Happy Peace Day

I’ve been so wrapped up with the blog survey (and, you know, work) that I almost missed the International Day of Peace. That’s today! Promoting one day of peace! It’s a bit more modest than some of the UN’s other goals. Peace Day is a worthy effort, even if the logo is, well… judge for yourself:

Even still, in honor of Peace Day, I’m sharing a round-up of recent research and publications on peace. I should confess that I haven’t read most of these thoroughly, but I’ve given them enough of a skim to say that they’re worth checking out. (And to keep it interesting, I’ll be interspersing semi-related quotes from famous peacebuilders who express my thoughts more eloquently and succinctly than I could on my own.)

Constitution-making and Reform: Options for the Process — Interpeace

Interpeace has released a handbook on how to design and manage a constitution-making process in a way that promotes lasting peace. It uses a variety of case studies alongside a thorough examination of relevant actors, principles, processes, and other factors. It clocks in at about 400 pages. Not for the faint of heart. But then again, neither is constitution-making.

It takes time to build sustainable peace in society. If you are lucky you see the fruits and sometimes our role is to prepare the field and allow others to take it forward, leaving a heritage for the next generation. — Dekha Ibrahim Abdi

Peace Implementation in the Post-2005 Era: Lessons from Four Peace Agreements in Africa — African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)

This policy/practice brief discusses four peace agreements: Sudan’s 2005 CPA, Côte d’Ivoire’s 2007 Ouagadougou Agreement, Kenya’s 2008 accord to end the post-election violence , and Zimbabwe’s 2008 post-election agreement. The brief assesses the successes and failures of each, especially in implementation.

Conflict & Economics: Lessons Learned on Measuring Impact — Mercy Corps

Over the last few years, Mercy Corps has integrated research on poverty and conflict into its programs in Uganda, Ethiopia and Indonesia. This report covers programmatic lessons from that effort, as well as methodological issues associated with measuring peacebuilding impact. Researchers and M&E-ers will be especially interested in the report’s lists of indicators and data collection tools. In its programmatic recommendations, the report emphasizes the need to promote economic cooperation and “deep” interactions between communities in conflict (such as business partnerships), rather than increasing economic competition or facilitating “thin” interactions (such as trading). There is also a need for trust-building measures to be implemented in conjunction with economic development interventions.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. — Nelson Mandela

The Economics of Peace: Five Rules for Effective Reconstruction — US Institute of Peace

As long as we’re talking economics, this USIP report draws lessons from US reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Haiti. The 12-page brief doesn’t have the space to fully make the case for each of the rules, but it does provide illustrations of what they mean (or would mean, if they were followed).

The Non-Linearity of Peace Processes: Theory and Practice of Systemic Conflict Transformation Berghof Conflict Research

Berghof has put together a somewhat-pricey but really-interesting-looking collection of articles on the integration of systemic thinking into peacebuilding theory and practice. If anyone has gotten their hands on a copy, I’d love to hear about it.

Sisi Ni Amani, “Peacemapping” in Kenya — Insight on Conflict

This short post profiles the development of an interesting new initiative called Sisi Ni Amani (“We Are Peace” in Kiswahili). The idea is to use the Ushahidi platform to map peace initiatives in Kenya. The project is still in development, and whether it actually works or not, I love that it focuses on peace rather than violence.

It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pay attention to nonviolence TED

The following is a TED talk by documentary filmmaker Julia Bacha. The key takeaway is that outsiders to conflicts should pay attention to stories of peace and nonviolent resistance, rather than focusing on the violence. I disagree with the analogy in which the international community is the “parents” and Palestinian protestors are cast as “unruly children” – but otherwise it’s a great talk about how and why to support nonviolent action.

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