Develop internal communication on TJ within governments

Key Finding:  People working at embassies and within government agencies may not know what TJ is or which initiatives their colleagues or other organizations are funding or have funded in the past, which may result in internal confusion or even competition.

Practical Steps

Funding for TJ initiatives cuts across donor categories (peacebuilding, rule of law, democracy, human rights, development), and it comes from embassies as well as multiple agencies, often with little internal coordination. There is thus a need for a whole-of-government approach, with a clearly defined lead, to head off the potential for tension, confusion, and even possible competition between the branches of government providing funding—foreign ministries and headquarters, UN missions, legal services, and development cooperation agencies.

Source: TJ International Assistance Database, from OECD QWIDS data; excludes data on international tribunals (ICTY/ICTR) 5

"Embassies struggle with institutional memory; people come and go."

Donor BiH

Decisions related to high-level TJ institutions like hybrid tribunals are often made in home offices, while civil society–related funding is done along separate tracks, sometimes through embassies or development agencies. Decision-making in each of these cases may be fundamentally different in timing, priorities, planning, frameworks, and length of support. At the same time, general funding reductions have decreased the pool of existing funds, making internal coordination on TJ even more important to avoid one-off projects that are unlikely to foster social change.

Practical Steps – Coordinate internally

Create a TJ focal point.

At a minimum, each donor government should have a TJ focal point—one person or unit with a global view of TJ-related funding by development agencies, embassies, and ministries of foreign affairs. Consider whether it would be useful to have a TJ focal point in each country or region with heavy TJ investment. Think about what kind of technical expertise this position might need (including nonlegal expertise), and where such a position would best fit organizationally in order to have an impact at various levels (embassy, foreign ministry, development agency, etc.).

Maintain regular internal contact.

TJ focal points should consider scheduling periodic briefings or phone calls with relevant embassy, development, and foreign affairs personnel related to countries of intensive TJ activity.

Develop a TJ policy note and/or include it in development strategies.

If possible, governments should develop a policy note on TJ, similar to the note that the EU and AU are developing; moreover, consider including TJ as a part of the developmental goals for specific countries.

Give staff workload relief time to write handover notes before leaving post.

Embassy staff in particular should leave detailed handover notes on TJ funding choices for their successors.