Learning from 'locals': lessons and research ideas in post-conflict peacebuildingRosemary CairnsRoads to Research PresentationJanuary 12, 2011
Presentation outline • Introduction (10 minutes) • Main research findings (20 minutes) • Ideas for further research (15 minutes) • Discussion (15 minutes)
A belief in local competence • Involved in elections in Canada and internationally. • Elections depend on local competence; observation assessed degrees of competence. • Different assumptions underlying much international peacebuilding • A paradigm shift is beginning
Wonderingabout that term “state failure” • What was the model of success? • Who defined success, and what did citizens think? • Can we learn from ‘failed states’? • Are there areas within failed states where people have built peace?
Finding ‘islands of achievement’ • Somaliland, in the Horn of Africa • Brcko District, in the Balkans • Communities and governance rebuilt locally after devastating civil war • How did they do it? What did they learn from their achievements? What can we learn?
Five key “island” lessons • 1. The importance of safe places to meet • 2. Learning how to work together again • 3. The value of a public agenda • 4. The importance of local revenue sources • 5. Locally driven planning and international expertise
1. A safe place to begin talking together again • Conflict divides, makes people fearful, drives them back into smaller groups • Given a safe place, moderates will begin talking together again • Talking together leads to working together • Creating safe places increases the space for moderation in politics & leadership
Safety in Somaliland • The clan elders led the process, using traditional methods of conflict resolution, at invitation of SNM • Started at the local level, began small, grew larger and upwards • Re-education for youth, reweaving community • Different from Somalia
Safety in Brcko District • Role of the tribunal, supervisor, local people • Slow process of identifying moderates, finding entry points for work together • Local partnership meant community dealt with divisive issues (symbols, names) • Impact on political environment
2. Learning to work together again • Safety makes it possible for people to learn to work together again • The importance of small steps • Community sets the pace itself • Identify entry points for bigger activities • Bottom up, vs top down • Citizens and political leaders
3. Value of a public agenda • Somaliland – agreements from meetings, reached after much discussion, are shared widely. Peace Charter 1993. • Strategies to deal with potential spoilers • Brcko District – interim awards, final award set clear path forward after intensive listening • Accountability to local community
4. Importance of local revenue sources • Ports generated revenue for government in both regions • Local control of revenues encouraged cooperation, transparency of budgeting and spending • Local revenue generation supported local planning, budgeting
Role of business • Trade was a uniting factor • Business community had freedom to innovate • Business people saw themselves as having a peacebuildingrole • the 2 Hargeisa hotels; Arizona market • Privatization/private business growth • Telecommunications, money transfer
5. Locally driven planning and outside expertise • Diaspora/local partnership in Somaliland meant development was locally driven • Lack of government resources required collaboration with community and NGOs and continues to do so • Outside expertise focused on specific capacity building (municipal organization, taxation, law reform)
Areas for exploration • 1. Scaling up the islands • Can islands form the basis for a post-conflict peacebuilding strategy country-wise? Can an ‘island’ be scaled up? • What “island” lessons can be applied to a country or a larger region?
Areas for exploration • 2. Indigenizing governance • While traditional clan-based, elder-led methods built peace, governance possibilities ‘western’ based • The clan system was ‘vertical’, western systems were ‘horizontal’ and did not incorporate the balances between clans in the traditional system • Extensive body of solutions for clan disputes, but every governance problem is a crisis • What if they had continued exploring the governance possibilities of their own CT approaches? SNM offered example of democratic clan based governance
Areas for exploration • 3. Best practices in locally led peacebuilding in post conflict situations • Rebuilding local CT knowledge and capacity • Successful partnership practices • Governance approaches, models that work • Role of/for business • Successful international contributions
Areas for exploration • 4. Cost benefit analysis • Comparison of costs of locally led approaches vs internationally driven approaches • Somaliland vs. Somalia • Brcko vs BiH • “Iceberg”/”hippotamus” analogy
Areas for exploration • 5. Impact of personal leadership strategies, relationships • The role of key leaders • Approaches and ways of working • “It’s not about us – it’s about them”