Localisation Matters

Localisation is a foundational value for Interpeace. The organisation’s mission is anchored in the conviction that identifying and helping strengthen local capacity, ownership and leadership is the only sustainable way to manage conflict non-violently, creating enduring peace and strengthened social cohesion. Since its inception almost 30 years ago, Interpeace has championed localisation, basing its work on the existing capacities of individuals and societies to take the lead in shaping their own futures. The organisation has advanced this vision by implementing inclusive peacebuilding strategies. Engaging with all levels of society is one thing, but Interpeace goes further to establish and improve social connectivity and to empower women and men affected by conflict to become agents of change.

This year’s annual report illustrates our commitment to enhancing the local capacities of people to rebuild trust and consolidate peace. Our work has allowed us to witness how individuals, communities and institutions in all the countries where we work are designing creative solutions to address their many challenges. To support these efforts, in 2022 Interpeace’s country-based and global teams involved over 100 000 people directly and trained 25 000 individuals to drive change in their own communities and institutions. Interpeace also continued to expand its network of decentralised peacebuilding structures, creating local and sustainable capacity. In 2022, the organisation’s highly localised in-country programming supported 256 local infrastructures for peace in 12 countries and worked on 106 conflicts.

A blueprint for peace in an era of disruption and conflict

Annual Report 2021 titled, “A blueprint for peace in an era of disruption and conflict” illustrates examples of Interpeace’s focus in our current five-year Strategy on building trust, strengthening social cohesion and resilience, and promoting inclusive and participatory approaches. All are critical to preventing violence, managing conflict, and fostering sustainable peace and development. We highlight key achievements both within communities and at the highest levels of policymaking – from successfully brokering a truce between groups in Kenya’s North Rift region to driving efforts to create the first-ever financial asset class of peace bonds.

In 2021 alone, we worked on 805 locally designed and led initiatives that contributed to the transformation of 162 conflicts. We supported six security reform initiatives and launched two new country programmes – in Yemen and Ethiopia. Through the ‘Principles for Peace’ initiative, which was conceived and continues to be incubated and hosted at Interpeace, we supported the creation and adoption in the year ahead of Principles that will reshape how peace processes are designed, implemented, and monitored. We established seven partnerships for human rights and peacebuilding work; deepened institutional partnerships with WHO, UNFPA, ILO, FAO, and IOM to strengthen the peace outcomes of their own technical interventions; and brought together champions from across seven UN agencies to further operationalise the Sustaining Peace Agenda and the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus.

Shaping Future Peacebuilding

Entitled “Shaping Future Peacebuilding”, the annual report illustrates how the obstacles and challenges we faced in 2020, especially the multidimensional COVID-19 crisis, did not hinder our work worldwide, but instead strengthened our adaptability and resilience. It also strengthened our determination to learn and to build stronger and more effective peace solutions in the years ahead with the communities that we serve.

The report highlights some remarkable impacts both on the ground and at the policy level. From enhancing safety and security in Libya to fostering individual and community healing and social cohesion in Rwanda, we are very pleased with these achievements that have planted the seeds of sustainable peace and development, and that are made possible by the tireless efforts of our own teams and partners. Globally, we have continued creating incentives and shaping policies for peace processes to be more fit for purpose. We are particularly delighted to have launched the Principles for Peace as an innovative, collective and global effort to create norms and principles to guide future peace efforts.

The global pandemic highlighted, more than ever before, the link between health and peace. Yet, we have observed that the link has not been explored to its full operational and policy potentials. In 2020, we invested in a better understanding of the concept of Peace & Health and its implications, building on our institutional partnership with the World Health Organisation and the added value of our ‘peace responsiveness’ approach through which we are creating better quality peace-oriented policies and practices of the international system.

Our Shared Responsibility

Interpeace’s Annual Report “Our Shared Responsibility” illustrates how we are strengthening the capacity of societies to manage conflict in non-violent ways, as well as assisting the international community to be more effective in peacebuilding as we push forward a Peace Responsiveness approach. In 2019, Interpeace enhanced safety and security in Kenya, by supporting a ceasefire that resulted in the peaceful resettlement of displaced persons and contributed to reduce violence in Burundi prior to elections, which is typically considered a highly volatile time. We continued our mandate to help build more resilient and inclusive societies in countries like Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Rwanda by focusing on enhancing trust between individuals, groups, communities and authorities, while addressing sources of marginalization and exclusion. In Mali, over 120 women, some who participated in armed movements, became active peace agents after agreeing to map high-risk conflict areas where they were then able to mediate and solve conflicts. Furthermore, through our Peacebuilding Advisory Team (IPAT) we helped improve international strategies for peace, working with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). Lastly, our work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and our newly launched programme in Burkina Faso have provided greater incentives for sustainable peace in the Great Lakes region and in the Sahel region.

Trust Matters

Interpeace's 2018 Annual Report, “Trust Matters” illustrates how we are working to foster and promote trust in conflict-affected regions of the world. From supporting statebuilding processes for over two decades in the Somali Region, to fostering trust and collaboration between the security sector and the population in Mali; and from strengthening the participation of women in decision-making processes in Guinea-Bissau, to collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to build trust between members of communities affected by the Ebola outbreak and the health response teams. As evidenced by these examples, ever-changing circumstances and challenges around the world, have encouraged Interpeace to adapt and constantly develop innovative solutions, as well as build new partnerships to better prevent violence and transform conflict.

Youth at the center of peacebuilding

Interpeace's 2017 Annual Report, "Youth at the center of peacebuilding", illustrates our work with youth groups around the world to try to better understand their needs and aspirations, what drives some young people to violence, and what strategies can be developed to harness their capacities for driving positive change in their communities. It is vital that we stop fearing or underestimating young people and start acknowledging them as partners in the development of society.