To do this in a meaningful way, means transforming the structures and systems which drive exclusion and conflict in the first place. These are closely linked to gender, identity and imbalances of power. 

Inclusive and equal societies are less prone to violent conflict. And evidence shows that peace initiatives that are more inclusive have a better chance of success.

When whole societies are involved in building peace, there is more support for the process. This can help prevent a relapse into armed violence, ensure the interests and expertise of different communities are represented, and ensure signatories to a peace deal are held to account. 

We work with our partners to create opportunities for those often on the sidelines, including women, gender and sexual minorities, youth, displaced people and indigenous communities, to lead and participate in initiatives to build peace. We conduct research, and share learning, on the importance of participation and provide practical advice on how peacebuilding can be more gender sensitive and inclusive.

Including persons with disabilities in peacebuilding

More than half of all persons with disabilities live in countries affected by conflict and natural disasters. But their skills and potential as peacebuilders are often overlooked and under-resourced. They can provide critical insights into the nature of peace and how to transform the discrimination that often drives conflict. 

Physical, institutional, attitudinal and communication barriers can all prevent the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in peacebuilding. We’ve been working with peace practitioners living with disabilities to explore and share how these barriers can be overcome. 

Norhanie Mamasabulod Taha is a member of the Community Safety Working Group for Barangay Long in the Philippines and lives with restricted mobility following a childhood accident. She shares her story of becoming a leader for peace.

Flexible funding for women peacebuilders

Over twenty years after the adoption of the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, women remain significantly underrepresented in peace initiatives. Women around the world are facing steep obstacles, direct resistance and great personal risks in their efforts to ensure they, and other women, can help shape the future of their countries.

Conciliation Resources is working alongside other INGOs as part of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund to deliver a series of grants to address the funding gap on women’s participation in peace processes.

In Liberia the stream has funded two civil society organisations - the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) and Liberia Future Trust (LiFT) - aiming to make the national peace process more inclusive. The new funding stream has enabled these organisations to build on current momentum to increase women’s voices, representation and meaningful participation.

Decentralised Dialogue in the Central African Republic

The Central African Republic has seen over two decades of conflict and failed peace initiatives. This long-running, complex conflict cannot be sustainably resolved by top-down peace processes or headline deals at the national level. Local drivers of violence also need to be addressed, so that unresolved community grievances do not generate new waves of violence or undermine national settlements.

We have been piloting the Decentralised Dialogue, bringing together community representatives, the state, civil society, religious leaders, business and young people.  The dialogues aim to develop sustainable, inclusive and legitimate local mechanisms to allow community views to be articulated, identifying the communication channels and messengers to ensure these views are heard at the right level, and to act as a forum for the discussion and dissemination of resulting agreements and policies. Find out more.