Effective systems for justice provision and dispute resolution are essential for maintaining a lasting peace in fragile and conflict-affected countries, but weak state capacity can often lead to inadequate formal justice institutions. As a result, citizens may seek resolution elsewhere, including through local, informal processes. How can the state strengthen formal systems of justice provision and build citizen trust in the state, and do informal dispute resolution systems complement or undermine these efforts? To address these questions, the Governance, Crime, and Conflict Initiative’s (GCCI) webinar on April 23, Who Delivers Justice? Evidence for Strengthening Dispute Resolution Systems, discussed relevant evaluations and the studies’ implications for policymakers.
This was the third webinar in a series showcasing emerging results and policy lessons from the first three years of GCCI. J-PAL’s Crime and Violence Initiative and Governance Initiative and Innovations for Poverty Action’s Peace & Recovery Program jointly launched GCCI in 2017 to produce new research on effective policies to promote peace and good governance, reduce crime, and support individuals and communities recovering from conflict. Supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, GCCI has funded almost 100 randomized evaluations to date.
During this webinar, panelists shared emerging insights from two GCCI-funded studies in Pakistan and South Africa that evaluate different approaches for increasing citizens’ willingness to engage with state channels for justice provision. Panelists also discussed the implications of this new research for evidence-informed decision-making. A short audience Q&A followed the panel discussion.
Bilal Siddiqi, Panelist
Bilal Siddiqi, Director of Research at the Center for Effective Global Action at the University of California, Berkeley, provided an overview of the literature on state versus nonstate justice provision, framing the contribution of the two studies.
James Robinson, Panelist
James Robinson, the Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, presented his lab-in-field research, Trust in State and Nonstate Actors: Evidence from Dispute Resolution in Pakistan.
Anna Wilke, Panelist
Anna Wilke, a PhD candidate in political science at Columbia University and a predoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, shared evidence from her randomized evaluation, How Does the State Replace the Community? Experimental Evidence on Crime Control from South Africa.
Peter Evans, Panelist
Peter Evans, a social development and governance specialist and leader of the research commissioning team for governance, conflict, inclusion, and humanitarian research at UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, spoke to how these results can be interpreted and applied in practice.
Aimee Barnes, Moderator
Aimee Barnes, a policy associate in the Crime, Violence, and Conflict sector at J-PAL, moderated the event.