Peace and conflict

Peace and conflict

Pact partners with conflict-affected communities to overcome root causes of cross-border and ethnic-based violence to create lasting peace.

Conflict affects millions of people in communities around the world, from Europe to Africa to Asia and beyond. Preventing and mitigating violence and building sustainable peace are the first steps toward long-term development, and those efforts are the necessary foundation for economic prosperity, quality public services such as health care and education, improved infrastructure and more.

A dedication to integrated programming drives Pact’s work with partners in conflict-affected communities to advance peace and justice. Peacebuilding is a long-term and collaborative process that involves enabling societies to manage their differences without conflict and shifting attitudes and norms that drive violence. Part of Pact’s governance programming portfolio, our peace and conflict work focuses on addressing root causes of cross-border and ethnic-based violence, identifying shared interests that incentivize peace, and working with governments, civil society and communities to build sustainable institutions and mechanisms for resolving conflict.

Our expertise includes inclusive peace dialogues, negotiations and agreements, youth and women-led peacebuilding, access to justice, trauma healing, economic empowerment for resilience and peace, behavior change communication, and conflict-sensitive development programming. We apply adaptive management tools and principles and a structured approach to building and maintaining trust with local communities. We work at the local, national and regional levels and we collaborate with formal and informal civic and community groups. Pact’s efforts to advance peace and justice take place largely in the Horn of Africa and Central Africa.

What We Do

Democracy, rights and governance programming in conflict-affected and fragile contexts
Building on our experience in civil society strengthening, capacity development and local governance, we implement integrated and multi-disciplinary interventions in conflict-affected and fragile contexts to address root causes  of conflict. We also combine approaches for promoting constructive social dialogue, social accountability and economic empowerment in areas such as the Horn of Africa and northern Nigeria.

Conflict prevention and peacebuilding
We have developed tailored approaches to implementing cross-border peacebuilding programs, including training and mobilizing networks of change agents to monitor and mitigate conflict tensions and design community-level messaging campaigns to mitigate violence. Our civil society partners work with governments and other authorities to establish mechanisms and processes that enable dialogue and conflict resolution, and we support national and regional institutions to develop conflict early warning systems. We recognize that women and youth are critical stakeholders who meaningfully advance conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities, and we prioritize their engagement and leadership in formal and informal community structures. We support communities to cope with underlying trauma, guided by a customized version of Eastern Mennonite University's Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience framework

Justice, rights and security
Recognizing that fair and efficient justice services are a critical dimension of reducing the saliency of extremist groups and building peaceful, resilient societies, in Somalia we work with local change agents and civil society organizations to support community-based justice services. Partnering with the Somalia Ministry of Justice, we are developing “model courts” and establishing channels for accessing legal services within Somalia’s pluralistic legal system. In Colombia, we are expanding citizen security through the promotion and protection of human rights for Venezuelan migrants and receptor communities.

Environment, natural resources and climate security
Pact implements a range of community-based natural resource management programs that support improved governance and co-management of shared resources, which are often at the center of conflict. We facilitate interest-based negotiations where communities in conflict can address land and resource-based disputes and we support cross-border intergovernmental meetings where stakeholders develop joint action points to manage the conflict and mitigate its consequences. Our programs support local change agents to disseminate critical information about these agreements and decisions to their respective communities in order to bolster their legitimacy and sustainability.

Assessments and analytical inquiries
Pact has significant experience using applied research, assessments and learning to inform adaptive programming. We have used our Applied Political Economy Analysis (APEA) approach to map and understand the political and economic incentives that drive the behavior of key actors in more than 30 programs. This includes conflict-affected environments such as the DRC, Ethiopia, northern Nigeria, Somalia and southeastern Myanmar. We serve as the APEA lead for USAID’s Human Rights Support Mechanism.

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