11 December 2017: A monthly selection of the best new research and resources on local peacebuilding worldwide, as chosen by Peace Insight. This month’s edition features articles on local mediation in CAR, localisation of aid, and more. Sign up here to receive the newsletter by email each month.

Research this month

Peace by pieces? Local mediation and sustainable peace in the Central African Republic

While these local mediation initiatives can provide a respite from violence, they are vulnerable to changes in the security context, leadership struggles between the local, regional, and national representatives of already fragmented armed groups, and financial challenges that prevent the implementation of supporting activities such as social cohesion and joint economic programs. In addition, they are not devoid of risks.

Peace by pieces, from the International Peace Institute, takes a critical look at local peacebuilding initiatives in Central African Republic. The paper examines how these local efforts contribute to peace, before offering recommendations as to how the UN can better support them.

Sustaining relative peace

The long duration of the programme has enabled trust and accountability among the partners in the cross-border peace network, as well as between other peace actors, local communities and authorities. It further enabled the observation of gradual shifts and developments in the region for over a decade and continuous flexible adaption in terms of interventions.

Sustaining relative peace, from PAX, shares the experience of a cross-border peacebuilding initiative that has worked to secure peace between communities on the borders of South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. The report explains the methodology of the project and key lessons learned

Localisation of aid: Are INGOs walking the talk?

The research has found a gap in the quality of partnerships and how they are see and perceived by those involved in them. The words used by INGOs to describe their approach to partnerships and their partnership practices do not match the reality as experienced by those partners.

Localisation of aid, from the Start Network, explores the extent to which INGOs are following their own rhetoric on the localisation of aid. The report finds that, although many INGOs have committed to the localisation agenda, there is still significant progress to be made on improving partnerships in ways that recognise local leadership.

The role of young people in preventing violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin

Preventing violent extremism initiatives created by or targeting young people in the Lake Chad Basin have grown exponentially in recent years, ensuring that more young people are now involved in youth, peace and security initiatives. The impact and awareness of youth initiatives to prevent violent extremism by communities, governments and other stakeholders have also increased despite the lack of strategic support, closed or shrinking space for civic engagement.

The role of young people in preventing violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin, from Cordaid, examines how young people are affected by, and respond to, violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin. The report looks at the factors leading to youth involvement in violent extremism, as well as the initiatives, run for and by youth, tackling the issue.

Underlying tensions: South Sudanese refugees and pathways to conflict prevention in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Engaging local civil society actors as partners in the conflict analysis and subsequent design of humanitarian and development programming is an essential part of integrating contextual knowledge.

Underlying tensions,  from Conciliation Resources, explores how the movement of South Sudanese refugees into DR Congo is affecting conflict dynamics, and increasing tensions. The report offers recommendations on actions that can be taken to prevent violence.

Funding opportunities

Public Peace Prize

The Public Peace Prize is the only peace award for which the candidates are proposed, nominated and supported simply by citizens of the world. This mark of recognition allows everyone to offer their appreciation for initiatives and for people, known or unknown, who are working for reconciliation, non-violence and mutual aid. Deadline: 1 January 2018 Find out more

Fulbright Prize

Nominations are open for 2018 Fulbright Prize for International Understanding which recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions toward bringing peoples, cultures, or nations to greater understanding of others. The Prize, which includes a $50,000 cash award, is presented at a special ceremony during which the laureate makes a substantive address on their work and aspirations. Deadline: 15 December 2017 Find out more

From the blog

Zimbabwe's civil society sets expectations for the emerging government of President Mnangagwa

As Zimbabweans celebrate the end of an era, the country's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to serve all citizens. Zimbabwe's civil society responds with a set of expectations and requests for his new government. Read more »

28 November 2017

Preventing religious conflict in Sierra Leone: a careful balancing act

Eleven years of civil war and the Ebola disease has made many in Sierra Leone sensitive to issues that could renew conflict, particularly conflict along religious lines. A recent clash between Christian and Muslim religious leaders has caused concerns further violence could erupt. But when does crackdown on potential violence infringe upon religious freedoms? And what role should civil society play in mediating these tensions? Read more »

Abdul Brima
15 November 2017

Zimbabwe in limbo: what’s happening on the ground?

Edward Chinhanhu, our Local Peacebuilding Expert, provides an urgent update on the evolving situation in Zimbabwe. Read more »

Edward Chinhanhu
16 November 2017

The Citizens’ Manifesto: a new hope for democracy in Sierra Leone?

The political lens is zooming in on Sierra Leone as the country is poised to hold its next presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2018. Read more »

Abdul Brima
15 November 2017


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For the past two years, drama workshops have been carried out in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for former child soldiers, who then go on to perform shows in their communities. The aim of the workshops is to facilitate their reintegration into society, notably by changing the way people look at them. Read more »

22 August 2018

Over recent months, and particularly with the historic and unprecedented summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jung Un in Singapore on June 12, 2018, the potential for reducing tension and conflict on the Korean Peninsula and moving toward a resolution of the long-standing conflicts emerged. Commentators around the world and the people of Korea welcomed the summit as a new direction and one step closer to peace, but what does that mean for local peacebuilders? Read more »

10 July 2018

This month’s Peace Insight newsletter features resources on lessons from peacebuilding in South Sudan, grassroots peacebuilding in Cyprus, the launch of our new report 'Mali on the brink' and more. Read more »

01 August 2018

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