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Publication: " Development trajectories of mediation support structures in the AU, ECOWAS, IGAD and SADC"

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This article by Michael Aeby and Jamie Pring examines the capabilities, utilisation and sustainability of the mediation support structures (MSS) in the framework of the the African Peace and Security Architecture.

The intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) that form the African Peace and Security Architecture introduced mediation support structures (MSS) to improve their ability to mediate in conflicts. But the effectiveness of MSS has been mixed. This study examines whether and why the MSS of four IGOs – the African Union, Economic Community of West African States, Intergovernmental Authority for Development and Southern African Development Community – developed the ability to fulfil the four core functions of MSS: (1) supporting mediators, (2) providing training, (3) managing knowledge, and (4) networking. It compares the operationalisation and utilisation of MSS and explores market dynamics in their development. The study found that MSS capabilities, utilisation and sustainability depended on whether their development was driven mainly by the demand for professional support by mediators, technical staff and political decision-makers, or by the supply of services offered by entrepreneurial non-government organisations and by readily available funding from international development partners.

Aeby, Michael, and Jamie Pring. 2023. “Development Trajectories of Mediation Support Structures in the AU, ECOWAS, IGAD and SADC.” South African Journal of International Affairs 0 (0): 1–24.