• Welcome

    Welcome to the DCA introduction to Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding. which seeks to provide a framework for DCA initiatives working on conflict drivers in fragile contexts.

    • Background

      While DCA is not a peacebuilding organisation, Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding holds a long tradition in DCA and with its partners. Over the years DCA has supported reconciliation initiatives led by faith actors and other stakeholders in South Africa, pioneered grass-roots peace programming and advocacy in Latin America, and promoted peaceful dialogue between vulnerable communities and duty bearers in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. Today, as a multi-mandated organisation DCA works across the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus deploying Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding in concert with related themes  (e.g. climate change, gender equality, HRBA, fragility) which all contribute to a people-centred and context-driven integrated approach to identify and address core drivers of violent conflict to  Saving Lives, Building Resilient Communities, and Fighting Extreme Inequality.

      • What is Conflict PRevention & Peacebuilding

        In DCA Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding is understood as a broad range of approaches implemented in the context of latent, current or post‐conflict situations motivated by a commitment to identify and address the drivers/root causes of violence to transform conflict and promote lasting, just and sustainable peace.

        Examples of initiatives which hold elements of Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding include:

        • Faith-actor engagement in peace platforms
        • Dialogue

        • Mediation

        • Reconciliation

        • Social cohesion

        • Early warning

        • Conflict transformation / management / resolution

        • Transformation of violent extremism

        • Peace education / peace messaging

        • Community safety planning,

        • peace committees / groups

        Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding is by no means restricted to the above examples. Fragile contexts demand varied multi-disciplinary approaches to address often unique and complex challenges which require holistic, flexible, and innovative responses. Space to develop new ways of working is therefore critical. 

        • Why is COnflict PRevention & Peacebuilding Important

          Globally, violent conflict currently drives 80% of all humanitarian needs. Clearly, the reasons why conflicts erupt are multiple and complex, often with far-reaching consequences. Understanding why a conflict occurs and how to respond is therefore critical for any intervention. For instance, in some fragile contexts, climate change places significant pressure on community access to natural resources (such as land and water) with an increased likelihood that violent conflict may be used between, or within communities, to ‘resolve’ disputes. Operating in such complex settings demands a thorough understanding of the context to inform local responses that embrace humanitarian action with practices that promote longer-term development and durable peace. If the drivers of conflict are addressed as part of a holistic response, then communities are more likely to strengthen their capacities to prevent conflict and build peace.

          • How can we include Conflict PRevention & Peacebuilding in our work?

            The common theme found in DCA’s Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding initiatives are actions that promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies. DCA’s added emphasis is on people as central drivers of change able to address violence through initiatives that strengthen active Participation, cultivate Accountability, encourage Non-discrimination (inclusive of age, gender, & diversity), support community Empowerment, and advocate rule of Law. Such a broad all-encompassing approach allows for flexible responses centred on people and context.

            To further incorporate Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding in your work, you may wish to consider the following:

            • Take a Conflict Sensitive/Do No Harm approach to programming. Assistance as a form of resource that can sometimes be misused to strengthen one side of a conflict and/or weaken an opposing side. The possibility of substantial harm increases when interventions fail to identify and address the detrimental effects of otherwise well-intended actions. Especially in settings affected by violent conflict, where the provision of assistance is rarely (if ever) perceived as neutral. Contemplate a Conflict Sensitive/Do No Harm assessment as a first step (see Action Guide on Conflict Sensitivity) to inform implementation by 1) analysing the context (identify connectors and dividers), 2) analysing the two-way context between context and proposed activities, and 3) adjusting activities to avert harmful outcomes and reinforce opportunities that support peace.

            • Actively include women and youth in all initiatives. Consider all gender, age and diversity dimensions in programming as well as other relevant social groupings (e.g. cultural, ethnic, religious, communal).

            • Factor in responses to multiple forms of violence such as direct physical violence (e.g. war, ecological destruction, murder, rape, and assault); structural violence (e.g. discrimination, injustice, exclusion); and cultures of violence that normalise physical and structural violence in society through cultural channels (e.g. language, ideology, art, music, law, science, social media, press, TV & radio).

            • Promote ‘silo-free’ responses, informed by the context and defined by the agency of people in crises. Contemplate responses that absorb short-term action into a longer-term vision of fulfilling local wishes and addressing locally validated needs.

            • Ensure Monitoring and Evaluation systems are sufficiently resourced to analyse progress, investigate evidence of change, and to learn more about what works and what does not.

            • Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding LEarning

              • Additional MAterial