In recent years, much attention has appropriately been given to fragility and its associated risks in conflict-affected societies, including the risks this presents for developmental programs or humanitarian action. But less attention has been given to the role of resilience in both dealing with the legacies of past violence and anticipating the potential of (re)emerging conflict. Indeed, concerns over resilience have mostly been the preservation of the fields of humanitarian action, the development field, and disaster recovery, rather than the peacebuilding field. However, the question arises: Can we build peace more effectively by focusing on strengthening communities’ or society’s existing sources of resilience, rather than by exclusively seeking to address the fault-lines which facilitate violent conflict?
This is the central question that Interpeace has been exploring through its Frameworks for Assessing Resilience Programme (FAR), piloted in Liberia, Guatemala and Timor-Leste, and supported by Sida. Whilst a sound understanding of root causes of conflict is essential and indispensable in order to develop an appropriate response, the focus on fragility tends to overshadow attention to the capacities and processes which are present, even in fragile contexts. Failure to take stock of these capacities can, and often does, undermine the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions.
The FAR experience has led to the development of a framework and Guidance Note on Assessing Resilience for Peace. We believe that this approach not only fills an important gap in the resilience literature and practice, but also offers a convening power and common platform both within conflict-affected societies, as well as between the fields of peacebuilding on one hand and humanitarian action, development and disaster recovery, on the other. At the event, Interpeace will be sharing the findings of its research and highlighting the relevance of a ‘resilience for peace’ approach for peacebuilding practice.
Graeme Simpson, Senior Advisor and Director of Interpeace, USA
Anupah Makoond, FAR Programme Officer, Interpeace
Oliver Jütersonke, Head of Research, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), The Graduate Institute
Sandwiches will be provided before the meeting starts from 12:00 - 12:30