Does Deployment Matter? Examining the Conditions under which Peacekeeping Missions Effectively Protect Displaced Persons and Refugees

Across African conflicts, peacekeepers have faced persistent difficulties in trying to fulfill their mandate of tempering hostility and protecting civilians in internally displaced person (IDP) and refugee camps. In a series of policy briefs, to be published over the next four months, the Ford Institute will examine the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations in recent and current African conflicts in an attempt to understand the conditions under which their deployment actually serves to enhance the protection of civilian populations. This first brief will examine the significance of three critical aspects of peacekeeping operations: 1. a force’s mandate, 2. the ratio of the displaced population to peacekeeping forces, and 3. the relative density of the force’s coverage in relation to the geographic area of a country. Future policy briefs in this project will examine related issues such as the composition and function of peacekeeping forces, their operational capability, and the deployment timeframe necessary to maximize effectiveness.