Source: Thania Paffenholz, The Centre on Conflict, Development and PeacebuildingThis report provides the preliminary findings of a three-year research project on the role of civil society in peacebuilding. Using thirteen case studies, the project examined the effectiveness of civil society in carrying out specific functions of peace building. Overall, protection, monitoring, advocacy and facilitation related
activities were of higher effectiveness, whereas socialization and social cohesion related
activities were of low effectiveness across all cases.
Source: Béatrice Pouligny, Security Dialogue 36, no. 4This article offers a critical analysis of aid programs aimed at supporting local civil societies in post-conflict peacebuilding (PCPB). Such programs are often considered both the best hope for a genuine democratic counterweight to existing power brokers and the key to building a “new” society. The author argues, however, that in their interventions, outsiders tend to forget the diversity of local civil societies, creating counter effects due to the way they purport to support or empower local people. The author notes that outsiders also tend to convey the idea that there is a clear dichotomy between the political and non-political and that they tend to conceal the distinctions between indigenous and outside NGOs. She argues that the resulting consequences affect the ways in which international and local actors interact in post-conflict contexts, and, accordingly, the ways in which actual “civil society” may contribute to PCPB. She notes that a close analysis of these elements reveals larger political ambiguities present in PCPB strategies and actions. The article concludes with a series of recommendations to support a better understanding and acknowledgment of local processes and resources in any aid program, as well as greater accountability on the part of outsiders.
Source: Daniel Posner in When States Fail: Causes and ConsequencesThis chapter discusses the perceived role and possibility for reconstruction of civil society in failed states. The main topics covered include: a discussion of why civil society is thought to promote good governance, and its functions to that end; the main ways in which collective action is thought to be fostered; challenges to these methods; and possibilities for encouraging the growth of civil society for donors working toward rebuilding failed states. The author argues that though these outsiders can play an important function, the impact of such measures will be marginal, and concludes that “a vibrant civil society must be viewed as an indicator of a well-functioning state and society, not as a source.”
Source: London School of Economics and Political ScienceThis center provides access to core terminology used for civil society and a number of publications and podcasts on the issues of civil society. Reference is given to additional resources and regional networks on this topic.
Source: CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen ParticipationCIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international alliance of members and partners that constitutes a network of organizations at the local, national, regional, and international levels. It spans the spectrum of civil society, including: civil society networks and organizations; trade unions; faith-based networks; professional associations; NGO capacity development organizations; philanthropic foundations and other funding bodies; businesses; and social responsibility programs. The CIVICUS website provides access to documents and resources for all of its programs. Of particular interest and use is the civil society watch, which provides access to practical tools for threatened civil society, including an early warning system and a civic space barometer. In addition, a civil society index and publications and toolkits are available.
Source: Geneva-based Organizations Engaged in PeacebuildingThis database allows users to search the “International Geneva Peacebuilding Guide” and browse the peacebuilding capacities and expertise of Geneva-based organizations. Users are able to narrow searches by regions and countries and by peacebuilding categories (security and public order, governance and participation, justice and reconciliation, social and economic well-being, and humanitarian relief) and sectors. The results can be grouped in the main window, through the search function, by country, main peacebuilding sector, organizations, and activity engagement.
Policy Analysis and Practitioner Documents (View All 9 Matches)
Source: Conflict Transformation Working Group (CTWG)This paper aims to achieve two goals: to emphasize to the United Nations (UN) the unique role of civil society in multi-track diplomacy and to provide concrete recommendations for opportunities for the UN to collaborate with civil society in the process of peacebuilding. The first section of the paper draws upon the experiences of civil society efforts in Sudan, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, and Israel/Palestine. The second section is divided into three areas: the comparative advantage of civil society efforts through common strategies from the case studies; recommendations to the UN based on the case studies; and additional recommendations from the CTWG.
Source: Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas, International IDEAThe goal is this handbook is to demonstrate the functionality of dialogue in promoting peace, development and democratic governance. It discusses options and methods of dialogue processes and offers policy recommendations based on a variety of experiences.
Source: World Bank Social Development DepartmentThis report aims to enhance understanding of civil society’s potential contributions to peacebuilding, including an analysis of potential limitations and risks, and provides guidance to external actors supporting civil society in peacebuilding. Main topics covered include: the conceptual underpinnings of the civil society and peacebuilding discourse, including key definitions, issues, and practices; the evolution of civil society roles in peacebuilding, underlining the need to clarify concepts, objectives, and approaches; a new framework of seven civil society functions in peacebuilding, illustrating civil society initiatives in each of these functions; and key issues and lessons for external support. The authors argue that civil society has an important part to play in peacebuilding, but emphasizes that strengthening civil society will not immediately contribute to peacebuilding. The report concludes with a number of recommendations to donors to ensure program effectiveness. These include: extending support beyond NGOs; clarifying objectives; basing civil society support on analysis and developing the appropriate instruments for assessment and evaluation; improving the understanding of outcomes, impacts, and critical success factors; and developing flexible, responsive, and long-term approaches to support local initiatives.