Peer-to-peer learning is one of the priorities that emerged from the g7+ Haiti Ministerial Meeting in November 2012 and is a key pillar of the Fragile-to-Fragile Cooperation concept. It aims at mobilizing cooperation among member countries, developing a network to share knowledge and expertise among g7+ member countries, and applying the collective skills of the group to the specific challenges each country faces.
Peer learning will thus help the sharing of experiences in peacebuilding and statebuilding, enhance knowledge-generation from g7+ countries, and stimulate specific initiatives to help fill in knowledge and capacity gaps in Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals achievement.
The g7+ supports peer-learning and knowledge-generation around the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals by working with member countries and partners to compile and disseminate knowledge on thematic areas, initiate research, data collection and analysis country case studies, and organise knowledge-exchange seminars. The work so far has focused on five key thematic areas: Natural Resource Management, Public Finance management, Access to Justice, Election and Peace and Reconciliation.
In 2014, eight g7+ Justice Ministers met for the ﬁrst time in Free town, SierraLeone, to discuss the progress and challenges they face in improving justice systems in countries aﬀected by conﬂict and fragility. One of the key challenges discussed was contract negotiation important in raising the revenues necessary for fragile states to sustainably invest in development. The g7+ Secretariat developed and circulated a brieﬁng paper on justice sector support available to g7+ countries on this important topic.
In March 2014, representatives of the g7+ met with government oﬃcials, community leaders and civil society representatives from the Central African Republic(CAR) in Dubai, against the back ground of the civil conﬂict that the country had been experiencing since 2012. During this meeting, the g7+ heard about the challenges facing CAR and pledged to help in assisting the country’s exit from the crisis.
This resulted in a high level mission to Bangui in 2015 led by g7+ Eminent Person, H.E. Kay RalaXanana Gusmão, at the invitation of then Prime Minister of CAR,H.E. Mahamat Kamoun. The mission met with parties involved in the conﬂict and political transition, facilitating direct talks that contributed to national reconciliation.
The g7+ support to CAR continues. A third mission to CAR was under taken in September 2016 to congratulate the country on the peaceful elections. The government of Timor Leste also supported an initiative by the government of CAR to resettle 28,000 internally displaced people(IDPs) by donating USD $2 million, drawing on Timor-Leste’s own experience of IDP resettlement. The IDPs have now returned to their homes or safer areas.
To support the sharing of experiences among member countries, the g7+ Secretary at published a Natural Resource Book, providing an overview of natural resources in each g7+ member state, the primary extractive industries, the legal and ﬁscal frame works in place for managing natural resources, and issues related to governance and transparency.
This research is critical given that one of the biggest challenges for countries aﬀected by fragility is the mobilization of resources to ﬁnance development. The natural resource endowments in many of these countries are substantial but are often diﬃcult and costly to extract and poorly managed. Developing an understanding of the situation in each of our countries puts us in a better position to plan for how these resources can be mobilized to the beneﬁt of all our people. The book is available at the g7+ website
Following the 4th Ministerial meeting held in Kabul, Afghanistan, a team from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance travelled to Dili, Timor-Leste, in 2016 for a week to learn and share knowledge on diﬀerent aspects of the use of IT systems in public ﬁnancial management. The program drew on the experience accumulated by both countries over the last decade and exposed the oﬃcials to technical solutions which may be use fully considered for adoption in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste. The g7+ Foundation has also conducted research on experiences of public ﬁnancial management in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste as part of cross country learning. There search ﬁndings are available at: http://www.g7plusfoundation.org/#history.
In 2016, the g7+member countries carried out a mapping exercise to identify potential areas for future F2F cooperation. The g7+ member countries demonstrated a keen interest in sharing their experiences and learning from each other in relation to a variety of new topics within the thematic areas of peace building and state building, including reconciliation, security transitions, public ﬁnancial management, natural resource management and vocational training, among others.
One of the most pertinent areas to be pursued in 2017 is the sharing of experiences of the transitions following the withdrawal of UN peace keeping missions. Two g7+countries have experienced such transitions already(Timor Leste in 2012 and Sierra Leone in 2014), two are scheduled to do so in the near future (Liberia and Haiti), and more will eventually do so. We welcome other countries and our development partners to work with us to address how best to manage post-UN transitions from the security, political, social and economic perspectives.
Unlike much development cooperation that depends on ﬁnancial support from donors, F2F cooperation focuses on mobilising the resources available to member countries to help each other. This may include ﬁnancial resources, as some of the above examples highlight, but it also includes the valuable currencies of knowledge, experience and peer support. These resources highlight that g7+ members have much to oﬀer to each other, even though they may below income countries. Development partners have a role to play by providing ﬁnancial and other forms of support through triangular mechanisms. Discussions are under way with the WB and UN agencies in this regard.