Post-Conflict Needs Assessments (PCNAs) are multilateral exercises undertaken by the UNDG, the European Commission (EC), the World Bank (WB) and Regional Development Banks in collaboration with the national government and with the cooperation of donor countries. PCNAs are increasingly used by national and international actors as an entry point for conceptualizing, negotiating and financing a common shared strategy for recovery and development in fragile, post-conflict settings. The PCNA includes both the assessment of needs and the national prioritization and costing of needs in an accompanying transitional results matrix. Over the last decade, donors have attributed increasing importance to providing timely and substantive support to post-conflict recovery and peace building. A large part of this assistance has been mobilized via international reconstruction conferences, at which donors make pledges based on the overall assessment of post-conflict recovery needs. As of July 2010, PCNAs have been undertaken or remain ongoing in Timor-Leste (not formally a PCNA), Afghanistan (not formally a PCNA), Iraq, Liberia, Haiti, Sudan (North/South), Somalia, Sudan (Darfur), Pakistan, Georgia, Zimbabwe (only preparation) and Yemen.
Following the UN/WB global review of PCNAs to identify lessons and improve future exercises (see jump-to link below), a series of joint briefings and presentations to stakeholders have been conducted in an effort to disseminate the outcomes and recommendations of the Review. In addition, these briefings intended to strengthen the knowledge of, ownership of, or linkages with other key players in post-conflict transition, including security, political, humanitarian and development partners, in advance of the next PCNA.
The recommendations included a number of internal measures to improve UN system participation in future PCNAs. Towards this goal, a PCNA background and decision paper was formally passed on 19 April 2007 in Geneva by the UNDG Principals. The Principals group endorsed the concept and methodology of PCNA and agreed to use it as a primary entry point and to support it through staff participation at the country level with the understanding that the selection of the priority and cross-cutting issues will be country specific in each case. OECD/DAC has also agreed to use the PCNA and Transitional Results Framework (TRF) approach to help set and monitor recovery priorities in countries in transition from conflict or international disengagement.
Additional work on the PCNA toolkit has taken place since late 2008 with financial support from the European Commission and UNDOCO. The work amongst others includes the development of additional practical tools for capacity assessments and conflict analysis, communication protocol within the UN and between PCNA partners within the context of a PCNA-TRF. Over the spring of 2010 PCNA familiarization sessions took place with the World Bank, the European Commission, the African Development Bank and the United Nations. Furthermore, during the first week of June 2010 the first training for PCNA Expert Practitioners took place with participants from the African Development Bank, the European Commission, the United Nations and the World Bank. These Expert Practitioners will become the first members of a PCNA roster will be enable the PCNA partners to quickly and qualified respond to request for PCNA missions in the future.