The role of trust in peacebuilding in Kenya

2015-09-22 - 1:28 am

By Evalyn Monyani
Catholic Diocese of Malindi, Kenya

Trust cannot be imposed, coerced or bought. It must flow naturally from all the conflicting parties.

The word trust in Kenya is used in the same breath as integration, reconciliation, and cohesion. It often comes up in national dialogues during calls for national healing and reconciliation.

Over the years politicians have strategically enhanced mistrust between ethnic groups through stereotyping in order to mobilise support for themselves. In everyday life, even where there is no apparent conflict, mistrust between some ethnic groups is deeply entrenched in people’s minds, making interaction among them strained and sometimes highly volatile. Lately, this mistrust has been developed along religious lines with the increased number of terrorist attacks on innocent civilians.

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There's no magic key

2015-09-15 - 6:19 pm

By Ivana Franović
Centre fo Nonviolent Action Sarajevo-Belgrade

The invitation to serve as a resource person for the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum got me confused. What can I say about the topic? Peacebuilding is our field, I'm coming from the Centre for Nonviolent Action Sarajevo-Belgrade. We are a peace organisation working on peacebuilding, dealing with the past and reconciliation in the region of the former Yugoslavia. We have almost two decades of experience in doing peacebuilding work in the Balkans, so that is not confusing. But global partnerships? During all this time we actually had very few international partners although we have quite some international contacts. But when it comes to partnerships, to doing something together, most of them run away. Only some brave stay. Or we run away, we are not so brave.

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Re:think Peacebuilding – Kicking-off the debate 2015

2015-09-10 - 1:31 pm

By Marc Baxmann and Natascha Zupan

“Seizing opportunities” was the theme of FriEnt’s first Peacebuilding Forum, which took place in Berlin in May 2014. Against the background of a changing global context for peacebuilding, the Forum ended with a strong call to re-think current peacebuilding policy and practice in terms of our partnership approaches, the responsiveness to local needs and the embracement of complexity concepts. However, there was a clear sense of optimism among participants that we are already moving into the right direction and that there are promising initiatives at both the policy and practice level.

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Got complexity? How systems and complexity thinking can help peacebuilders

2014-06-25 - 5:14 pm

By Rob Ricigliano
Co-Director of the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding Program at University of Wisconsin

Peacebuilders are struggling with a series of challenging and important imperatives: how to build more sustainable, locally-owned initiatives; how to avoid negative impacts; and how to do more with fewer resources. Many have looked to systems thinking and com-lexity science for help. This post is meant to help inform that search.

Before exploring what systems thinking and complexity science can offer peacebuilders, it is important to say what they do not offer. Systems thinking and complexity are not “magic bullets” that can instantly reveal the answer to intractable problems. And, while systems and complexity offer a powerful critique of more linear, short-term approaches, they are not a rejection of traditional practice. Finally, even though the rage in many parts of the field is to find the right tools, systems thinking and complexity approaches to peacebuilding are not just a set of tools.

So what do systems thinking and complexity have to offer peacebuilders?

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Strengthening constructive state-society relations in fragile and post-conflict situations. Some important considerations from Colombia

2014-05-28 - 6:40 pm

By Lina María García
Grupo Postconflicto - Departamento Nacional de Planeación, Colombia

Nowadays, in Colombia it is necessary to rethink how to transform and generate new kinds of relationships between the state and the (civil) society, not only for the post-conflict stage but to facilitate and make possible the peace dialogues and conversations taking place in Cuba.

Colombian society is very divided and polarized around peacebuilding topics, even before an eventual post-conflict scenario. For example, the current dialogue process (Government-FARC) does not have the acceptance and support from the society as a whole. The protracted armed conflict has generated a social adaptation to war, a situation that makes some social groups believe that keeping the armed conflict that mainly affects the rural and isolated areas is more feasible and acceptable than achieving peace in the whole country (see also James Robinson, 2013).

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Welcome to the FriEnt PBF Voices Blog


The PBF Voices Blog is not solely shaped by us, the FriEnt team, it shall rather provide a space for conference speakers, participants and other interested persons to share ideas and insights on the future of peacebuilding policy and practice.

All posts relate to the multifaceted theme of the conference in its widest sense. Every article reflects the author’s personal opinion and captures his or her unique style.