Influencing and policy
Our vision is of a world where local people are able to find their own solutions to their conflicts. To achieve this, they need funding and recognition from everyone involved in conflict resolution.
Whether it is international aid agencies or conflict-zone governments, UN peacekeepers or local fighters, we want all players to understand and mobilize the huge potential of local peacebuilders.
We want to change the balance of global peacebuilding altogether, so that local peacebuilders – ‘insiders’ – are the first resort in any conflict resolution activity. We know they can’t do everything themselves, but we also know that they have the knowledge, the commitment and the local status to prevent future wars and make peace work.
The world’s current approach to preventing and resolving conflicts is not working. Forty per cent of wars restart within ten years of a peace treaty being signed. We are convinced that this is because conflict resolution activities are mainly led by ‘outsiders’ – international ‘experts’ who are flown in for a crisis. What is needed is peace built from the grassroots up, turned into reality on the ground, and local peacebuilders are the future for this.
So we want to see local people given the power to build their own better futures. We want to see them become leaders of their own peace and development programs, not contractors for outside agencies. And we want to see their activities multiplied far beyond what we can fund ourselves.
So we work internationally to persuade those with power, funds or influence to adopt our vision. We seek partnerships with like-minded organizations, we liaise actively with policy-makers, including the UN in New York. We welcome any assistance with our influencing work.
We welcome any assistance with our influencing work. To find out more or to get involved, please email [email protected]
Influencing international agencies
We believe that many people working for international agencies in conflict areas see the value of working with local peacebuilders Show more
We believe that many people working for international agencies in conflict areas see the value of working with local peacebuilders, but they struggle to put this into practice. So we have a twofold strategy:
- Raising awareness about local peacebuilding among those who have had little contact with it.
- Removing the obstacles that prevent effective joint working.
Our Insight on Conflict project employs local correspondents in a growing number of conflict areas who map the local organizations that are doing the most effective peacebuilding work. For about half of the 500 or so organizations, this is their only web presence. Academics are using Insight on Conflict to enhance their curricular resources, and researchers can make use of our local correspondents to create connections in the field.
Working to remove obstacles
International agencies often present misconceptions about how to work with local peacebuilders Show more
International agencies often present misconceptions about how to work with local peacebuilders:
Knowing who to work with
Insight on Conflict enables people to find partners to work with. How to Choose a Dance Partner describes how outside organizations from the British Army to international NGOs such as Interpeace and Search for Common Ground set about choosing their local partners.
Assessing the scale
Local peacebuilding is often thought of as small scale, well meaning but with no major impact. To counter this, we wrote a short pamphlet, Ripples into Waves, which describes four interventions with national reach, in Mozambique, Kenya, Somalia and Guyana and proposes a four stage approach to working more effectively with local peacebuilders. This has been widely circulated, including to the UN’s 60 Peace and Development Advisers for discussion at their annual retreat.
We are developing networks of peacebuilding organizations that allow larger amounts of funding to be used by the best equipped local organization for a particular task. Our recent Peace Exchange in Goma is one example.
Including local peacebuilders in conflict analysis
Too often, the people who have the greatest insight into the causes of conflict, and who are actively working to address them, are left out when donors conduct their conflict analysis on which future strategies will be based. We are actively making the case for the inclusion of local peacebuilders, and looking for opportunities to promote joint conflict analysis.
We believe that when international agencies see the quality of thinking and knowledge that local peacebuilders bring to conflict analysis, they will want to make more use of their capacity. Hide