This is the first discussion note in a series intended to inform development of a new tool for conflict sensitive decision-making related to international humanitarian, development and peacebuilding assistance. The tool is intended to help decision makers determine whether an action is conflict sensitive before it is taken and consists of 5 tests, or questions, which should be considered. Click here for the discussion note.
This discussion note introduces and provides an overview to the tool. Subsequent discussion notes will look into particular tests or aspects of the tool. The discussion notes have been prepared as part of a consultation process with conflict sensitivity practitioners, donors and implementers to test and develop the tool.
Peaceful Change initiative works with societies to prevent or reduce violence that is triggered by radical and divisive change. We aim to mitigate the effects of violence on people’s lives, while laying the foundations for long-term peace and stability. This commitment to making a difference within communities experiencing conflict means that we work in some very difficult places, often very close to the point of violence. This kind of work inevitably places some stresses on PCi team members. The challenge for us is to work together to build a culture that helps manage this stress well.
Knowing that the work we do is often hard and stressful, we wanted to provide team members with some basic tools to help them keep healthy. This booklet provides important information about the nature and symptoms of stress. It is intended to help PCi team members recognise their own symptoms of stress and take some basic actions to manage that stress. Maintaining the wellbeing of our team is crucial to maintaining our peacebuilding impact.
Peaceful Change initiative and AFAQ Libya undertook research at the community level in nine target areas along coastal Libya to help inform planning for the development and democratisation of security provision, so that such processes 1) are responsive to the needs of local communities; 2) are ‘conflict sensitive’, in that they do not result in increased tensions or a return to violence; and 3) provide a platform for future reconciliation between different interest groups in the country.
Libyan society is undergoing significant change as a result of the revolution/conflict in 2011, bringing substantial opportunities for a more inclusive political system and more accountable security services. At the same time, the revolution/conflict has weakened relationships between some communities in Libya, as well as exposing longer-term inter-communal conflicts. As such, successful transition depends on a comprehensive peacebuilding approach that helps communities to share perspectives, overcome grievances and map out a common future. PCI and AFAQ Libya have developed a policy brief that outlines an agenda for such an approach in Libya.
A cross-government working group on Social Peace and Local Development, hosted by the Ministry of Local Government, has been working since May 2013 to identify how local government and community leaders can promote social peace, in terms of both ‘how’ they work together, and ‘what’ services and development projects they should support. The result is a handbook intended as a guide for local government bodies and community leaders on working in partnership to promote social peace and development in Libya. It does this by outlining a six-step process, with practical tools for each step.
PCi’s partner, the Libyan Peacebuilders Network, organised and hosted the ‘Peacemakers Awards’ in Benghazi on 8 February 2019. The event was planned to bring attention to the work being done by Libyans throughout the country to manage conflict in their communities and promote peace for Libya. The event recognised the work of a number of groups and individuals including the elders from the Tebu and Zawiya tribes in Kufra, elders of the western Mountain tribes, the Social Council of the Werfalla tribe and the elders of Cyrenaica. A special award was presented to Aisha Aizadma from Harawa for her role in addressing the conflict between the Al-Gedaddfa and Awlad Sulaiman tribes in Sebha.
PCi worked with Libyan communities to foster transformational leaders able to manage the conflicts affecting their communities. This work was conducted for the European Union, as part of its support to civil society in Libya, and delivered through EUNIDA. Lessons learned from the project were made public in June 2014, along with the training material used. A short video was also released, giving an insight into the challenges for, and role of, local leaders in building peace in Libya.
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.
During March 2020, Social Peace Partnerships (SPPs) in Libya engaged in the COVID-19 response. SPPs bring local community members together including representatives from the local municipality, civil society, community leaders and local residents. SPPs build skills to facilitate dialogue and community mediation, while simultaneously developing local action plans that identify the development needs and aspirations of local residents. SPP activities related to the COVID-19 response include:
Ajdabiya SPP developed plans to roll out a COVID-19 awareness campaign in urban areas.
Benghazi SPP set up an Emergency Response Committee to provide accurate COVID-19 information to Benghazi citizens and to support the municipality, as well as carrying out public awareness activities.
Souq al Juma SPP joined the Emergency Response Committee and participated in the National Centre for Disease Control training to raise awareness around COVID-19.
Tobruk SPP collaborated with civil society organisations such as the Red Crescent Society and the Boy Scout movement to implement COVID-19 public awareness activities.
Waddan SPP provided support to local awareness-raising efforts on COVID-19.
In 2015, PCi supported the establishment of a conflict-sensitive mechanism known as the Social Peace Partnership in Ubari, following successful delivery of a Social Peace and Local Development programme in 2014. The Ubari Social Peace Partnership has played a role in reducing tensions and preventing the outbreak of violent conflict.