Peacebuilding in Conflict-Affected Societies: Comparative Experiences and Local Perspectives

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    Madoka Futamura

    The international peacebuilding discourse among practitioners and scholars has recently begun to emphasize the importance of local needs and local ownership. However, analysis and research on local needs and ownership in peacebuilding remains underdeveloped, and local voices are not always present.
    This project addresses these shortcomings, by engaging local peacebuilding experts who have been active within their own country’s peacebuilding activities in a series of workshops to draws upon local perspectives to deepen understanding of peacebuilding challenges and recommend ways to improve UN and inter-governmental approaches to peacebuilding.

    A first workshop was held in Accra, Ghana, in September 2009, featuring experts on peacebuilding in Afghanistan, Burundi, Kosovo, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. The second workshop at the University of Sarajevo in June 2010 engaged experts from countries, including Croatia, Guatemala, Kosovo, Mozambique and Timor-Leste, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina. After each expert workshop, a public conference is held to share the conclusions with a local audience.

    The project findings were disseminated through a UNU Research Brief, and a workshop report in the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, and a forthcoming final report.

    This is a joint project of UNU-ISP and McMaster University, and the initial planning stage was conducted in collaboration with the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) to ensure that the project addresses important gaps in research and best practice.