Conducting a conflict analysis and mapping of networks and influencers to understand the contemporary dynamics and key players before conducting local level restitution dialogues to validate assessment outcomes and feed into recommendation and peacebuilding approach ideas to be shared with US and Afghan stakeholders.
By mapping and capturing perceptions from communities for a deeper understanding of their needs, aspirations, and local opportunities that can be leveraged, Search for Common Ground and TLO will foster new conversations and test solutions that can assess the ripeness of peace and provide concrete evidence on effective approaches to guide recommendations for national and international policy makers.
The project set out two specific objectives:
1. to increase understanding among US and Afghan peace process stakeholders of local conflict drivers, influential stakeholders and the ripeness of local peacebuilding initiative that support peace process and reconciliation
2. To test evidence-based and adaptive local peacebuilding initiatives that can be supported and leveraged by national and international stakeholders
Goal: to build a greater understanding of the ripeness for peace and effective, locally rooted approaches to achieve it in Afghanistan
Conflict Analyses and mapping
Search and TLO Used an incremental trust-building approach with local Stakeholders to undertake conflict analyses and a mapping of influencers and networks in target provinces. Both tools conducted in a participatory way to understand and identify local level conflict issues and their unique drivers, impacts, and dynamics, as well as the needs and aspirations of the target communities. Additional inquiries include examining the role of youth in reporting ceasefire violations and assessing how local relationships create an enabling environment for peace processes.
Local level restitution and dialogues
These dialogues garnered Afghan citizens’ idea through community dialogues that aimed to validate findings of our Gender and Conflict Assessment by sharing the reports of our research back with local citizens in all the six target communities including Puli Khumri of Baghlan province, Matoon of Khost, Sorkhroad of Nangarhar, Kalakan and Shakardara of Kabul, and Bagram of Parwan province. For this, TLO organized and conducted two community dialogue sessions (12 in total) in each of the foregoing target location. Each session was attended by around 30 participants including citizens from different walks of life such as village elders, tribal leaders, religious leaders, school teachers, government officials, CSO activists, and ordinary citizens. Each session witnessed almost equal participation of men and women.
Creation of recommendations and local peacebuilding ideas
The Liaison Office conducted three sessions of the creation of recommendations and local peacebuilding ideas workshops in each target location which included Bagram, Kalakan, Matoon, Pulikhomri, Shakardara and Sorkhroad. TLO conducted a total of 18 creation workshops and the number of participants in each session were 15 that included both male and female. The participants of these workshops included academics, CSO activists, maliks, CDC members, Mullah Imams, tribal leaders and local government officials of each target location. The purpose of these workshops was to develop and generate ideas and collect the suggestions of the people on what kind of peacebuilding programs/activities are needed to be conducted in their community. These suggestions should be based on the findings of the CA report and the needs of the respective community. The role of women and youths was requested to be indicated and the direct and indirect beneficiaries were also specified for the suggested programs.
Peacebuilding initiative dialogues and listening circles
Two rounds of the workshop conducted each of these events there were 15 participants who were chosen from the beneficiaries of the grants being implemented by the CSOs in the six target locations each Matoon, Kalakan, Bagram, Pulikhomri, Sorkhroad and Shakardara. Based on the agenda, participants were given proper instruction to present their ideas in regard to peace programs that were previously organized in each target area. In each session participants were divided into four groups to express their level of satisfaction from the peace related activities implemented in their area. Overall, participants were happy about the events organized for them and as per the questions they presented their opinions in regard to the event
Safe and inclusive spaces created for communities to identify and discuss key drivers of conflict, key local influencers and potential entry points for local approaches in the target areas. Also National and international stake holders have increased access and knowledge of locally-rooted recommendations for effective evidence-based approaches for peace and reconciliation.
Furthermore, local communities are empowered to design and lead local peacebuilding initiatives that de-escalate violence in the target areas. Increased understanding among national and international stakeholders of effective peacebuilding approaches and opportunities for future replication in support of peace and reconciliation.