Professor Alpaslan Ozerdem, Co-director of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University
Dr Chris Shannahan, Research Fellow, Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University
The Peace and Conflict Learning Hub published a scoping study outlining practical actionable recommendations in these areas for programmes and policy. Members of the Hub hoped to increase effective partnerships/collaboration between members of the Hub (secular and faith based) in conflict situations. The Hub focused on what is currently known within these areas, and how do we better communicate it. Then what do we need to know in terms of gaps to be addressed through further research and learning, with an emphasis on practical application afterwards.
In May 2016, the Peace and Conflict Learning Hub launched their scoping report at a side event at the World Humanitarian Summit. Chris Shannahan and Laura Payne of Coventry University authored “Faith-based Interventions in Peace, Conflict and Violence: A Scoping Study”, in close collaboration with the JLIF&LC Peace & Conflict Hub Members and Co-Chairs.
Adaption and innovation: meeting humanitarian needs in fragile and conflict contexts
There is no simple roadmap for operating in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The nature of these contexts requires constant learning, adaption and revision. And although contexts vary considerably, World Vision’s experience across diverse geographies and situation has revealed a number of core lessons.
This Learning Report captures World Vision’s learnings through real-time evaluations and case studies carried out in more than 10 fragile and conflict-affected contexts.
It includes examples of how World Vision adapts its programming to meet the needs of children in these contexts, including in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Kurdistan Region of the Republic of Iraq, Syria and Uganda.
The report also explores lessons learnt when operating in these fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Additionally, it highlights some of the core tools and approaches World Vision uses to ensure the organisation is grounded in conflict-sensitive and principled operations while being adaptable to the context.
The impact of the Interfaith Peace Platform on the peace process in the Central African Republic
Geneva Liaison Office of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)
Together with Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, president of the Central African Islamic Council, and Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Reverend Nicolas Guerekoyame-Gbangou, president of the Evangelical Alliance in the CAR formed the Interfaith Peace Platform. In a conflict, in which religion was declared the dividing element, their friendship challenged community leaders to promote peace and mutual understanding at village level throughout the country. As their influence grew and their efforts multiplied, their advice was sought both by the political elite on a landmark national reconciliation forum and the international community.
This paper aims to provide an overview of their work and seeks to identify key factors for their success. It also raises the question of whether the application of these factors could be a help for other countries facing similar crises.
Published: 2018Author:Rebekka Fiedler with Editor: J. Bromiley Interviews: Clément Métreau
To a large extent, governance capacity and community resilience explains the nature and structure of the response. In this report, three case studies – from Angola, Mali, and Honduras – of actual responses to climate change and conflict are presented.
Part one of this two-part report examined the overall links between climate change and conflict.1 It found how violent conflict worsens climate vulnerability. For example, violent conflicts lead to famine;
natural resources destruction is a deliberate tactic in waging war; conflict hampers macro-level responses to climate change; and the adoption of ‘green strategies’ can also be used to gain the upper
hand in conflicts.
Climate change hazards make it more difficult to tackle violence and build peace. Climate change can trigger food shortages, decrease water supplies or disrupt access to energy supplies – leading to economic and political turmoil, social unrest, riots, deadly battles and even all-out war. In response, the governments and militaries of 110 countries have already identified climate change as a threat to their national security.
Engaging with Faith Groups to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls in Conflict-affected Communities
Globally, one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is particularly prevalent and hard to address in conflict-affected areas.
Do local faith groups have a role to play in response?
This brief highlights key policy implications from Tearfund’s research in Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The project seeks to engage and equip faith leaders to be catalysts within communities to address the causes and consequences of violence against women and girls. It operates in 15 conflict-affected communities in Orientale Province in the DRC.
Religion is a factor in conflict and further understanding of the relationship is needed to resolve these conflicts. Challenges and opportunities in mitigating religious conflicts and effective approaches.
Published: 2018Author:The Center for Security Studies (CSS) ETH Zurich
As efforts to prevent atrocity crimes and their incitement are most likely to succeed when different actors are working in collaboration, the Plan of Action also includes recommendations for other actors, including States and state institutions and civil society, including new and traditional media.
The Plan of Action is founded on human rights principles, in particular the right to freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of religion and belief and the right of peaceful assembly. The Plan of Action contains three main clusters of recommendations that aim to prevent, strengthen and build. Each cluster includes recommendations that are organised according to thematic focus.
Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security
Prepared by the Soka Gakkai International
In March 2011, the northeast region of Japan known as Tohoku1 was hit by a natural disaster of enormous magnitude: The Great East Japan Earthquake. The 9.0-magnitude earthquake, coupled with numerous aftershocks, a series of highly destructive tsunami waves and a nuclear reactor accident, claimed thousands of lives, while causing lasting damage to the
surrounding communities and survivors of the atrocity. Even today, more than six years later, many continue to live in temporary housing and endure ongoing uncertainty about the future.
The core activities of the SGA aim to promote awareness and understanding through dialogue to advance the following three themes:
1. Build a culture of peace and a world free of nuclear weapons
2. Strengthen ties of friendship in Asia through dialogue and cultural exchanges
3. Support post-disaster reconstruction efforts after the Great East Japan Earthquake
Partners: Tearfund and Queen Margaret University, supported by the Universities of Duhok and the American University of Kurdistan, in the Duhok Governorate
Location: Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Religions involved: Yezidi and Muslim research participants. Tearfund is a Christian faith-based organization.
The research conducted in 2016 used a participatory approach to map and compare levels of trust and social connection in displaced and host Yezidi communities. The research was developed to understand the pathways of connection and trust in communities and how they relate to people’s options for immediate basic needs, resolving disputes and gender-based violence (GBV).
Create a setting in which religious leaders from the different faith communities can work together to help resolve disputes that cross religious divides.
Support community leaders including Mukhtars, religious leaders, tribal leaders and other elders in mediation and dispute resolution.
A gender-sensitive approach should be developed in order to work with faith leaders, community leaders, men and women within communities to identify and address harmful social and gender norms, strengthen community resilience, improve protection, and to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable are met.
Work with faith leaders within these communities, to address issues of stigma, and barriers within the ‘honour’ culture, to ensure that survivors of violence can safely access the services and support they need.
Recognise and build on existing efforts by faith leaders such as Baba Sheikh, who have publically established mechanisms for supporting and reintegrating Yezidi women and girls who have survived sexual violence and captivity.
Report conducted by Arigatou International GNRC and Goldin Institute (GI), on Experiential Stories of Former Child Soldiers (FCS), it is noted that the human race is losing close to 20,000 children daily on brutal wars. Children are conscripted against their will to kill, maim and plunder. In this report we learn that war is also one of the brutal ways of inflicting violence onto children.
Published: 2014Author: Arigatou International GNRC and Goldin Institute (GI), on Experiential Stories of Former Child Soldiers (FCS)
This publication presents case studies on interreligious action, highlighting specific approaches and tools that CRS staff members created and the networks they helped forge. They address shortcomings as well as successes and delineate lessons garnered from everyday experience. They also point to the many challenges on the horizon, such as finding ways to better employ religious resources in the pursuit of peace; linking community-level attitudinal and behavioral changes to broader social and religious transformation; effectively addressing personal traumas and prejudices; and fostering women’s and young people’s leadership in and through their religious communities.
Table of Contents
Foreword (J. Andreas Hipple, GHR Foundation)
Introduction (Tom Bamat, Nell Bolton and Myla Leguro)
Interreligious Action as a Driver for Social Cohesion and Development – Atalia Omer
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Choosing Peace Together (CPT) – Nell Bolton and Edita Čolo Zahirović
Building Capacities for Peace across Africa – Shamsia Ramadhan
Central African Republic (CAR): Platforms for Social Cohesion – Jean Baptiste Talla
Coastal Kenya: United for Children’s Rights – Grace Ndugu
Mindanao: Binding, Bonding and Bridging – Myla Leguro and the A3B Project Team
Upper Egypt: Action for Interreligious Tolerance – Roger Fahmy and Malaka Refai
This contribution from an insider Muslim author provides peace workers with a few resources from Islamic tradition that could be used when addressing a conflict rooted in an Islamic context. It presents briefly a number of basic Islamic concepts that are often misunderstood and misused. It addresses the issues of peace and war, conflict and conflict transformation, the requirements for decent work, the concept of «work of goodness» as well as other issues related to Islam/West relations, the tensions that may arise between Muslims and Westerners and the way to deal with them.
