Research this month

A Million Voices: The World We Want

There are also calls for a truly transformative agenda to tackle the challenges that were not addressed in the MDGs, as well as those that are now becoming critical. Many of these issues were addressed in the Millennium declaration: inclusive growth and decent jobs, governance, peace and security, freedom from violence, and environmental sustainability. People are demanding a universal agenda that tackles challenges both for people and for the planet. Equality and non-discrimination also stood out as a key message: people are demanding justice, participation and dignity.There is no progress if people are left behind.

A Million Voices, from the UN Development Group, hopes to inform the debate around a successor framework to the Millennium development goals. It draws together the views of over one million people from all over the world who have taken part in a series of consultations, discussions and surveys, on what they want post-2015.

Non-conventional armed violence and non-state actors: challenges for mediation and humanitarian action

New approaches to dealing with humanitarian and human rights abuses are needed to address the activities of violent actors in both these conflict and non-conflict contexts. This is partly an effect of the exposure of civilian populations to acts of extreme violence, which has become an intrinsic parts of armed groups’ strategic outlook – a means of ensuring local control, exercising rudimentary justice and engaging in asymmetric warfare.

Non-conventional armed violence and non-state actors, from NOREF, looks at trends in non-conventional armed violence and what this means for peacebuiding. The paper argues that the peacebuilding community has not yet developed a response the the challenges these forms of violence present, and suggests areas of policy and practice in need of further research.

Countering Violent Extremism: A Peacebuilding Perspective

Peacebuilders know also that working within existing local mechanisms, networks, and practices ensures the sustainability, relevance, and impact of any conflict prevention program.

Countering violent extremism, from USIP, examines how peacebuilding approaches can enhance countering violent extremism (CVE) practice. The report looks at the areas of weakness in CVE that peacebuilding can fill.

Common Strategies for Women in Transition Countries

Across countries, lack of security for women leaders and their families is an overriding concern. Women also fear a major rollback of their rights, have been largely excluded from reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts, and still see significant walls between government and civil society. Many men and women in these four countries remain unaware of the rights women already have. Moreover, enforcement of laws that protect the rights of women is weak.

As part of an ongoing project to build a community of practice looking at supporting women in conflict and post-conflict environments, USIP gathered together 14 women leaders from Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, and Tunisia. Common Strategies for Women in Transition Countries summarises the discussion between them on the common problems affecting their countries.

The Power of Perceptions: Localizing International Peacebuilding Approaches

The international community's priority was the restoration of the state because they saw the conflict as a breakdown of authority at the national level. The liberal state that the international community had foreseen was however hybridized with local authority structures in the course of its interaction with local perceptions and experiences. At the same time, international strategies eschewed or only belatedly included local priorities, such as reconciliation between antagonistic communities and land conflicts.

The Power of Perceptions, by Sara Hellmüller, looks at how different perceptions of the conflict in DR Congo influenced local and international peacebuilding strategies and the interaction between them. (Subscription required).

From the blog

Religion and conflict: What is neutral space?

By Joey Ager: Joey Ager argues for a change in thinking toward religion in order to harness the creative power of faith to form lasting peace. Read more »

2013 prize winner: Peace Solutions International, Uganda and DR Congo

By Insight on Conflict: Peace Solutions International works with refugees in Uganda to produce films that educate people how to build peace and motivates them to return home ready to do so. Read more »

2013 prize winner: Kapamagogopa, Philippines

By Insight on Conflict: Kapamagogopa counteracts prejudice between Muslims and Christians in the Philippines by introducing Muslim volunteers into organisations run by Christians. Read more »

2013 prize winner: Community Network for Social Justice, Uganda

By Insight on Conflict: CNSJ is working not only to rescue child soldiers kidnapped by Joseph Kony’s LRA but to ensure they have a meaningful place in communities they come home to. Read more »

2013 prize winner: Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó, Colombia

By Insight on Conflict: Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó is a community dedicated to proving that peaceful cohabitation is possible in Colombia even amidst the violence. Read more »

Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders awards 2013 – the winners

By Ruairi Nolan: The winners of this year’s Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders competition to find the world’s most exciting and innovative peacebuilding organisations have been announced. Read more »

Chronicle of a strike foretold: Protests and discontent in Colombia

By Fabio Andres Diaz: Are recent protests in Colombia about more the land and farming, and be instead a part of a larger social movement? Read more »

Re-evaluating risk when localising aid

By Jael Billy: A new report from the ODI challenges the common perception that channeling aid through local rather than international actors is inherently more risky. Read more »

Local people seize a chance for peace in Southern Thailand

By Ismail Wolff: A tentative peace process is raising hopes of an end to the ten-year long insurgency in Southern Thailand. Read more »

Local peacebuilders demand an end to conflict in Kashmir

By Zafar Iqbal: As Kashmir peace process falters and violence escalates, innocent people are caught in the crossfire. Local peacebuilders want this to change. Read more »

Baraza Peace Courts: ensuring fair and non-punitive justice in DRC

By Alana Poole: The Baraza, community-led courts, ensure accessible, fair and non-punitive justice to communities in rural areas, where conflicts can quickly turn violent. Read more »

Inclusive peacebuilding in Nepal: challenges and opportunities

By Prakash Bhattarai: Current peacebuilding programmes in Nepal have come under widespread criticism that they’re not benefiting the people most affected by violence. Read more »

Breaking the silence: Colombian César López fights violence with music

By Lorena Cotza: An interview with Colombian musician César López, who, since 1994, has been challenging the violence in his country through his music. Read more »