Using resilience to build peace – Practice brief: resilience and peacebuilding
The mainstream approach to peacebuilding is for the most part premised on finding solutions to fragility. As such, conflict analysis is the primary tool used to inform programmes and policies. Whilst a sound understanding of conflict dynamics, including root causes is necessary in order to develop an appropriate response, the fragility focus tends to overshadow the capacities and processes which are present, even in fragile contexts. Because even in the most challenging situations, there are individuals and communities acting to counter the effects and causes of conflict. Failure to take stock of these efforts can, and often does, undermine the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions, warranting criticism that programmes and policies are too generic and not sufficiently context specific.
Based on Interpeace’s experience with its Frameworks for Assessing Resilience programme (FAR) in Liberia, Guatemala and Timor-Leste, this brief proposes that using resilience assessments alongside conflict analyses can make peacebuilding initiatives more context-specific, more locally-owned and therefore more impactful. A resilience orientation offers an operational strategy for making peacebuilding more assertive about building peace and promoting transformation as opposed to being solely a response to fragility. After explaining the specificities of the concept of resilience in relation to conflict and peace, this brief will look at the added value of using resilience to build peace.