Nowadays conflicts increasingly have become more complex. What is the most efficient and effective way to find lasting solutions, which experts or organizations have the necessary knowledge about the social and geographical environment, about the role of women, about the culture and the interconnections in between tribes and minority groups? These questions and many more preferably are answered before individual International-, Governmental- and Non-Governmental Organizations decide to operate in conflict areas.
The Common Effort Community, founded in Berlin during the Common Effort Exercise in 2015, aims to find answers to questions like the ones above. Easy solutions cannot be expected, but it is a good start to know each-other before we need each-other when deployed in conflict areas.
This years Common Effort Exercise, co-organised by the Dutch TNO (Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek), the German think-tank Haus Rissen Hamburg, the 1(German/Netherlands) Corps and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was hosted on the premises of the Cimic Centre of Excellence in Rijswijk / The Hague, conveniently combining an academic environment with sufficient stay-overnight capacity.
Following some introductionary briefings, six mixed assessment groups with representatives from over 20 International, Governmental- and Non-Governmental Organizations convened and focused on the topics of protection of civilians, security sector reform, governance, humanitarian situation, economic / private sector and on the strategic and regional perspective. Then not aware of how reality would develop, already a year ago the situation in Libia was chosen as the driver to base discussions and assessments on.
The family of organisations is growing. Following the almost 30 signatories of 2015, this year 12 more signed the founding documents against the historical backdrop of the Peace Palace in The Hague on 30 June.
Next years issue of the Common Effort Exercise 2017 will be in Berlin again. If before then other initiatives will be picked-up and which ones is still under assessment.