September 2017

By Monthly Newsletter

01 September 2017: 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 local peacebuilding in Kashmir, female foreign fighters in ISIS, and more. Sign up here to receive the newsletter by email each month.

Online consultations

Peace Direct is holding a series of online consultations to bring together academics, researchers, local experts, practitioners and civil society organisations to discuss various issues related to peace and conflict. Applications are currently open for the following consultations scheduled to be held in October 2017:

  • Peacebuilding and atrocity prevention: over the course of the week, participants will analyse and discuss a range of topics related to peacebuilding and atrocity prevention. Find out more
  • Aid exits and locally-led development: exploring key issues in international development policies and practices, which impact aid exit strategies and locally-led development. Find out more

Latest research

Kashmir line of control and grassroots peacebuilding

In the last ten years, grassroots interactions and cross-LoC CBMs have failed to expand beyond the initial stage. Except for a limited trade lobby, grassroots efforts have not been organized to effect substantial changes. Despite a lack of push, however, cross-LoC interactions have survived a fractious India-Pak relationship, rising border tensions, and frequent ceasefire violations.

Kashmir line of control and grassroots peacebuilding, from USIP, explores the impact of grassroots peacebuilding activities addressing issues around the Kashmir line of control. The report argues that despite work by civil society on both sides of the de-facto border, the impact has been limited. Recommendations are given on how this can be improved.

The impact of social media and digital technology on electoral violence in Kenya

[W]hile social media and digital tools can amplify and facilitate violence, with improved communication and monitoring, cell phone technology also aids, in real time, the distribution of information to security forces and other responders on an operational level, helping them to effectively respond to the violence.

The impact of social media and digital technology on electoral violence in Kenya, from the Institute of Development Studies, explores how the widespread availability and use of digital technology has impacted peace and conflict in Kenya. The research finds that the technology has both negative (such as being used to incite violence) and positive (for example contributing to early warning) effects.

Jihadi brides or female foreign fighters? Women in Da’esh – from recruitment to sentencing

Women in Da’esh are far more than what the media has presented as “jihadi brides” on the search for “jihadi eye candy”. Women join Da’esh for the same varied reasons as men: seeking a sense of belonging and community, adventure, an environment to safely practice their faith free from stigma and discrimination, and a wish to further the Islamic Caliphate.

Jihadi brides or female foreign fighters, from PRIO, looks at why women join ISIS, and their roles with the group. The paper also explores how gendered ideas of extremism influence how women are treated when they return, for example often receiving lighter punishments then men in similar circumstances.

A fresh perspective on security concerns among Malian civil society

[T]hese initial research results show that civil society in Mali has not been passively waiting for governmental or international support. Many initiatives have been taken at the grassroots level, sometimes outside of state control, to tackle the impact of a lack of services and security. Youth have been mobilized to patrol the streets at night in some areas, and dialogues have been organized between local populations and the security authorities.

A fresh perspective on security concerns among Malian civil society, from SIPRI, presents the results of a survey of Malian civil society into how they perceive security in thier country. More than 100 respondents shared their views on issues such as the effectiveness of national security actors, confidence in formal institutions, and major sources of insecurity. 

Conflict Trends 2017/2

The latest edition of Conflict Trends, from ACCORD, features articles on countering violent extremism in Africa, tackling hate speech in Kenya and South Africa, and the role of youth in mediation. 

Peacebuilding and violent extremism

Peacebuilding and violent extremism, from Peace Direct, presents the results of a 5 day online consultation around issues relating to violent extremism and peacebuilding. The conversations covered areas such as defining extremism, the role of ex-combatants, and counter-narratives. This report contains reflections from a number of participants on some of the main themes and sessions from the week.