Published: 2013Author:Abbas Aroua, with a foreword by Johan Galtung
Promotion of a culture of peace and interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace
26 September 2016
Report of the Secretary-General
The present report provides an overview of the activities that have been carried out by the main United Nations entities working in the areas of a culture of peace and interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace since the adoption by the General Assembly of its resolutions 70/19 and 70/20.
Quranic schools (QS) play a central role in the education system in the Islamic world. Despite their relatively small numbers, QS teachers play a major role in introducing Islamic values to the public. Thus, working with QS becomes a key strategy in influencing local Islamic discourse. This article introduces a case study of a program integrating peace, interfaith, and human rights education in QS in West Africa while drawing on the Islamic tradition in peace-building. Results suggest that this approach offers advantages for addressing the challenges inherent in engaging these schools.
Interfaith initiatives respond to the violence and uneasy tensions of our times and interfaith efforts aim to confront the root causes, especially those that touch on religious beliefs and practices. Interfaith work looks to identify solutions in common values and goals that can help cross deep social and political divides, binding people together. This project set out to understand the many initiatives that involve interfaith dialogue and action and to appreciate their impact and the challenges they face. The task is complicated by the remarkable diversity of initiatives and the fact that they are multiplying rapidly. This report is an introduction to a complex field and a stock-taking. It offers a map of the history, intellectual foundations, and major features and actors involved in interfaith work.
Islam, like all religions, strongly influences social, economic and political spheres of life. Tenets that are perceived to be Islamic shape the status of and relationship between women and men. These tenets result in women – because they are women – being denied a number of human rights, for example in cases of divorce or inheritance law. Religious leaders and scholars often justify these forms of discrimination by referring to Islamic sources.
Role of Religion and Religious Leaders in Farmer-Pastoralist Conflict in Plateau State: An Inter-Religious Peacebuilding in Northern Nigeria (IPNN) Qualitative Research Report
In the context of persistent, low-intensity conflict, which has characterized Nigeria’s Middle Belt for the past decade, Mercy Corps’ Interfaith Peacebuilding in Northern Nigeria (IPNN) program, supported by the Gerald A. and Henrietta Rauenhorst (GHR) Foundation, reduces violent incidents and increases economic activity by leveraging the roles of religious leaders to create interfaith cooperation in a region where ethnicity and religion are closely interlinked. As part of this effort, this IPNN qualitative research study evaluated the impact of religious leaders and interfaith initiatives on peacebuilding outcomes. The research was conducted through four separate field visits to Plateau State—including the four IPNN sites and one control site—and answers three interconnected questions.
Published: 2016Author:Mercy Corps and GHR Foundation
From analysis to action: World Vision’s journey of rapid context analysis in humanitarian emergencies
This briefing explains one of the tools that World Vision has developed in order to assess contexts rapidly: ‘Good Enough Context Analysis for Rapid Response’ (GECARR). It shares some of the challenges, impacts and reflections that World Vision and others have observed when conducting context analysis in dangerous places. It highlights some key challenges involved when doing context analysis in fragile and conflict-prone contexts as well as some of the elements of effective context analysis that have been observed.We draw upon discussions with 20 key informants based on the ground and in headquarter offices including INGOs, donors, think tanks and consultants.
Published: 2016Author:Sarah Klassen, Sarah Pickwick, Johan Eldebo
This report provides an overview of the engagement with faith-based actors and faith-related activities by the members of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Engaging Faith-Based Actors for Sustainable Development
Published: 2016Author:UNFPA, on behalf of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Engaging Faith-Based Actors for Sustainable Development
Effective Inter-religious Action in Peacebuilding (EIAP) Guide for Program Evaluation
Peter Woodrow and Michelle Garred, with assistance from Diana Chigas, and contributions from David Steele and Ricardo Wilson-Grau CDA Collaborative Learning Projects
The Alliance for Peacebuilding and its partners in the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium—CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, Mercy Corps, and Search for Common Ground—began the Effective InterReligious Action in Peacebuilding project (EIAP), with funding from the GHR Foundation. This three-year initiative seeks to improve the evaluation practices of inter-religious peacebuilding programs by addressing three specific gaps in inter-religious peacebuilding efforts: measurement, cooperation, and policy. The goals of the EIAP are two-fold: 1) to generate guidance on how to evaluate inter-religious action, and 2) to develop a framework for ongoing learning regarding what constitutes effective inter-religious action
Presentation from Maryam Dada Ibrahim at Faith Works Africa: Partnerships for Peace and Prosperity on Conflict Prevention, Migration and Counter Violent Extremism. Includes next steps and recommendations in engaging faith based groups.
Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP), in collaboration with CDA Collaborative Learning and Search for Common Ground (SFCG) recently convened a group of 30 leading experts to discuss how to better measure the effectiveness of inter-and intra-religious action for peacebuilding. The meeting is part of a three-year program funded by the GHR Foundation entitled, Effective Inter-religious Action in Peacebuilding (EIAP) Program and took place in Istanbul, Turkey from June 15- 17, 2016.
The purpose of the meeting was as follows:
1. To share best practices and lessons learned in evaluating inter- and intra-religious action for peacebuilding;
2. To provide input into the Guide for Assessment of Inter-Religious Action (GAIA);
3. To explore how to more effectively measure the impact of specific sub-sectors of inter- and intra-religious action for peacebuilding; and
4. To strengthen ties across a diverse group of stakeholders working in the field of inter- and intra-religious action for peacebuilding.
Statement from FBOs regarding unmentioned faith in the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 during WCDRR 2015 in Sendai Japan. To see the document, and other publications by the Humanitarian Forum Indonesia, click here: http://www.humanitarianforumindonesia.org/Download/SeminarMaterial.aspx
The Syria crisis alone is the worst humanitarian crisis since the second world war. The following eBook, shows a basic explanation of the refugee crisis, how life as a refugee destroys children’s future and steps anyone can take to make a difference.
To download the eBook, click here: http://app.fh.org/refugee?utm_source=refugeedownload&utm_medium=resources&utm_campaign=downloads
This case study provides an overview of how a peace movement led by lay religious women inspired people across ethnic and religious lines and helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War (1999-2003).
The study examines this Liberian phenomenon by answering six questions: What are the causes of conflict in Liberia? How did domestic religious actors promote peace? How was laity-led peacebuilding different from that of religious elites? How did domestic efforts intersect with international efforts at peace? What factors explain the success of religion-inspired peacebuilding? How did religious actors continue to promote peace in the post-conflict phase? The case study includes a core text, a timeline of key events, a guide to relevant religious organizations, and a list of further readings.
To read the report, click https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/publications/ending-liberia-s-second-civil-war-religious-women-as-peacemakers
Since the conflict began, more than 1,900 Palestinians – including women and children – have died and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes. Over 1.5 million people are without reliable access to basic services and the public health system is close to collapse. Up to a quarter of the population has been displaced and many homes destroyed. Islamic Relief is on the ground in Gaza, delivering vital humanitarian aid.
This link contains Islamic Relief’s work in this specific context and several other cases and reports under its publications file.
To read click here: http://www.islamic-relief.org/publications/
This report, published with the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS), offers background on the January 2016 Marrakesh Declaration on the Rights of Minorities in Predominantly Muslim Majority Communities. Muslim scholars and politicians issued the Marrakesh Declaration as a concerned and concerted response to the widespread persecution and violence against minorities, particularly by extremist groups in recent years that claim Islamic justification for violent acts.
This report explains the background and content of the Declaration and offers recommendations for its implementation. This report was originally commissioned by CIRIS on behalf of the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy, a community of diplomats in North America and Europe who engage on religious issues for their respective foreign ministries.
Islamic Relief report, Invisible Lives, outlining how a lack of livelihoods options, chronic underfunding and the threat of violence, is making life difficult for Syrian women refugees living in neighboring Iraq and Lebanon.
The case study reviews the religious landscape in Kenya and provides an overview of the various types of violence, pointing to the complex overlapping of ethnicity and religion. The difference between types of conflict and their causes are explored, with special attention to the roles of religious actors, and examples of peacebuilding through inter-religious cooperation are highlighted, notably the Ufungamano Initiative. Various inter-religious organizations in Kenya are introduced, as well as an analysis of the growing potential for collaboration.
This article explores the role of Religious Leader Engagement (RLE), a capability under development in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and operational focus of the CAF Chaplain Branch. It stands as a recent contribution to the Comprehensive Approach.
An Evidence Brief for the WHS, based on the Scoping Study and linked to WHS Core Commitment 1 “Global leadership to prevent and end conflict”, is available here.
