A monthly selection of the best new research and resources on local peacebuilding worldwide, as chosen by Insight on Conflict. This month's edition features articles on improving peacebuilding evaluation, local perceptions of international aid interventions, and approaches to citizen policing. To receive the email newsletter each month, please sign-up here or email joel@insightonconflict.org.

Afghan civil society and a comprehensive peace process

'Afghan civil society and a comprehensive peace process' looks at the peace negotiations in Afghanistan. The paper finds that too often the negotiations look for quick fixes involving armed groups and excludes civil society. It recommends involving all groups in Afghan society in future peace talks in order to ensure a comprehensive and sustainable peace.

Peace implementation in the post-2005 era: Lessons from four peace agreements in Africa

The latest 'Policy & Practice' Brief from Accord focuses on four recent peace agreements, from Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The paper looks why these deals succeeded or failed, and makes recommendations based on these findings.

Taking stock: Madrasa reform in Pakistan

In 'Taking stock', Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF) examines the role Pakistan's religious schools ('madrasas') play in religious radicalisation and militancy, and the government’s attempts at reform. The paper finds that many madrasas are in fact moderate, and have the potential to play a positive role to play in promoting peace in Pakistan. However, heavy-handed reform and blanket condemnation may achieve the opposite, radicalising the moderate madrasas.

Leveraging women’s community leadership: A model for outreach in urban refugee population

In this short paper (pdf) , the Institute for Inclusive Security looks at the UNHCR's refugee assistance program in Damascus, Syria. The paper argues that by reaching out and including female community leaders, the UNHCR avoided many of the problems usually associated with refugee assistance programmes.

Understanding the role of memory initiatives in communities struggling with impunity

In this report Impunity Watch examines how ‘memory initiatives’ can help communities deal with the legacies of human rights abuses and war crimes, and how this can break cycles of violence and challenge impunity. The report looks at the challenges that face memory initiatives in communities affected by violence.

From the blog

  • After national elections in Thailand the prospects for reconciliation and an end to years of political unrest remain slim according to Ismail Wolff. Read more >>>
  • Zahid Shahab Ahmed reports on the situation in Pakistan following the death of Osama bin Laden. Read more >>>
  • Disputed elections in 2010 have caused a surge of political violence in Burundi, and fears of a return to civil war. Landry Ninteretse asks what are the prospects for peace? Read more >>>
  • As South Sudan celebrates independence local people are showing there is an alternative to conflict in South Kordofan. Read more >>>
  • Lord Jack McConnell argues for the need to support local peacebuilders in Sudan as international influence wanes. Read more >>>
  • 16 years after the Srebrenica genocide, Ratko Mladić has been arrested. Mirjana Kosic looks at what the future hold for peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Serbia. Read more >>>
  • The story of Bacha Khan’s life, an inspirational local peacebuilder who strove to transform the whole of India and Pakistan through rigorous non-violence. Read more >>>
  • David Taylor from Impunity Watch writes about how memorials help challenge the legacies of violence and impunity after conflict in Burundi. Read more >>>
  • Stephen Oola describes how civil society is reacting to the trial of LRA Colonel Thomas Kwoyelo for atrocities committed during 20 years of violence in Uganda. Read more >>>