published on International Peacekeeping 28 Nov 2017, 1-26
Peacekeeping operations, mandated through the United Nations and regional bodies, play an increasingly diverse role in the economic development of post-conflict countries. A key way that missions can use their administrative capacity to support economic recovery is developing effective technology use and acquisition strategies in host countries, which is a peacekeeping-wide policy goal outlined in the high-level Performance Peacekeeping report. Our paper introduces the theoretical channels through which missions’ use of information communication technologies (ICTs) can support local economic development in post-conflict settings, making a theoretical argument that draws on both the literature on ICTs in peacekeeping and in economic development. We specify a Cobb–Douglas model that describes the potential impact of peacekeeping mission-led ICT investment on longer term economic development in combination with statistics on mission technology spending and internet use in host countries, providing a formal scaffold for our theoretical argument. Using this model and data in combination with a case study of the Central African Republic-based United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic mission, we argue that peacekeeping missions should use their purchasing power and stabilizing influence to attract value-added technology investment to support economic development.