ISS/TfP Conducts a Workshop on Innovations and Change in Peacebuilding in Africa
11 Dec 2015
From 17-19 November 2015, ISS/TfP hosted a workshop, in partnership with ISS’ African Centre for Peace and Security Training (ACPST), to develop peacebuilding process that can ensure that peacebuilding practitioners are able to address structural and systemic threats to sustainable peace. The workshop, hosted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, brought together a group of African experts with specific skills on areas related to curriculum development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Over the last two decades countries have engaged in the development of national processes to enable them to leave its conditions of fragility and ensure sustainable peace. However, peacebuilding interventions are often considered to be ineffective. As a result, particular emphasis was given to the need for developing skills that enable peacebuilding stakeholders to harness, lobby, advocate and/or mobilize support through further developing linkages, networks and processes. Also, the workshop aimed at developing a process that contribute to more effective planning and implementation of responses, highlighting the need to strengthen the linkages between different peacebuilding actors at different levels and environments. Participants have recognised the complex nature of the challenges faced in peacebuilding, particularly in ensuring there is a targeted and increased participation of women at all peacebuilding levels. Also, responses should focus not only at individual and institutional levels, but also in relation to a broader policy environment. As such, in designing effective responses, a key message was presented, that in order to achieve innovation and change, capacity building responses have to take into consideration wider approaches, beyond mere training and increasing focus on innovation and change in policy environments. The workshop identified steps to be taken in partnership with ISS, through the development of participatory and context specific methodologies, which will engage with stakeholders in a series of processes. The 3-day workshop will enable ISS/TfP and ACPST to develop several tailored initiatives, including policy engagements, training courses, networks and champion platforms. That will ensure future participants to have the necessary foundational knowledge and skills to more effectively support the design and implementation of concrete long-term plans and actions that respond to peacebuilding needs. Representation of participants came from a wide area of key peacebuilding stakeholders in Africa, such as the African Union Mission for Central African Republic and Central Africa (MISAC), Makerere University, the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), United States Institute for Peace (USIP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zimbabwe, and the Peacebuilding Office at the Liberian Ministry of Internal Affairs. A follow up process is expected to be conducted in February 2016, where specific responses will be identified by ISS/TfP and ACPST.