A lecture by Richard Teuten, recently Head of the Stabilisation Unit, UK.
The experience of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001-04 identified many lessons about the international community’s ability to react coherently and swiftly to a stabilisation crisis. The UK Government has responded through a range of measures including the creation of the Stabilisation Unit (originally named the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Unit). The Unit is responsible for facilitating cross-government planning for countries affected by violent conflict, developing a pool of civilians able to work in such environments, and feeding lessons into policy, training and military doctrine.
This lecture outlined the progress made across the UK Government in its ability to adopt a comprehensive approach focusing on the increasing contributions made by the Stabilisation Unit, particularly in Afghanistan. It reviewed the debate about the respective roles of civilians and the military in stabilisation, and the ways in which civilian skills can best be generated and managed for hostile environments. Richard Teuten provided an update on the enhanced responsibilities being taken on by the Unit and refer to other complementary changes underway.
Richard Teuten has just completed three and a half years as Head of the Stabilisation Unit. Previously, he was Head of DFID’s Latin America and Caribbean Department, Deputy Head of Aid Policy and Deputy Head of Economic Relations in the FCO. He has also worked on a wide range of country programmes in Southern and Western Africa, South and East Asia and UK Overseas Territories. Before joining the then Overseas Development Administration, he worked as an Overseas Development Institute Fellow in the Botswana Ministry of Local Government and obtained two economic degrees from Cambridge and Sussex Universities.