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.
Our work in the year is detailed in our Trustees’ Report, below, alongside our financial statements. Key charitable programme activities in the year were:
i) Continued delivery for our Libya programmes across a number of governmental and institutional donors.
ii) Completed a 12-month Armenia project that improved awareness and knowledge among youth of their role in peace and security issues, and promoted youth participation in decision making and peacebuilding activities.
iii) Commenced work on a 24-month Serbia-Kosovo project, working with partners to amplify local voices, especially those of marginalised groups, in support of equitable development.
Peaceful Change initiative have worked with civil society in Syria, working in both Opposition and Government-controlled areas of the country. Our work has included:
facilitating dialogue between Syrian Arab, Kurdish and Assyrian community leaders on coexistence in Hassakah Province
convening and building the capacity of a network of community leaders to prevent, manage and resolve local conflicts and maintain/expand civilian space. 470 human security and community safety initiatives were implemented, including through small grants
capacity building for civil society actors, focusing on transformational leadership for peace-building; cross-divide dialogue between youth
convening conflict-sensitive assistance capacity building and reflection process for international donor governments, international aid agencies and Syrian NGOs
We have worked with partners to introduce innovative technology-based solutions to support their work in conflict-affected areas. This has included the development and management of a Community Peacebuilding Training Portal with written and audio-visual material designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of a network of 60 track-three peacebuilders based in Syria and in refugee communities in Turkey and Jordan.
Leadership and governance video resources in support of peaceful change in Syria can be found in Arabic with English subtitles here
Our work in the year is detailed in our trustees report below alongside our financial statements. Two objectives have been to build resilience in fundraising and grow our expertise and we are pleased to report that we supported 10 separate donors across 15 programmes in the year. We also met our goal to build six months of operating costs as financial reserves and carry a healthy cash balance.
In brief our programme highlights are;
In Libya, PCi has delivered actions that contribute to local peace, development, and stabilisation through the 14 Social Peace Partnerships supporting conflict management at the sub-national level and through the Peacebuilding Network supporting a Network of 44 Libyan peacebuilding practitioners from 26 communities across the country. A number of Social Peace Partnerships have also played an important role as consultative and conflict sensitivity mechanisms to support the implementation of UNDP’s ‘Strengthening Local Capacities for Resilience and Recovery’ and ‘Stabilisation Facility for Libya’ interventions.
In Syria, PCi has delivered actions to strengthen the capacity of a group of Syrian youth in transformational leadership skills and how to apply these across conflict lines. In addition PCi has facilitated a Conflict-Sensitive Assistance for Syria retreat in November 2017 (and April 2018) and subsequently published a report on the Conflict-Sensitive Assistance for Syria Retreat in April 2018.
In Ukraine, PCi has worked with civil society organisations working along the line between Government and Rebel-controlled Ukraine to build their skills as dialogue facilitators and accompanied community groups to deal with practical issues in constructive ways. At the international level PCi has commissioned research and convened discussions to inform the international response to the crisis in Ukraine and how assistance can contribute to addressing underlying drivers of conflict.
On the organisation front we have recruited to strengthen our capability in finance and operations, communications and expanded our outsourced services for managing Human Resources and Payroll. Looking ahead to 2019 we are aiming to complete a strategy review, an upgrade of Finance capabilities and investment and training for improving our programme and business development frameworks.
Our work in the year is detailed in our Trustees’ Report, below, alongside our financial statements. Key charitable programme events in the year were:
Continued delivery for our Libya programmes across a number of governmental and institutional donors;
Completion of our programmatic work in Syria and the winding down of operations to support this work;
Development of proposals and operations for the Black Sea region including Ukraine and Armenia.
A decision was taken by the Board in 2018 to wind down all programmes for the Syria region and halt taking on new work. This was due to PCi’s judgement that prevailing operating conditions inside Syria are not conducive to meaningfully deepening the organisation’s work. Also, despite some governmental and institutional interest in our proposals for Ukraine, we were unable to secure new programme work for this country. We remain in communication with donors regarding the delivery of work for 2020 onwards. However, the Board decided to open up programming in Armenia, and PCi successfully fundraised for a new project there.
On the organisation front we continued to refresh and refine our strategy and business planning and improve governance of risk management, and prepared for new financial accounting and reporting systems from April 2020. Our reserves policy for the year was executed as net-neutral in that we neither added to nor deducted from our cumulated reserves; however, we achieved our goal of £250k reserves, which broadly represents 6 months’ operations. A new reserves policy will be set at the AGM in 2019.
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.
This brief highlights key lessons learned about the challenges that community-level peace resources face in effectively mitigating conflict in Syria, as well as communities’ aspirations for more inclusive peace processes.