Analysis of aid coordination in a post-conflict country : the case of Burundi and HRH policies
Aid coordination in the health sector is known to be challenging in general, but even more in post-conflict settings, due to the multiplicity of actors of development, to the sense of emergency in providing health services, combined with the so-called weak institutional capacities‘ at local level, resulting from the conflict. This study sought to analyze broad determinants of aid coordination using the example of HRH policies in Burundi, during the post-conflict period. Burundi is a country in Central Africa, which experienced cyclic ethnic conflicts since its independence in 1962, the last conflict being the longest (1993-2006).Determinants of coordination were analyzed using the policy-analysis triangle (Gilson et Walt), using data from documents and semi-structured interviews, conducted in 2009 and in 2011, at national, provincial and facility-levels. A conceptual framework, combining organizational and social sciences theories, was devised in order to assess the organizational power of MoH, the one supposed to act as coordinator in the health sector. Findings showed a lack of coordination due to post-conflict specific context, to competition over scarce resources between both donor and recipient organizations and to an insufficiently incentivized and complex coordination process in practical. Most importantly, this research demonstrated the crucial role of post-conflict habitus and mistrust in the behavior of MoH and their influence on organizational power, and, in turn on their capacity to coordinate and exert an appropriate leadership. These findings, together with the growing body of literature on organizational sociology and collective trust, point at the crucial need to rebuild some of the wounded collective trust and organizational leadership in Burundi and in other fragile states.