October 1 2012: 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 women's role in local peacebuilding, refugee reintegration in Burundi, and more. Sign up here to receive the newsletter by email each month.
Research this month
From the ground up: Women’s roles in local peacebuilding in Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan and Sierra Leone
This research found that the work of local NGOs and women’s rights organisations is recognised and valued by people across communities. These organisations become the focal point of support for excluded and marginalised women, who struggle to get attention and support from formal state institutions.
From the ground up, published jointly by Womenkind, Action Aid and the Institute of Development Studies, looks at role of women in local peacebuilding. The study looked at women’s experience as peacebuilders in five countries and finds many commonalities which inform clear recommendations for how best to promote women’s role in peacebuilding.
Think global, transfer local: The perils and opportunities of a locally owned peace process in post-war Sierra Leone
It has been argued, rightly so, that the greatest resource for sustaining peace in the long-term is always rooted in the local people.
Think global, transfer local from Accord discusses the idea of locally-owned peace processes and specifically what this means in Sierra Leone. Drawing on the experience of Sierra Leone, the paper concludes with recommendations for strengthening local ownership.
Back to the land: the long-term challenges of refugee return and reintegration in Burundi
The question arises, however, whether or not the repatriation and reintegration of specifically the 1972 returnees has been successful. To what extent has this group been able to reintegrate into Burundian society and what are the challenges that both returnees and the people that did not leave?
Back to the land, a research paper from UNHCR, examines refugee return and reintegration in Burundi. In recent years Burundi has reintegrated 500,000 refugees that fled the violence and conflict that affected the country in the 1970’s an 90’s. The paper gives an overview of the challenges Burundi has faced in reintegrated such a large number of people.
How business can foster peace
Business and peace are often understood as opposing concepts, but growing evidence of their association suggests that firms should not be excluded from the broad array of stakeholders working toward peace.
How business can foster peace, from USIP, summarises two years of work on how business can promote peace. The report presents the case that, although often seen as part of the problem in conflict-affected regions, in many ways business can be part of the solution by promoting prosperity and stability.
Upstream conflict prevention: Addressing the root causes of conflict
Upstream conflict prevention should be understood as a process of supporting societies to become more cohesive, resilient and able to manage their internal conflicts without resorting to violence.
Upstream conflict prevention from Saferworld is a short briefing paper on tackling the root causes of conflict. The paper outlines what ‘upstream conflict prevention’ means in practice and gives for policy makers and practitioners.
From the blog
The plight of human rights campaigners in Mexico
Labor Day in the United States this year was 3 September. The day also marked the flight across the border of one of Mexico’s leading labour rights activists, Blanca Velasquez, after a week-long series of events that have destabilized the condition of workers in her home state of Puebla, Mexico. Read more »
Protecting civil society helps preserve basic freedoms
The Ugandan government has increasingly come down harshly on NGOs over the last few years. Projects or programs that could highlight government failings are particularly targeted. How likely is it that the government and civil society can come together to confront the challenges Uganda faces? Read more »
Peace education for the culture of peace in Macedonia
Although the wars have passed, the need for peace education in the former Yugoslavia remains more pertinent than ever. Insight on Conflict’s local correspondent for the Western Balkans profiles the peace education work of First Children’s Embassy in the World Megjashi, a local organisation tirelessly promoting peace and advocating for the rights of children in Macedonia. Read more »
Dilemmas of the Maoist ex-combatants
With the end of Nepal’s armed conflict in 2006 came the challenge of demobilising thousands of former fighters. None of the Maoist ex-combatants foresaw a gloomy future when joining the party at the time it entered into a peace process. Now, the picture has changed. Ambika Pokhrel, Insight on Conflict’s local correspondent for Nepal, discusses what has proved to be a long and difficult process. Read more »
The future of Afghan refugees in Pakistan
As the international presence in Afghanistan winds down, Zahid Ahmed, Insight on Conflict’s local correspondent for Pakistan, asks what does the future hold for the three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan? Read more »
Reflections from peacebuilding workshops in Kashmir
Ashima Kaul, Insight on Conflict’s local correspondent for Kashmir, shares her reflections participating in workshops with Kashmiri young people as part of her work with the Kashmir peacebuilding organisation Yakjah. Read more »
Religious tension in Mannar, Sri Lanka
The Sri Lanka Campaign describes how religious tension is rising in Mannar, Sri Lanka, and how local civil society is standing up to human rights abuses and calming community tensions Read more »
More from the blog
Nicholas Barker, an EVS volunteer in Georgia, discusses how international volunteers can contribute to local peacebuilding. Read more »
While Iraq is still recovering from the environmental impact of both Gulf wars, the current conflict with Islamic State presents new environmental problems. Read more »