Over the past years, a series of international, regional and national peacebuilding related policy processes have been initiated by the international peacebuilding community, and together these initiatives have generated a common space where several layers of actors working with peacebuilding frameworks on an international, national, regional and local scale interact. However, with this has developed an increased complexity within the peacebuilding field, especially in relation with other processes such as development, state-building, preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping. ACCORD’s African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, recently created a space which brought relevant peacebuilding actors together to discuss issues of complexity, coherence and coordination within the peacebuilding policy community by holding a two-day seminar entitled “Towards a More Coherent Peacebuilding Policy Community”.
This seminar was held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 19-20 February 2014. This seminar was attended by 50 participants from across the globe from Inter-Governmental Organisations, International NGOs and Civil Society Organisations, Think Tanks, Local NGOs and Civil Society Organisations as well as African and local partners. Participants included Ms Sarah Cliffe (Assistant Secretary General for Civilian Capacity at the United Nations), Dr Khabela Matlosa (Director of Political Affairs at the African Union), Mr Takwa Suifon (Expert on PCRD at the African Union) and Dr Henk-Jan Brinkman (Chief of the Policy Planning and Application Branch of the United Nations), amongst others.
This workshop focused on issues of coherence and coordination between the peacebuilding policy community and what can be done to improve actions within this community. This is a very relevant and topical issue within the peacebuilding field, and was well received by all participants who engaged in intense discussions and group work sessions. The main output from this seminar will be a Policy and Practice Brief looking at what is meant by coherence and coordination, determining whether this is needed in the peacebuilding field and what principles can be taken forward to better the work within the peacebuilding policy field.
The event will be followed by a series of products, which will continue supporting increased coherence within the peacebuilding policy community. Amongst will include the release of recordings of the event, a Policy and Practice brief, as well as a list of key recommendations with the aim to strengthen coherence in peacebuilding settings. The event was live-tweeted on twitter.com/ACCORD.