02 November 2018: A monthly selection of the best new research and resources on local peacebuilding worldwide, as chosen by Peace Insight. This month’s edition features resources on local networks for peace, community approaches to peacebuilding in South Sudan, and more. Sign up here to receive the newsletter by email each month.

Research this month

Local networks for peace: lessons from community-led peacebuilding

“The emergence and evolution of local networks promoting peacebuilding in Zimbabwe such as CIVNET and PBNZ are an important step toward implementing peacebuilding policies that link directly with the local population and have the potential to address its needs. The widespread acceptance of “national ownership” as the guiding principle in global peacebuilding policy, often championed as a means of anchoring peace in local realities and needs, in fact commonly focuses on national governments rather than local populations and contexts”

Local Networks for Peace, is a study published by the International Peace Institute focusing on the growing and important role played by local agents in peacebuilding around the world. The study complies seven case studies from community-led peacebuilding networks from Colombia to Zimbabwe. The article's principle goal aims to enhance understanding among international peacebuilding practitioners and policymakers of peacebuilding network structures.

Peace is the name of our cattle-camp: Local responses to conflict in Eastern Lakes State, South Sudan

"A form of cooperation has emerged between the powers in the land: between the state government (with formal authority and force of arms but often absent or ineffective outside centres of administration); customary authorities (long established and rooted in communities but weakened in influence), the leaders of militarized youth (effective but local), and educated youth (active in conflict resolution but without recognized authority). The willingness of all these parties to engage in the ceaseless process of negotiation and compromise has led to a recognition of shared interests that restrains the escalation of conflict. In the fraught context of South Sudan this sense of common responsibility is grounds for hope."

Peace is the name of our cattle-camp, from the Rift Valley insitute, looks at how communities in Eastern Lakes State, in South Sudan, have been able to respond to violent conflict. The study explores the recent conflict and the factors that have made peace possible at the local level.

Delivering on the promise of peace? Devolution, inclusion and local conflicts in Kenya

 “Many feel devolution is going ahead unfairly and without public participation, accountability or oversight. This increases the likelihood of conflict, which grows when people perceive governance processes and outcomes to be unfair. Isiolo is a cosmopolitan county, and its officials must overcome differences and forge a common vision based on the promise of inclusion. Any marginalisation, be it because of class, religion, ethnicity, language, age or gender, dilutes the quality of devolution and delays the realisation of its promises. Those left without access to services or recourse to resolve grievances are at higher risk of becoming spoilers.”

Delivering on the Promise of Peace, is a report published with Saferworld in collaboration with Peace Research Partnership that examines the impact devolution has played in conflict dynamics focusing on Isiolo Country. The report examines if delivered on the promise of greater inclusion, accountability and peace since the implication of the much praised constitutional referendum of 2010 in one of Kenya's most diverse counties. 

Envisioning peace: an analysis of grassroots views on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict

“Expanding on the peacebuilding work carried out by various organisations and individuals around this conflict over the past 25 years, International Alert has conducted a study to highlight possible alternatives to war, ways of transforming the conflict proposed by the societies themselves and potential new approaches to peacebuilding.”

Envisioning Peace by International Alert looks at the Nargono Karabakh conflict from the perspective of locals. This article questions the international portrayal of a "frozen conflict" highlighting the very real and active nature of the conflict. International alert goes beyond a simple analysis conducting a study highlighting local approaches to end the conflict, driven by the local communities across Armenia Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh.

Effective approaches to preventing violent extremism: a peacebuilding systems perspective

“Most conflict analyses focus on structural conflict causes of violence, and many of those might also be drivers of violent extremism, depending on the context. At the same time, there are specific drivers of violent extremism, mainly at the level of individual incentives and specific enabling factors, which most ‘regular’ conflict analyses can overlook when they focus on socio- economic and political dynamics rather than analysing the behaviour of individuals or social networks. Understanding the relationships and dynamics between structural drivers, individual incentives and enabling factors is a key requirement for the design of relevant P/CVE interventions.”

