Our community-facing work brings together community leaders, local authorities, traditional authorities, civil society and local citizens. To help these groups develop local peacebuilding infrastructure, we help them strengthen their skills in conflict management and mediation, working towards a culture of community dialogue and collaboration across different identity groups.
Through rolling out the Social Peace and Local Development methodology, PCi has established over 40 Social Peace Partnerships in towns and cities across the country. Through the regular provision of mentoring and training in community level peacebuilding, these Social Peace Partnerships have, over time, developed strong community relationships and bonds, which are based on trust and resilient to conflict. Capacity-building support has enabled partnerships to:
- understand the historic and current drivers of community conflict and how this impacts on community relations and resilience
- analyse local conflicts, with a specific focus on analysing community tensions and responding before tensions escalate into violence
- build local action plans that identify the development needs and social cohesion aspirations of residents and communities
- through the delivery of Social Peace Actions, improve and nurture community relationships – by developing specific activities that foster social cohesion and peaceful co-existence, which work across different identity groups
- develop a communication plan that conveys positive messages of community cooperation to a wide range of audiences and that challenge the prevailing conflict and/or divisive narratives
- establish relationships and structures that support a robust crisis management mechanism and promote the adoption of new habits for addressing conflict through dialogue, collaboration and inclusion of marginalised groups including women and youth
We have supported Dialogue Initiative Groups, comprising representatives from local authorities as well as local residents, who have been trained to facilitate dialogue and to work to resolve difficult issues that impact people living in a local community. Dialogue Initiative Groups also explore how dialogue might be adopted by local authorities as a formal approach to managing conflict.
We have supported local negotiations to reduce violence between conflicting parties, delineating civilian spheres of action (in the areas of education and livelihoods) from military interventions, leading to planning for how to mitigate impacts of violence and conflict.