Many practitioners working in conflict areas recognize that peacebuilding and statebuilding ultimately depend on the efforts of local people and institutions. In addition to answering more adequately the need for sustainability and long-term engagement, choosing to work with local organizations rather than international and multilateral agencies is also very cost-effective. Yet local peacebuilding is often equated with low-scale projects, which are too small for donors to handle and, on their own, will have only a limited impact on the conflict.
Based on examples drawn from Guyana, Somaliland, Kenya, and Mozambique, Peace Direct, a UK-based NGO, and QUNO have developed a working paper arguing that locally-led peacebuilding can also be large scale. In this lunchtime seminar organized by the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, Carolyn Hayman, Chief Executive, Peace Direct presented this approach and suggested some practical actions that could lead to new ways of working with grassroots organizations to prevent conflict and build peace.
Following additions and comments from Koenraad van Brabant, Head of Reflective Practice and Learning in the international NGO Interpeace, participants discussed possible actions that could lead ‘locally-led initiatives’ to become the norm in peacebuilding.