In Effective approaches to preventing violent extremism, Anita Ernstorfer of The Borghof Institutes' analyses and responds to an article by Mohammed Abu-Nimer on the role of policy makers and government agencies relating to countering violent extremism. Ernstorfer focuses on professors Abu-Nimer's article  Alternative Approaches to Transforming Violent Extremism where he suggests current models employed lack structural drivers and evidence based research to effectively counter or prevent violent extremism.

Call for participants: Funding local actors in conflict-affected settings

Peace Direct and independent consultant Riva Kantowitz will be hosting an online consultation on key issues in funding and supporting grassroots actors and networks working on violence prevention and peacebuilding in conflict-affected settings. We are especially interested to hear from local practitioners and organisations which have experience with international donor funding. Click here to find out more

Funding opportunities

International Bremen Peace Award 2019

The International Bremen Peace Award aims to honour and support organisations contributing to reconciliation, human rights, overcoming of racism, social justice, sustainable handling of nature and environment as well as to intercultural and interreligious understanding. The award provides funding of up to €5000 to winners of three categories; Grassroots Peace Worker, Peace Ambassador in Public Life and Award of the Donors for Encouraging Initiatives.  Deadline 15th December 2018. Find our more

Samuel Rubin Foundation’s Grant Program

The Samuel Rubin Foundation’s Grant Program, provides a grant of up to $5000 to organisations that help promote the implementation of social, economic, political, civil and cultural rights for all the world’s people. Deadline: 22nd April 2019. Find out more

From the blog

How Students Build Peace in Politically-Charged Climates

Although students Anoaga & Jabir might disagree on Ghanaian politics, through a 'Dialogues for Peace' programme, they have been able to engage in conversations and activities with other young people, and build peace in their local community. Read more »

Chris Todd
22 October 2018

The remarkable story of Kareemat and its founder

Based in Turkey, Kareemat is a local organisation that works to support Syrian refugees by helping women find employment opportunities, dissuading young men from taking up arms, and combating stereotypes towards Syrian refugees in Turkey. They are one of the finalists of Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders, our annual awards that celebrate the world’s most innovative local peacebuilders Read more »

Sawssan Abou-Zahr
19 October 2018

Reviving peacebuilding

In this opinion piece, Dr. Bruce W. Dayton assesses the state of peacebuilding around the world and the roadblocks that peacebuilders have faced over the last quarter century. Far from seeing these challenges as insurmountable, he puts forward strategies to address past failures, to grasp new global realities, and to ultimately make peacebuilding practice more sustainable, relevant and equitable. Read more »

Bruce Dayton
04 October 2018

A request from FHI 360

To better support local civil society organizations working to address violent extremism in their communities, FHI 360 is developing an easy-to-use reference guide funded by USAID to aid projects to prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE). FHI 360 are currently conducting consultations with local civil society organisations working on P/CVE projects globally to ensure this product is based on their needs and can be adapted to different contexts. Therefore, they would greatly appreciate your feedback today to help determine the format and content of the guide.

The links below are to a short questionnaire that will take you through questions about your current work, areas where you may need assistance, and the challenges you face when implementing P/CVE programs.  All information provided in this questionnaire will be kept strictly CONFIDENTIAL and will not be shared without your organization's consent.  More information on FHI 360 and thier work with civil society actors engaged in peacebuilding, conflict mitigation and preventing violent extremism can be found here. Thank you in advance for your participation, and FHI 360 look forward to your feedback!

Links to the questionnaire:

More from the blog

Peace Direct is looking for organisations that would be interested in participating in a Peace Exchange in Kismayo which will take place from 10-12 December 2018. Read more »

17 October 2018

Somalia has experienced civil war for almost 30 years, and with over 70 per cent of its population under 30 years of age, youth and youth education appear to be the key to a peaceful future in the country. Read more »

14 August 2018

The 10th KROKODIL Literary Festival, which took place last month in Belgrade, featured several debates in which participants discussed the themes of common language and historical revisionism in the Western Balkans. Read more »

12 July 2018

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