Change and continuity: the challenge of transition (Paper from Symposium)

This symposium, co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the South Africa Office of Oxfam, drew together individuals and organisations working in the areas of violence, conflict and peace-building. In this paper, the author draws on her experiences in Central America and discusses the phenomenon of NGO staff leaving the region when armed conflict ceased. She considers the need for consistent representation from NGOs during the transition from conflict to peace, and the value of long-standing, trusting relationships, which are not easily or quickly built-up by new staff. NGOs' preference for fixed-term contracts is challenged, as is the strength of their commitment to appointing local staff.