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Recovery and Peacebuilding Assessments (RPBA): FAQs

June 10, 2016

What is a RPBA?

Recovery and Peacebuilding Assessments (RPBA), previously known as Post-Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA), are processes to support more effective and coordinated reengagement in countries emerging from conflict or political crisis. RPBAs offer countries a standardized and internationally sanctioned approach to identify the underlying causes and impacts of conflict and crisis, and to help governments develop a strategy for how to prioritize recovery and peacebuilding activities over time.

The RPBA includes both the assessment of needs and the national prioritization and costing of these needs in an accompanying transitional results matrix. The process involves a scoping mission to agree on the approach and methodology for the assessment, an analysis of the drivers of conflict, an assessment of the impact of the conflict, an estimation of recovery priorities, and a strategy for the implementation and financing of these. It often concludes with a pledging conference to raise funds for recovery and peacebuilding efforts.  

The RPBA methodology is conducted under the Joint Declaration on Post-Crisis Assessments and Recovery Planning signed by the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Union. The declaration commits the three organizations to work with national governments to assess and prioritize recovery and peacebuilding needs.

What does an RPBA seek to achieve?

A RPBA has three primary purposes:

  • to help governments identify, prioritize and sequence recovery and peacebuilding activities;
  • to provide an inclusive process to support political dialogue and participation of stakeholders, and
  • to coordinate international support through a joint exercise and monitoring system.

Why is an RPBA needed?

Conflict, particularly if it is prolonged, generates a broad range of concerns for recovery. As national, regional and international actors struggle to address these concerns, the absence of a standardized process for assessing needs and planning recovery can lead to confused and conflicting recovery initiatives. In the worst case, without the benefit of an overarching framework for understanding recovery needs, individual interventions can undermining each other’s works, and leave affected populations severely underserved.

Preventing such a situation requires harmonizing and maximizing the efficacy of their many interventions through an agreement on the principles, priorities and plan for recovery. This strategic assessment and prioritization process is essential to provide a framework for priority actions to which international partners and national authorities commit, and within which they align their programs and commit their funding.

Countries seeking to implement recovery and peacebuilding often face this daunting first step of assessing, planning and prioritizing their interventions. The RPBA provides an internationally accepted process for this purpose.

What are some recent RPBA examples?

Since the signing of the Joint Declaration in 2008, RPBAs have been employed successfully in a number of countries. Some recent examples include:

Where is the RPBA process headed?

The global conflict environment is changing. Conflicts become increasingly protracted, and recovery and peacebuilding efforts can no longer afford to wait for a formal cession of hostilities. The RPBA methodology is evolving accordingly. A review of the methodology, covering assessments conducted between 2008 and 2015, has recently been published. The review offers insights into the process, methodology and approach to such assessments in response to conflict. It offers valuable insights into the rationale behind joint assessments in conflict-contexts, and puts forward recommendations for how the assessment methodology and partnership between the three organizations can be further strengthened to support effective recovery and peacebuilding.

The evolution of the methodology also seeks to align it the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. A revised agreement on the methodology is expected in FY17.