Theme: Conflict Sensitivity

Promoting understanding of conflict sensitive communications to international assistance providers working in Libya

In early March, Peaceful Change initiative (PCi) delivered a training on Conflict Sensitivity and Communications to international assistance providers working in Libya. The relationship between the communications environment and peace and conflict in Libya was explored including the polarised media and social media environment; the use of communications as a political tool and the expression of inter-group tensions online. Participants were able to look at how their communication activities may feed into the peace and conflict dynamics with negative or positive impacts and discussed how to manage such impacts. They also learned about how their communications could be used as a tool to support conflict sensitivity.

Conflict sensitivity comes from the recognition that humanitarian, development and peace-related assistance may have unintended impacts on peace and conflict. PCi works to promote conflict sensitivity in policy and practice within the humanitarian, development and peace fields.

The training is part of a broader training series provided through the Conflict Sensitive Assistance (CSA) in Libya programme, funded by the European Union and the Embassy of Switzerland to Libya. The training series provides different staff functions of international assistance providers working in Libya with the understanding, confidence and tools to apply conflict sensitivity to their work. For more information, send an email to libyacsa@peacefulchange.org.

Lebanon: PCi supports the Syria Peace Process Support Initiative (SPPSI) in Beirut

PCi’s Senior Peacebuilding Adviser Raj Bhari, with a colleague from International Alert, facilitated a working group on peacebuilding at the Syria Peace Process Support Partner Event on 20 June 2019 in Beirut, Lebanon. The European Union and Germany set up the Syria Peace Process Support Initiative to contribute to peacebuilding in Syria, based on the implementation of UNSCR 2254. The workshop session facilitated forward-thinking discussions on what the track-three peacebuilding agenda in Syria needs to encompass and the possibilities and entry points for track-three peacebuilding in the current Syrian context.

Lebanon: Global Conflict Sensitivity Community Hub annual meeting in Beirut

Tim Molesworth, PCi’s Senior Adviser, Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Technology, participated in the annual meeting of the global Conflict Sensitivity Community Hub in Beirut, Lebanon, from 17-19 July 2019. The Hub brings together international and local organisations to promote and develop the concept and practice of conflict sensitivity.

The 2019 Hub meeting provided an opportunity to exchange knowledge, experience and tools relating to conflict sensitivity between participating organisations. Tim presented PCi’s experience facilitating the Libya Conflict Sensitive Assistance Forum since 2013, sharing some of the lessons learned and discussing how the experience could be relevant in other contexts. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the Hub to connect with the recently established Local Conflict Sensitivity Forum in Beirut facilitated by House of Peace, and to share perspectives.

PCi urges all humanitarian and development practitioners to implement a conflict-sensitive approach when delivering assistance in response to COVID-19

PCi is mentioned in an article by Nate Wilson, ‘Coronavirus Shows Why Libya Needs to Build its Institutions’, published on 14 April 2020 for the United States Institute for Peace (USIP). The article highlights that institutional support to improve the Libya COVID-19 response must take into account conflict dynamics at a regional, sub-regional and even community level. USIP advocates for organisations working in Libya to use their analysis, as well as analysis from PCi, Mercy Corps, Danish Refugee Council and others, “to inform their decisions, then they can use aid to connect groups in conflict, ensure that it is inclusive, and thereby maximize benefits. This will surely benefit Libya beyond the immediate crisis.”

PCi urges “those with the ability to stop the suffering” in conflict-affected areas to take action now and ensure unimpeded and sustained access for organisations delivering aid and medical supplies in response to COVID-19.

Click to read PCi’s report on the interaction between Covid-19 and conflict dynamics in Libya

PCi provides conflict sensitivity advice to embassies, donor agencies, UN agencies, international NGOs and research organisations. PCi is currently the Coordinator of the Conflict Sensitivity Community Hub (until September 2020).

Conflict Sensitivity Community Hub advocating for conflict-sensitive aid in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Under the coordination of Peaceful Change initiative, the Conflict Sensitivity Community Hub has addressed policy and decision makers in an open letter sharing key recommendations on how governments, donors, UN and NGOs can deliver international aid in a conflict-sensitive way in the context of COVID-19. Along with tangible advice on best practice, the Conflict Sensitivity Community encourages decision makers to ensure that adjustments to the situation prioritise analysis and communication, local adaptation and the promotion of peace. Please read the full letter here.

In its role as the CSC Hub coordinator, PCi currently facilitates a range of exchanges between NGOs to commonly reflect on conflict-sensitive responses to COVID-19.

Webinar: Conflict sensitivity in remote programming

In this webinar, PCi’s Senior Advisers Lesley McCulloch and Anthony Foreman shared the key findings of a new PCi report on the challenges and opportunities of, and lessons learned from, mainstreaming conflict sensitivity in remote programming contexts. They discussed the evolution of the remote programming model employed in Syria and Libya, where PCi works to support and build the capacity of local leaders to manage conflict.

UK: PCi hosts panel discussion on conflict sensitivity – successes, challenges and priorities

Peaceful Change initiative hosted a panel discussion on behalf of the Conflict Sensitivity Hub at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London. Tim Molesworth, PCi’s Senior Adviser, Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Technology, PCi facilitated the discussions – which were also livestreamed on Twitter, enabling conflict sensitivity practitioners to engage in the conversation from around the world. Click here to view a recording of the panel discussion.

PCi seeks to contribute to developing the concept of conflict sensitivity; advocate for incorporating conflict sensitivity into policy and processes; and support the conflict sensitivity of international assistance activities in contexts where they are delivered. Speakers included Rachel Goldwyn, Senior Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding Adviser at World Food Programme; Elias Sadkni, Director at House of Peace Foundation; Albert Souza Mulli, Conflict and Stabilisation Adviser for the British Embassy to Libya; Heloise Heyer, Conflict Sensitivity Lead at PeaceNexus; and Pilar Domingo, Senior Research Fellow at Overseas Development Institute. @CSC_hub on Twitter