The mental landscape of post-conflict life in northern Uganda: Executive summary

Suleiman Amanela, Tracy Flora Ayee, Stephanie Buell, Alice Escande, Tony Quinlan, Anouk S. Rigterink, Mareike Schomerus, Samuel Sharp and Sarah Swanson

Type: Uganda, Working Paper

Date: 24/07/2020

Full summary

The violent conflict in northern Uganda between the government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) ended well over a decade ago. Life today in northern Uganda has a huge number of challenges but is without question better than when attacks were common and most of the population lived in internal displacement camps. Yet, for many, the idea of a post-conflict ‘recovery’ is illusory. Northern Ugandans continue to live with a sense of loss, injustice, neglect and a widespread sentiment that post- conflict life has not lived up to its promise.


The mental landscape of post-conflict life in northern Uganda is a series made up of seven reports, of which this is the Executive summary. The report series uses behavioural insights to think differently about what we call the mental landscape of post-conflict life. The series seeks to fill a research and policy gap in understanding the mechanisms that connect perceptions, decisions and behaviour as they relate to situations of violent conflict.


To do so, it uses a unique multi-method research design, combining experimental, quantitative and different types of qualitative work. Those developing programmes to aid post-conflict recovery have to grapple with this mental landscape. And this involves rethinking several concepts inherent to such programmes.