This article argues that transitional justice measures should be designed and implemented in ways that are development sensitive. A development-sensitive approach requires transitional justice practitioners to be aware of the different links that may exist between transitional justice and development, and to consider pursuing synergies with development work and directly addressing development-related issues. The article suggests a number of reasons for considering the relationship between the two fields, and proposes four levels at which this relationship exists: transitional justice and development efforts can complement each other; inadvertently affect each other; be coordinated in order to generate positive synergies; and directly address each other. The purpose of making these distinctions is not only to establish a taxonomy of connections but also to help us think about the arguments for and against deepening the relationship between the two fields.
The article considers some of the reasons why it may make sense for transitional justice measures to pursue this relationship at the fourth level, that is, to directly address development issues, as well as some of the risks and challenges involved. Its purpose is not to arrive at a general conclusion that transitional justice should or should not directly address development, but rather to raise some of the questions practitioners need to ask when designing justice measures and determining the extent to which those particular measures should address development issues. Transitional justice is not a development strategy, but it should be, at a minimum, development sensitive.