith actors, also integrating considerations specific to climate, conflict and gender. A third webinar will address the challenges and learnings linked to nexus operationalisation regarding the respect not only of humanitarian principles, but also of development and peace principles. Moreover, as faith networks, we will also take into account how politics, including faith dynamics, impact on implementing the nexus, and how faith actors and organisations more broadly deal with those. More information on the webinars can be found on the Events page.
Finally, because advocacy is an important area of EU-CORD’s work, we couldn’t resist developing recommendations for members, donors and for EU policymakers.
- As we build our in-country approaches, the going-in point should be to work with a nexus framework.
- Members should play to their strengths and work collaboratively and strategically within nexus approaches in different contexts.
- Strengthened relationships with local actors is paramount to an effective nexus approach, and this should occur by putting local actors at the centre throughout all phases of the programme cycle management.
- Ensure that engagement with local actors is inclusive of diverse groups, such as organisations or networks of youth, women, people with disabilities, faith actors, and that they are effectively empowered as agents of change in their own communities across the triple nexus.
- More clarity on the definition of peacebuilding is needed to make sure that the peace component of the nexus is well understood by the organisation and appropriately integrated. At a minimum, a conflict-sensitive approach must become a priority for any attempt at nexus programming, even in non-conflict situations and if peacebuilding activities are not envisaged.
- Invest in staff training and in restructuring organisational sectors to make them suitable to the nexus.
- Explore opportunities for flexible funding and multi-donor approaches through strengthened and collaborative donor mapping exercises.
- As faith-based actors, consider the unique added value that this can bring to programmes, engagement, and partnerships in the operationalisation of the nexus.
- Commit to reinventing siloed funding logic by: Recognising that many organisations are multi-mandated and overcoming siloed thinking and financing.
- Adopting predictable, flexible, multi-year and risk-tolerant financing for all actors across the nexus.
- Simplifying and harmonising reporting and monitoring requirements for projects that implement the nexus.
- Include NGOs and local partners in negotiating the financial/action multi-annual and multi-purpose plan.
- Encourage coordination between actors, for example by facilitating discussion among implementing experts, increasing accountability and impartial assessment of needs, and encouraging multi-level and multi-stakeholder actions.
For the EU
- It is paramount that the EU contributes to achieving conceptual clarity regarding the peace component: When conceptualising the peace component of the nexus, it is key to prefer ‘little p’ and ‘positive peace’ efforts based upon long-term development cooperation efforts for civilian peacebuilding, conflict prevention, inclusive approaches, and social cohesion efforts.
- The EU should ensure a higher level of engagement with partners both in member countries and locally for example, by: Conducting joint conflict and context analysis, planning and monitoring exercises throughout which stakeholders from all fields are integrated and represented.
- Integrating analysis and lessons learned by monitoring implementation of the nexus approach to evaluate the impact of nexus programming.
- The EU should adopt more long-term and flexible funding to facilitate nexus programming.
- Lastly, the EU should create more opportunities for interplay between DG ECHO, DG INTPA and theEEAS building on successful examples of cooperation between European institutions.