Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS)

Covid Collective

Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP)

Insightful Quotes
"Civil society has stepped in to fill the gap as mistrust in existing conflict and government actors continues, due to corruption, lack of government accountability, and years of violence reinforced by the effects of the pandemic."
Insightful Quotes
"A gap has been identified between funding priorities of INGOs and donors, versus the needs of people on the ground. This gap could be closed by turning to local CSOs because communities trust these actors and communicate their needs to them."
Virtual Session 10

Channeling Local Realities – Civil Society and Power Structures in Syria, Yemen and Libya

The Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) expands its work scope in collaboration with the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) University of Edinburgh over the course of 2021. This collaboration allows for sharing best practices and challenges.
By offering an opportunity for peer exchange among local peacebuilding practitioners and researchers in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, our session inscribes itself in the thematic context of relating across boundaries.

Main Questions
  • How can civil society best contribute to conflict management in fragile and conflict-affected settings in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Can COVID-19 be seen as a tool of conflict or opportunity for peace in these contexts?

  • How does one manage and build peace as civil society actors in countries with fragile and/or fragmented institutions and unsafe power structures?

Key Theses, Thoughts and Ideas

In all countries, COVID-19 has added an additional layer to already complex realities, and this is especially true in fragile and conflict affected settings. In these situations, issues of trust and legitimacy have prompted civil society to step in and address governance gaps. COVID-19 has also had a unifying effect in bringing civil society together to enhance coordination and to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic.

However, these actors are often insufficiently resourced. And although civil society has played a key role in awareness raising to combat misinformation and mistrust around COVID-19, the delivery of coherent and consistent discourse by all actors that enjoy trust and confidence is essential.

Speakers reiterated the impacts of COVID-19 on the interplay between peace, conflict, and crisis. They emphasised the need for Triple Nexus programming involving a comprehensive body of actors in order to address multidimensional challenges arising from the pandemic.


Abdullah El Hafi
Local Administration Councils Unit (LACU), Syria
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Dr Juline Beaujouan
Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP), Edinburgh
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Eyas Ghreiz
Independent researcher, Syria
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Maged Sultan
Youth Without Borders Organization for Development (YWBOD), Yemen
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Peter van Sluijs
Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS)
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Current Topics

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The FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum is a series of events on current and overarching challenges and trends in peacebuilding. With the Peacebuilding Forum, we want to provide future-oriented impulses for the development of peacebuilding and strengthen the visibility and importance of the policy field in its entirety.


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