approach - peacebuilding and conflict transformation consultant serviceWe bring in-depth knowledge of conflict transformation and peacebuilding and rich practical expertise to the challenges that our partners face. With over eleven years of experience in working for change and in peacebuilding as well as substantial in-field expertise, we have developed approaches to assist and support organisations that are unique, innovative, proven and practical.

We believe that there are no standard, universal solutions. Experience has shown that custom-built approaches for the diverse range of stakeholders yield the greatest impact. In collaboration with each partner, we develop approaches that are grounded in the realities of their organisational capacities and capabilities as well as their unique position within the peace and conflict processes: approaches that are also unique, innovative, proven and practical.

These approaches are guided by values and principles and based on:

Integrating Rigorous Analysis ...

All effective strategies and intervention are based on a rigorous understanding and analysis of the complex peace and conflict dynamics, key stakeholders and relationships, and issues. Practitioners continue to assert the need for in-depth analysis to avoid costly mistakes, to ensure precise programme focus (including the right people at the right time and on the right issues), to prioritise and identify strategic entry points that are appropriate to the organisational skills and resources.

There is a strong assumption that the more that implementors and practitioners know about the specific given conflict situation, the more likely that they will have a constructive impact and reduce the chances of mistakes.

Understanding & Integrating Change …

Inherent in practitioners’ decisions about what to do in a particular situation are assumptions about how to bring about peace and change. These underlying assumptions are often implicit and rarely discussed. The component aims to bring these assumptions to the surface and allow the participants to test them against the conflict analysis.

Innovation & ‘Creating the Possible’ …

Identifying the best practices and lessons learnt is sometimes not enough for a way forward; sometimes, it must be invented. Local environments are as different as partners: international experiences have taught us that there are no Golden Solutions. We believe that unique and custom-made approaches often arise from working in partnership and seeking to creatively tackle the challenges together. We seek to bring in the latest developments from the field by generalising from our experience.

Ensuring Inclusivity, Multi-Partiality & Non-Discrimination …

A stable and durable peace is only possible through ensuring the involvement of all relevant stakeholders across society; furthermore, that these social groups are instilled with a sense of responsibility for the rebuilding and reconciliation process. Any exclusion or marginalisation of certain groups breeds resentment and sows the seeds for renewed violence. We work with all and any stakeholders who are openly and honestly working for reducing violent conflict and striving for peace.

Theory-Practice Mix – A Strategic Perspective …

The implementation of peacebuilding is activity-rich but strategy-poor. Frequently, organisations find themselves having to respond to rapidly changing situations on the ground, obtain funding for some areas and rely on implicit or thumb-rule to planning. Our approach is based on the conviction that the best practice is linked to the conceptual developments in the field of peacebuilding and a ‘sense of the bigger picture’.

Balancing Technical Solutions and Holistic Approaches …

There is a need to balance approaches that aim to change the immediate surroundings and those that focus on the complete system; those that are based on realpolitik with those based on idealpolitik, from solving to transforming a specific context.

Our work is based on the assumption that both perspectives are necessary in tackling ethnopolitical conflict and, what is more, that they are not exclusive of each other. On the contrary, both approaches need to be integrated into practical, on the ground activities.

Identifying practical steps forward …

In a field with a goal as high as peace, our efforts run the risk of becoming vague and elusive under this lofty ideal. Frequently, goals are defined in broad sweeping terms such as simply ‘to build a sustainable and durable peace’ and based on the assumption that whatever we do ‘must’ be good. All of our efforts are geared towards providing concrete, focused and precise ways forward to all partners. We strive to be clear and specific in our work and approach.