Advocacy

Through targeted advocacy we ensure the voices and expertise of local peacebuilders are amplified onto the world stage, and communities suffering because of war are given the attention they deserve.

Those in power must become more responsive to the needs, rights and contributions of local people living in conflict affected countries. This is the only way to bring about long term, systemic change.

Our advocacy focuses on improving the policies, attitudes and practice of international donors and policymakers to be more supportive of local peacebuilding. We lift up the voices and expertise of local peacebuilders to help inform and shape national and international policies.

Working with local partners on the ground we report on the crisis on Burundi, circulating weekly flash reports, producing in depth research reports and arranging meetings with governments and the UN.

Government and UN officials praise this as an invaluable resource and the best source of information from inside the country.

 

Our approach to advocacy

We strive to promote and practice our belief in nonviolence, the power of local action, partnership and respect. We do not take sides in a conflict, but this does not mean we will not speak out when rights are being violated.

Through our advocacy, we strive to act as a principled and practical expert on local peacebuilding for decision-makers and influencers in the international peacebuilding world, and in key countries where our partners work. We work to build relationships across conflict divides and with those of diverse political opinions, demonstrating the non-partisan nature of our work and effective peacebuilding.

We do not have all the answers, but we believe that our experience and partnerships with local peacebuilders provide unique perspective, knowledge, and creative solutions that might otherwise be overlooked.

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Key advocacy priorities

Burundi

In the midst of the current crisis in Burundi, we are focused on disseminating information on the situation on the ground, based on reports from our partner, a network of 23 local organisations. We work with our partner to use this information to help shape international responses to the crisis.  Read more »

DR Congo

Our advocacy in DRC is aimed at engaging and educating local, national, and international decision-makers to address the specific challenge of ‘demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration’ (DDR), and specific local violence in Beni. Read more »

United Nations

We maintain relationships with key actors at the UN and monitor policy developments related to peace and security, contributing knowledge and recommendations from our local peacebuilding partners when opportunities arise. For instance, the inclusion of Goal 16 on Peaceful and Just Societies in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals provides an opportunity for strengthening support to local peacebuilders.

Violent extremism

We work to reduce militarised approaches and lift up nonviolent approaches to preventing and addressing the problem of political violence and violent extremism, highlighting the work of our local peacebuilding partners in places like Pakistan and Somalia. [link]

Amplifying local voices and analysis

We are launching a new project to highlight the perspectives and analysis of local peacebuilders on the problems and solutions to violent conflict as they experience them, to share widely with the peacebuilding and policymaking community. The first countries we are focusing on for this project are Pakistan and Nigeria.

Local First

Local First is a campaign for a peacebuilding approach that looks first for the capacity within countries before bringing in external expertise and resources, recognises that much of this capacity is found outside central government, and understands that local people need to lead their own efforts. We work to influence the funding practices and policies of donors, including the United States and United Kingdom, to shift toward this approach and produce resources that are free to access.

Advocacy collaborations

We know successful advocacy requires collaboration with others. We work together with others in a number of advocacy coalitions and working groups, including:

• The Alliance for Peacebuilding
• Burundi Working Group
• Peace and Security Funders Group
• Prevention and Protection Working Group
• UN Peacebuilding Group
We also helped found and continue to help coordinate a number of collaborative platforms for sharing information and educating others to strengthen support for local peacebuilding:

• Local Peacebuilding Affinity Group, Alliance for Peacebuilding
• Locally-Led Peacebuilding Working Group, Peace and Security Funders Group

Measuring success

We measure our success based around our impact on the different stages of our theory of change:
• Ensuring national and international policymakers are better informed about the achievements and capacities of local peacebuilders
• Helping policymakers directly engage with and listen to local peacebuilders
• Contributing to increased direct support (financial, technical, and otherwise) for more effective and locally led peacebuilding.

 

Our advocacy theory of change

If key decision-makers nationally and internationally are better informed of the knowledge, practical achievements, and capacities of local peacebuilders, and they are more able to directly engage with and listen to them at key moments, then, they will support solutions to violent conflict that are more effective and more locally led.

 

Reports, briefs, publications

Atrocity Prevention Report

Atrocities prevention experts urge the US to support local civil society. Read more »

DR Congo Policy Brief

A policy brief on the violence in Beni and the role local civil society can play in preventing and countering it. Read more »

Local Voices for Peace in Northern Nigeria

The view of local civil society on the violence in Northern Nigeria, and prospects for peace. Read more »