Despite the end of the socio-political crisis in 2011 and the constant economic growth, Côte d’Ivoire remains vulnerable to political violence. Interpeace, in partnership with Indigo Côte d’Ivoire and SeeD (Centre for Sustainable Peace and Development) is leading since 2020 an initiative that aims to prevent political violence and strengthen democratic governance through collaborative and citizen mediation before, during and after the 2020 presidential elections. Initially, the project took place in three areas identified as being amongst the most at risk of political violence: the district of Abidjan, the district of the Montagnes and the Bandama Valley. The project has now extended to eight new districts across the country (Bas-Sassandra, Comoé, Gôh-Djiboua, Lacs, Yamoussoukro, Lagunes, Savanes, Zanzan) ahead of local elections in 2023 and presidential elections in 2025.
The project first aimed to provide a comprehensive mapping of political violence in Côte d’Ivoire and of its main triggers, by conducting wide participatory quantitative research, using the multidimensional Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) index, a tool developed by SeeD. Based on these results and on the existing resources at the local level, the project has strengthened the capacities of key local stakeholders in order to develop collaborative actions towards violence prevention and conflict mediation. Pre-existing local conflict management mechanisms such as Peace Committees, grassroots community organizations and the relevant local authorities have been engaged, in order to ensure that the approach is sustainable. All results and good practices of the project will be widely shared with the relevant national and international stakeholders during – and at the end of the project, in an effort to contribute to political violence prevention efforts in Côte d’Ivoire.