I'm undertaking some research at the moment exploring local-first peacebuilding. I figured PCDN would be a good place to potentially get some leads, so if anyone on here knows of some good case studies, by all means, let me know. Here's what I'm trying to unearth:
Essentially, I'm trying to compile a list of case studies where peacebuilding programming relied on the effective participation and even leadership of local peacebuilding actors. Which is to say, I'm wanting to find examples where international peacebuilding organizations such as the UN couldn't actually do their job without the knowledge, resources and partnership of true local peacebuilders. The trend to date has been to simply arrive in a conflict / post-conflict area, designate some local group or organization as a "partner" (even if they were not truly peacebuilders, or had any real knowledge or capacity), drop some funding, a little bit of "capacity building" and then label that true collaboration with local actors. There are plenty of examples of the international community not really "getting" local, or understanding how to work with true local peace capacities. I'm hunting for case studies that highlight the effectiveness and even necessity of local peacebuilders in the peacebuilding process.
Any thoughts on good leads to dig into?
Hi Quinn, In El Salvador, excombatant Melba Jiménez is teaching Focusing and Nonviolent Communication to community groups who are still living with the aftereffects of the 12-year civil war. She is working through various local organizations. Take a look at the website. www.focusingnvc.com, and let me know if you would like to talk further. Her organization, Nuevos Rumbos, should be studied, because people are making real changes in their lives. We know researchers there, but we need funding for the research to be carried out. Do you know any good sources?
Good luck with your important perspective on this work,
Your perception is so timely, and reflects the illusion of endeavors-on-paper into which huge sums of government and non-government funds have been poured with few or no skilled facilitators to begin or perpetuate sustained relationships. In our experience, the required capacities are primarlily communication skills and long-term dedication to become artisans of communication excellence.
One example of local-first peacebuilding is reflected in the 48-minute documentary of a handful of California Muslims, Jews, and Chritsians who -- over time -- continue helping to heal alienated people and even African tribes. The film is linked from the top of http://traubman.igc.org/dg-prog.htm We'd be especially pleased to communicate more about this via e-mail, phone, or Skype -- libbyandlentraubman
More social outcomes are documented in photos, film, and stories linked to the top-right of http://traubman.igc.org/vidnigeria.htm
I saw your post and we have a lot of experience here in Nigeria working with local peacebuilders at their own programming. We work for a small International NGO, but our focus is to support local initiatives. We have a lot of stories. If you'd like to connect, I suggest we do so "off-line." I can send you my email.
Hey Mary, I'd be interested in learning more about that. By all means please do email me. You can reach me at quinnz (at) gmail.com or quinn (at) peacedirect.org.
I just finished an Mphil thesis on the topic, and to be honest I did not encounter any situation when that was the case, hence my conclusion that there needs to be more of it for a series of well backed-up arguments. Though what i did find were INGOs that do this type of work. Peace Direct based in London puts local actors first and i won't quote this, but technically what they say is more along the lines that they are an extension of the locals rather than vice-versa. If you look on their website you can find case studies. Trocaire (the development agency of the Church of Ireland) does similar work all over the world where they employ this local-first value. If you cannot find such case studies from the UN, government bodies, and IGOs in general it might be worth focusing on INGOs that have adopted this method. Good luck!
Thanks Adelina, I'm actually undertaking this research in support of Peace Direct (I interned with them in London and am still supporting them independently when possible). They're a great organization, and I believe 100% in what they're about, but as you said (and as we ourselves have found), concrete evidence in support of this research is tricky to unearth as many local peacebuilding initiatives are not well documented, publicized, or written about academically as compared to their international counterparts. I myself just finished an MA dissertation on essentially the same topic, focusing on Burundi, and it was hard to find conclusive case studies. I know they must exist, but unearthing them is tricky. Thanks for the lead on Trocaire, I'll check into that.
My thesis focused on a particular case study from Bosnia, a local initiative, fairly unknown and undocumented. I sent my final draft to Ruairi so if you wanted to have a look you can ask him to forward it to you. If you're not in contact with him I could do that. Good luck with the research, and definitely keep me up to date if you find anything interesting in your research.
This may not quite fit your research area, but one example of locally-rooted peacemaking is the work Peace Catalyst International (http://www.peace-catalyst.net/) is doing in U.S. cities to build peace-promoting relations between Christians and Muslims. [Full disclosure: I'm on the PCI Board of Directors.]
Re: ~Local peace-building~: It was a proud moment when I was introduced (a few times during a month long series CO Department of Peace events in Oct. 2009 titled -VISIONS of PEACE-) as the -Colorado Department of Peace Poet Laureate-. Samples of my -Writing- -Poetry- are viewable @ http://www.lindaohlsongraham.com and http://www.lindaohlsongraham.com/poems.php.
We've been at this for about 20 years. If you want to discuss it, write more to me by e-mail cwwppsummer at gmail.com
Charles David Tauber, M.D.
Head of Mission for Southeast Europe
Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace