UN Missions (peacekeeping and special political missions) inevitably reconfigure their presence in a country. Draw-downs or withdrawals of the missions lead to increased responsibilities and new roles for ‘enduring actors’, both remaining UN programme staff and national authorities alike. How such transitions are planned for and managed can be a determining factor in either the consolidation of progress or backsliding on stability gains after a UN mission has exited.
This lessons learned study – drawing from case studies of Timor-Leste, Nepal, Chad, and Sierra Leone – explores the kinds of preparation, foresight and analysis that may critically contribute to the ability of enduring actors, and the UNDP in particular, to sustain progress and mitigate risks of regression after a mission has withdrawn. Within the broader context of the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, there is both demand and opportunity to learn from recent UN experiences.
The report analyses both recurring and particular challenges and opportunities that UNDP field staff are exposed to during the various stages of a mission transition, from early integrated planning to post-mission resources mobilisation. These field perspectives are necessary to appropriately inform an anticipated UNDP Guidance on Mission Transitions, and ensure its focus and advice remain relevant to and reflective of field practice.