Peacebuilding

Overall Goal: The goal of the Peacebuilding Programme is for communities to enjoy increased levels of peace.

Problem analysis: Violence and fear of violence negatively influence a range of rights, and violent conflict is therefore a barrier to human development at all levels. Survivors of violence often suffer long-term physical and psychological harm, while individuals and families living in conflict areas are forced to focus on organising their lives in order to avoid violence, rather than to effectively improve their living conditions. Access to basic services, sustainable livelihoods, and formal and informal justice tend to decrease during violent conflict, as do freedom of expression, and people's mobility and ability to organise and participate as active citizens. Local structures that normally prevent and manage conflict are often overwhelmed due to the intensity of the conflict.

 

Implementing Coutries

Outcome 1

Social groups experienced more constructive inter- and intragroup relations

For the period 2016-2018, interventions under this outcome targeted primarily religious leaders and youth, particularly young change agents. In Pakistan, 50 sensitised and trained mosque leaders in the Khyber Paktunhwa province are now promoting moderate teachings of Islam in the Friday sermons, focusing on an inclusive and peaceful society.

Outcome 2

Inclusive, gender sensitive peacebuilding structures and mechanisms prevented and transformed conflicts 

During the period 2016-2018, peacebuilding structures prevented or addressed 977 cases of conflict, mostly at the local level. The majority of these conflicts were related to natural resources (water, land etc.), and therefore closely related to people’s ability to gain a livelihood.

Outcome 3

Local actors contributed to create, reform or better implement laws, agreements, policies or institutions addressing key driving factors of conflict

During 2016-2018, 90 laws, agreements, policies or institutions improved following local actors’ advocacy efforts. MaliPakistan and Palestine all supported advocacy related to conflicts at local level. Notably, NCA Mali and its partners facilitated the signing of 208 peace agreements and other local agreements (target: 368), including 17 inter-community agreements. 85 of these peace agreements have been implemented, and none of the related conflicts are reported as resurfaced according to partner records. 

Outcome 4

Women’s participation in peacebuilding processes increased

In 2016-2018, all country programmes had a strong focus on women’s meaningful participation in peacebuilding, and this resulted in changes at different levels. Firstly, women’s numeric participation in different peacebuilding structures increased, and in local peace structures now ranges from 37% in Afghanistan to 46% in Pakistan and 58% in South Sudan4.

Key innovations from the programme area

NCA’s work with Religious Actors for Peace Network in Afghanistan is innovative in nature, particularly the way women have been included. One of the main contributions of this project, according to a 2018 external evaluation, was to define religious actors as consisting of both men and women, in a context where religious leadership was considered men’s domain. Quoting the evaluation: “Not only did this challenge the national status quo but it also redefined the actors of the peace process in Afghanistan. The enormous impact of women’s inclusion in the network cannot be overstated.” A lesson learnt from the work both with this network and the Regional Faith Women Mediation Network in Eastern Africa, is the importance of building women’s religious literacy. An NCA study conducted on the role of women religious actors in peace noted that, “women’s religious knowledge is a powerful means to overcome social barriers and facilitate peace building work.” 

Lessons Learned and Adaptation

A key lesson learned is engaging with male stakeholders. NCA and its partners have in different ways worked to increase women’s participation in peacebuilding: building women’s capacity and networks, engaging in awareness raising and advocacy also towards male stakeholders and insisting on women’s participation despite resistance. According to NCA’s 2016 baseline survey in Afghanistan, only 24% of men acknowledged women’s role in local peace structures. The 2018 end-line survey showed 82% of men acknowledging women’s role in local peace processes. This has contributed to an increase in the percentage of women engaged in NCA supported peacebuilding work, and in addition to an increase in these women’s perceived influence in peacebuilding efforts. Overall, the increased participation of women and their feeling on increased influence has resulted in more focus on conflict prevention, rather than just conflict resolution.

Results case

Pakistan’s Sindh Hindu Marriage Act provides a ray of hope for the protection of Hindu women and girls

Pakistan is home to the world’s fourth largest Hindu population, with Hinduism constituting the second largest religion in Pakistan after Islam.