Effective interventions

Enhancing Local Peace Committees: facilitating stakeholder debate on the strategic choices involved in transitional justice

ZOA and Radboud University Nijmegen and Mi Parec

ZOA in collaboration with the Centre for International Conflict Analysis and Management of the Radboud University Nijmegen and Mi Parec, Burundi has conducted an applied research project on Local Peace Committees.  Local Peace Committees (LPCs) have become an important strategy of development organizations to promote transitional justice in conflict-affected contexts. In practice, working with LPCs implies several strategic choices, notably on (1) the kind of peace, justice and societal change envisioned; (2) how local peacebuilding links to developments and interventions at others levels; and (3) the type of institutions to be promoted at the local level, and the future role of LPCs. However, so far, choices made tend to reflect the (implicit) assumptions and preferences of (international) intervening organizations. It remains difficult to assure the involvement and leadership of local stakeholders like local authorities and peace committees in those choices.

Through literature research and interviews with representatives from local and international development organizations in Burundi and Uvira Territory (eastern DR Congo) the project ‘Enhancing Local Peace Committees’ explored the assumptions and preferences guiding interventions to support LPCs. On the basis of this research and in close collaboration with practitioner organizations from the region, two toolkits were developed to visualise the programmatic choices involved in designing interventions around LPCs, both for practitioners and local stakeholders.

This policy brief summarizes the main findings from the project, and points out implications for peacebuilding practitioners. Findings highlight the need to be explicit about the assumptions underlying strategies to enhance LPCs, to regularly review strategy in light of changes in context, and to systematically take account of peacebuilding processes and interveners at other levels. The toolkits developed proved helpful to facilitate this. You can download the toolkit by consulting one of the following links:

- Toolkit (English)

- Toolkit (French)

A French version of this policy brief is available by consulting this link.


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