This short paper aims to demonstrate that peacebuilding initiatives can be led by local rather than international players and that this approach can work successfully on a large scale. It aims to counter the view that locally-led activities cannot be scaled up sufficiently to make a significant impact. And it argues that ‘insiders’ (ie local players) are at least as important as ‘outsiders’ (ie international players) in building peace that is sustainable.
The paper summarises four peacebuilding initiatives, all more or less locally led, which have operated on a large scale, and which have had real impact in ending violent conflict. It then sets out steps that could be taken to move from current practice, in which local capacity for peacebuilding is viewed as marginal, to one where it is regarded as a central element of any strategy for managing conflict.