Research has shown that poor governance performance or regionally disparate governance can easily exacerbate underlying tensions and ignite violent conflict. In this sense, governance assessments carried out in conformity with a set of principles, such as inclusive participation, capacity development and national ownership may shed light on the dynamics in a society contributing to peacebuilding or a relapse into conflict.
Governance is, to a greater or lesser extent, factored in existing methodologies for assessing violent conflict, especially in conflict analysis frameworks. These analyses are developed and used mainly by donors and international organizations such as UNDP or World Bank.
But demand is growing for assessing governance in post-conflict environments as an integral part of broader peacebuilding strategies. This remains an unexplored area, and more knowledge is needed on how to adapt existing governance assessment frameworks to particular conditions of post-conflict settings.
Existing knowledge and good practices in the area of assessing governance in post-conflict contexts may provide valuable contributions to the development of governance assessment tools. Lessons to be applied are related, but not limited, to indicators used in these frameworks, contextual considerations, conflict sensitivity and gender responsive approaches and methodologies.
Transitions from conflict, political crisis or humanitarian disaster have differing impacts on men's and women’s experiences, needs and priorities and women play important roles as agents of peacebuilding. A set of global indicators on UN SC resolution 1325 tracks questions of women, peace and security and draws attention to obstacles to women’s inclusion (lack of security, transport, finances, child care) in governance assessments in fragile and conflict affected states. Under these circumstances special efforts must be included to ensure that indicators and processes are designed to include women’s voices, experiences and knowledge.