This helpdesk report examines how health programmes can build stability and promote peacebuilding. It finds that the evidence remains weak either way on the possible contributions and linkages (both positive and negative) between health programmes and peace- and state-building processes in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS), especially in the long-term. It is thought that if there are any benefits to state-building from health programmes they are more likely to be unintended by-products rather than a deliberately planned outcome in itself. Health interventions have the potential to contribute to developing state legitimacy through demonstrating the capacity to deliver services, accountability to population needs and contributing to increasing social cohesion, trust and confidence within and between communities. Certain aspects of health interventions and state-building have been slightly more researched. Research suggests that gender equality plays an important role in contributing to more peaceful and prosperous societies. Further research is needed to build the evidence base and get a deeper understanding of the possible pathways through which health system strengthening contributes to conflict transformation.
Read the full report here.