“Faith-based Interventions in Peace, Conflict and Violence: A Scoping Study” was authored by Chris Shannahan and Laura Payne of Coventry University, in close collaboration with the JLIF&LC Peace & Conflict Hub Members and Co-Chairs: Sarah Pickwick (World Vision), Alpaslan Ozerdem (Coventry University) and Lucy Salek (Islamic Relief).
Report from the Second Donor-United Nations-Faith Based Organizations’ (DUF II) Policy Roundtable
This technical report focuses on the role of religious actors, and religious considerations in the SDG agenda, particularly as they pertain to gender equality, peaceful coexistence and security considerations. The perspectives in these pages bring together experiences and policy analysis shared from the different realities of Donors, UN agencies and Faith-Based NGOs. The narratives build on and inform policies are required at a time when religion is predominantly viewed as an emerging challenge.
This article underlines the need to move beyond the exhausted notion of all religions preaching peace to studying the specific manner in which violence is legitimised in each religion. This is the first step liberal secularists need to take if they plan to mount a successful challenge to the dominance of the Hindu right.
With the unexpected and disconcerting reemergence of religion as a first order cleavage in global politics, scholars and policy makers have been scrambling to bring some analytical order to the phenomenon. In this article, the author seeks to show why the existing approaches to religious violence are limited in their explanatory value. In the first approach, there is a denial of the significance of religious cleavages writ large. In the second approach there is an excessive emphasis on theology and individual motivations. It offers an approach derived from historical institutionalism and argues that this approach generates a useful and different frame within which to understand the phenomenon of religious conflict and violence.
By involving religious leaders and using their influence in the local community, a Saferworld project in Bangladesh has been able to more effectively address safety and security issues and promote peace, write G.M. Shoeb Ahmed and Bibhash Chakraborty.
Reflections and recommendations on “Working on Religion, Peace and Conflict in Theravada Buddhist Countries” arising from an exchange between peacebuilding practitioners held 19-21 March 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The reflection contains four pages. They include highlights and summarized recommendations.
Published: 2015Author:Owen Frazer and Martine Miller
The aim of this Toolkit is to help lower the discomfort of USAID staff in making the analytical and programmatic connections between conflict, religion and peacebuilding. The Key Issues section provides additional arguments for why development practitioners should—and can—address religion more directly. Special attention is given to clarifying the legal provisions governing engagement with religious organizations and detailing a nine-step process of due diligence to ensure that programming is both sensitive and effective.
The Program Options section provides in-depth summaries of four USAID-funded programs that engage both religiously-grounded grievances and religious actors. Such an approach is a departure from other Toolkits, but given the agency’s limited experience with this type of programming, in-depth treatments detailing objectives, activities, partners, and lessons learned seem more helpful and more likely to overcome the discomfort by demonstrating the possible. The Toolkit also includes valuable lessons learned and a list of organizations active in the nexus of religion and conflict that offer various resources to conflict analysts or development programmers.
The Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM) recognizes that we are at an early stage understanding and addressing the nexus of conflict, religion and peacebuilding. Thus this Toolkit is a more of a starting than an ending point. To help advance this work, CMM has established a Religion and Conflict resource page on the USAID Intranet (inside.usaid.gov/dcha/cmm) that will be regularly updated with new project summaries and new resources. We also encourage questions, comments and suggestions by email to: [email protected]
Islamic faith and commitment to community driven development key questions:
What does it mean to be a Muslim INGO working in fragile or conflict environments?
What inspiration and messages are provided for us by Islamic theology and history that can inform our approach to transforming conflict?
Can this provide a stable foundation to approach transformation?
Islamic Relief found the answer to the last question to be a resounding ‘yes’. As a result, Islamic Relief has developed a faith based policy and toolkit to guide our activities in contexts of conflict and fragility.
The toolkit has been designed to be a practical resource for Islamic Relief staff and is designed to be used in tandem with existing guidelines. We hope, insh’Allah, that this toolkit will not only be used by Islamic Relief staff, but also by colleagues from other agencies who are working with Muslim communities towards building lasting peace. To this end we have included a separate ‘Introduction’ for readers who are less familiar with Islam and Muslim communities.
This toolkit draws from current knowledge and best practice across the field, but approaches each area of work from an Islamic perspective and offers suggestions to the reader on how they might approach programming in conflict-affected areas from that basis. The tools included should be considered as facilitating (not as an alternative to) context specific approaches. Readers are actively encouraged to re-design and amend tools and approaches to reflect the knowledge and experience of their beneficiaries.