Funding opportunities

IDB Prize for Women’s Contribution to Development

The Islamic Development Bank Prize for Women’s Contribution to Development was established to draw international attention to the role women play in developing their communities and the world. The theme of this years prize is peace and stability. Prizes are available for both organisations and individuals. Deadline: 30 November 2017. Find out more

Public Peace Prize

The Public Peace Prize is the only peace award for which the candidates are proposed, nominated and supported simply by citizens of the world. This mark of recognition allows everyone to offer their appreciation for initiatives and for people, known or unknown, who are working for reconciliation, non-violence and mutual aid. Deadline: 1 January 2018 Find out more

North-South Prize

The North-South Prize distinguishes each year two people, one from the north, the other from the south, who have excelled in their commitment to human rights, democracy and rule of law, contributing to the north-south dialogue and interdependence. Deadline: 15 September 2017 Find out more

Muste Institute’s Social Justice Fund

The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute is seeking applications for its Social Justice Fund to support grassroots activist projects. Priority is given to groups with small budgets and little access to more mainstream funding sources. Deadline: 2 October 2017. Find out more

Human Rights Prize of the French Republic

Applications are open for the 2017 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic. The prize recognises and supports the completion of individual or collective projects carried out in the field, in France or abroad, regardless of nationality or borders. Five prize winners will share €70,000. Deadline: 15 October 2017 Find out more

Grinnell Prize

The Grinnell Prize aims to support and inspire innovative social change makers throughout the world. Winners of the Prize become part of a network of passionate visionaries who are both effecting change themselves and inspiring future generations to do the same. Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded. The Prize is open to all individuals from all over the world. Deadline: 9 October 2017 Find out more

CISV International Peace Fund

CISV International is seeking applications for its Peace Fund. The aim of CISV is to help their participants develop the skills they need to become informed, responsible and active global citizens and make a difference in their communities and the world. Deadline: 31 October 2017 Find out more

From the blog

Refugees and the media in Lebanon

By Sawssan Abou-Zahr: A poisonous attitude has emerged among the media reporting on the refugee crisis in Lebanon, says Sawssan Abou-Zahr. Bias and racism are being used to blame domestic problems on those fleeing war – and distracting from the real issues. Read more »

Colombia: how strong is the commitment to peace?

By Lina María Jaramillo: Colombia is six months in to a peace deal intended to end 50 years of conflict. With presidential elections due next year, the prospect of lasting peace is even more complicated than before. Lina Maria Jaramillo reports on some of the issues that have emerged since the peace deal. Read more »

Sudan needs to address racial tension to build sustainable peace

By Quscondy Abdulshafi: Discrimination against non-Arabs in Sudan is a major problem, says Quscondy Abdulshafi – and the conflict won’t end until the persecution stops. Read more »

The peacebuilding potential of folk culture in Bangladesh

By G. M. Shoeb Ahmed: G. M. Shoeb Ahmed discusses the potential of folk-based peacebuilding initiatives in Bangladesh. Read more »

The Rwandan diaspora: a vital but neglected part of post-genocide reconciliation

By Jean de Dieu Basabose: Rwanda has a large migrant and diaspora community and divisions among these groups must be included in the reconciliation process and the journey towards peace, says Jean De Dieu. Read more »

Darfur Students protests against discriminatory measures from Bakht Alrida University

By Quscondy Abdulshafi: In July 2017, students from Bakht Al-Ruda University resigned in protest against what they described as racist and discriminatory policies. Quscondy Abdulshafi provides his thoughts on the situation. Read more »

Challenges to peace in Kenya’s Mandera County: a grassroots perspective

By Philip Emase: A new report by the Mandera Peacebuilding Programme and Interpeace presents the first-hand opinions of grassroots communities across Mandera County, Kenya, exploring the impediments to peace. Read more »

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This article is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. You are free to republish this article on your website, on condition that you include the following attribution:

Insight on Conflict is the leading online resource for local peacebuilding and human rights in conflict areas. This article was originally published on Insight on Conflict. Published by Peace Direct, Insight on Conflict is the leading online resource for local peacebuilding and human rights in conflict areas.

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