Effective interventions

Stockholm Forum Session Report 'Still Engaging, But Differently: Shifting the Power to Locally Led Peace Initiatives'

This is a report of the session 'Still Engaging, But Differently: Shifting the Power to Locally Led Peace Initiatives'. It was hosted by Peace Direct and KPSRL at the Stockholm Forum for Peace and Development on 7 May 2024.

Key takeaways are: 

  •  Community activists are the first responders and the last to leave. The international community’s main task should be to strengthen their initiatives and follow their adaptive leadership in times of crisis.
    • This instead of limiting them with conservative, risk-averse systems and engaging with the dominant “deficit mindset” by donors and INGOs towards local partners.
    • The added value of INGOs can still be to amplify voices and facilitate connections, share capacities and risks, and speak up where that is unsafe for local partners.
  • A focus on donor priorities over local priorities is unsustainable and does not benefit peace nor security. Donors and INGOs should take trust as the starting point in ‘approach-based partnerships’, focusing on the ‘how’ of supporting sustainable processes instead of the ‘what’ of donor’s desired short-term priorities.
  • Be critical of the term ‘local’: also at (sub)national level there are many different views and interests. Engaging with any context requires humility, curiosity and conflict sensitivity.
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