Serbia-Kosovo: Local voices for development

We work to amplify local voices, especially those of marginalised groups, in support of equitable development. We work with our partners to:

  • ensure non-majority communities in Serbia and Kosovo are better aware of – and able to advocate for – municipal services to which they are entitled
  • strengthen participatory approaches to service delivery at the local level to ensure inclusivity and partnership between civil society and municipalities in Serbia and Kosovo
  • convene traditional and new media partners in Serbia and Kosovo to challenge conflict-generating narratives and disseminate positive messages of peace
  • enable cooperation among prominent people from Serbia and Kosovo to inform strategic approaches to building tolerance and countering division

Our approach seeks to ensure that citizens in Serbia and Kosovo are better able to empathise with one another’s perspectives, play active civic roles in society, and celebrate diversity.

Georgia and Abkhazia: Building the skills and stature of civil society

We have worked on both sides of the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict divide to help build the skills of civil society to manage conflict and to bring the voices of marginalised and conflict-affected communities to policy dialogue.

  • We have supported local organisations looking to design their own community-level interventions, helping them to integrate conflict analysis and peacebuilding project design into their work
  • We have worked with local partners to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic in Georgia and Abkhazia by strengthening the ability of community groups in isolated communities to analyse and communicate their needs to authorities and establish local mechanisms for responding to emerging issues

Ukraine: Building a community of dialogue

Ukraine has an active and experienced community of dialogue facilitators able to contribute to improving relations between citizens as well as between citizens and authorities. We have worked with Ukrainian organisations which include the Institute for Peace and Common Ground (IPCG), Donbas Dialogue, and the Mediation and Dialogue Research Centre at Kyiv Mohyla Academy on ‘Building a Community of Dialogue’, a project designed to institutionalise this potential resource for peace in Ukraine’s culture and practices. The project captures lessons about effective practices, as well as looking to work strategically at underlying drivers of conflict in the country. For example:

  • In Beryslav, Kherson region, the Dialogue Initiative Group worked in the community on rethinking the common past. This led them to resolve the conflict around a controversial monument in the town.
  • In Chaplynka, Kherson region, the community instigated active dialogue work by building skills in restorative practices for teachers and children in a series of trainings. The Dialogue Initiative Group connected the community with national minority representatives (mainly Meskhetian Turks) and integrated dialogue as an official approach to decision making into local government statutes.

Project activities also took place in other cities and communities in the Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv, Lviv and Kherson regions (oblasts).

Copyright Anna Ilchenko
Copyright Anna Ilchenko

Armenia: Youth, peace and security

We have worked with young people and the government to build a wider understanding of UN Security Council Resolution 2250, which focuses on youth, peace and security. This work involved:

  • organising a series of roundtables with government officials and civil society organisations (working with youth) and supporting them to develop an advocacy agenda in support of a youth policy for Armenia
  • designing educational material for the informal education sector to give youth a better understanding of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 and provide them with the skills to be more active in the life of their communities
  • conducting research among youth in conflict-affected communities about their experiences of participation in political life and their attitudes towards peacebuilding
  • a delegation from Armenia visiting the UK in November 2019 and observing how youth are engaged in UK communities. The delegation focused on determining best practice to inspire and encourage the greater participation of Armenian youth in decision making