The Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) convenes a stakeholder forum on resilience in Monrovia

On Friday November 27, the Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) hosted a validation forum in Monrovia to present the recommendations of the National Working Group (NWG) on Resilience, an initiative that began in June, following on from nationwide consultations on resilience.

P4DP has been working alongside Interpeace as part of the Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR) programme to document the strengths that Liberians possess. This is a key step towards understanding the strategies that exist within Liberian society to resolve conflicts peacefully.

The 2014 Ebola virus epidemic has proven to be a real test of Liberian society’s resilience. The epidemic claimed thousands of lives and came only a decade after the 2003 Peace Accords ended a protracted period of civil war. The health crisis affected Liberia’s social fabric, and put a strain on already weak state-society relationships. However, it should be noted that of the three most affected countries in West Africa, Liberia was the first to be declared Ebola-free even if a small number of new cases have re-appeared since.

To understand what allows Liberians to face up to adversity of this kind, and transform it into an opportunity to build peace, P4DP undertook eight months of intensive field research and engaged over 1,100 Liberians from all 15 counties and across all sectors of society. The findings were documented in a Country Note that served as the basis for the National Working Group, whose mandate was to develop strategies and policy recommendations to strengthen resilience by building upon factors identified in the consultation phase.

More than 65 people attended the validation forum including county representatives who had participated in the initial consultations, as well as members of civil society organisations and government institutions based in Monrovia. Over the course of the one day workshop, participants had the opportunity to hear both the key findings of the consultation and the principal recommendations that the National Working Group developed. Participants were given the opportunity to share their thoughts on the recommendations during discussion groups.

“These recommendations are practical structures that we can build upon to take Liberia to the next level,” Marie Kolenky, a member of the Working Group and deputy director of the Liberia Opportunity Industrialization Center (LOIC), noted on behalf of the NWG.

Stakeholders present at the workshop prioritized the following recommendations, which they believed would best strengthen the resilience of Liberians:

For James S. Shilue, the executive director of P4DP, the resilience orientation of this programme highlights the importance of inclusion and collaboration between different sectors of society. He said that going forward it will be important when implementing each of these recommendations that “we adopt a tripartite approach which engages state actors, prioritizes community involvement and draws on local and international civil society.”

Documenting the resilience of Liberians in the face of threats to peace and the 2014 Ebola Crisis

L' Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP), in partnership with Interpeace, has produced an extensive report which documents the ways in which individuals, families, communities, institutions as well as the government, are coping with, adapting to, or in some instances even transforming the challenges to peace into creative and innovative opportunities. In order to do so, P4DP consulted over 1,100 Liberians across all fifteen counties of Liberia through focus group discussions and interviews. This research took place against the backdrop of the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa and as such explores the ways in which such a humanitarian catastrophe interacted with longer-term drivers of conflict that persist despite over a decade of official peace since the end of the civil war.

The report is part of Interpeace’s Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR), a SIDA funded project that is exploring approaches to assessing resilience for peace through participatory research in three pilot countries: Liberia, Guatemala and Timor-Leste. In addition to the consultation, P4DP facilitated a 5 month long stakeholder dialogue process convening representatives from different sectors of society in order to develop policy recommendations for strengthening resilience for peace in Liberia. These recommendations will be presented at a stakeholder forum in Monrovia on November 27th 2015.

The full report can be found ici, and the executive summary of the report is also available.

FAR Country Note Liberia

This study reviews the most pressing challenges to peace in Liberia today and documents the ways in which individuals, families, communities, institutions as well as the government, are coping with, adapting to, or in some instances even transforming these challenges into creative and innovative opportunities.

Executive Summary - FAR Country Note Liberia

The Executive Summary summarizes the findings from the consultation phase of the Frameworks for Assessing Resilience project in Liberia. These results document the resilience of Liberians in the face of threats to peace.

Challenges to the consolidation of peace in the eyes of the communities

This report presents the findings of the consultation phase conducted by the Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) in Liberia. The report integrates the results of the consultations and provides a thorough presentation of the sources of conflict as they were identified by the local population. The consultations were carried out by research teams that visited the different regions of the country. Overall, including Nimba County, a total of 10,800 individuals participated in the consultation process, 59 district were covered and 273 communities visited.

2008 Interpeace Partners Forum: Peacebuilding and statebuilding

The purpose of the 2008 Interpeace Partners Forum was to provide a space for reflection on the questions and challenges related to the nexus between peacebuilding and statebuilding. About 35 people from different sectors, including governments, UN, EU and NGOs came together at the Partners Forum. This document summarises the discussion that was stimulated by case study presentations on certain challengs of state- and peacebuilding in Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and the Somali Region.