According to the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), early intervention to prevent the escalation of conflicts can be as high as 60 times more cost effective as interventions after conflicts have erupted. Therefore there is much interest in finding ways to identify conflicts or areas of risk as early as possible.
Conflict early warning systems are based on the collection, analysis and communication of information in order to report on and forecast outbreaks of violence. When peacebuilding organisations work on early warning systems, they are often combined with ‘early response’ activities, to try and target violence prevention before or just as conflicts emerge.
Despite the official ending of war with peace accords in 2003, much of the east of DR Congo (DRC) remains chronically unstable with ongoing eruptions of violence. With elections scheduled for DRC in 2016, concerns are rising about whether there will be increased risks of violence, and there are calls for widespread conflict prevention strategies.
In light of this, Peace Direct has been mapping local peacebuilding organisations in DRC on Insight on Conflict for over 8 years.
More recently, we have undertaken a comprehensive research and mapping project in DRC in order help identify the range of activities in this area in order to support better collaboration and identify possible areas for future activities. Working with Congolese peacebuilding expert, Eddy Byamungu Lwaboshi, and UK based researcher, Craig Walker, we have researched both international organisations and local Congolese organisations active in early warning projections. The research was completed via a wide range of semi-structured interviews plus field visits and calls to many of the featured organisations.
Today, we are pleased today to publish the results of this mapping. Here, you can browse information on 10 international early warning projects, and 32 local organisations involved in early warning.
Our research demonstrates that there are a wide range of high quality programmes that are identifying and directly intervening to prevent conflicts on a wide range of issues, from land conflicts to demobilisation and reintegration of militas. However, a frequently voiced opinion in the interviews we conducted was that there was not enough sharing of information or collaboration between those different projects. We hope the mapping can provide a practical resource to aid increased coordination between actors, whilst also facilitating more support to local groups active in this area.