Capacity strengthening initiative for local South African women peacebuilders

An introduction to policy awareness

ACCORD begins the third year of its Capacity Strengthening Initiative, themed, “From Capacity Strengthening to Policy Awareness”.  The initiative aims to continue supporting the existing cohort of South African women peacebuilders with policy knowledge and awareness in the context of South Africa.

Stemming from an evaluation of the 2021-2022 capacity-building efforts, ACCORD found that the actual policy tools to support the women in their peacebuilding initiatives were not fully available or accessible to all. The 2023 initiative will thus transition from capacity building to policy knowledge and awareness, with an emphasis on key elements of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and South Africa’s National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). This will be done through a bottom-up approach recognising that advancing the existing cohort of women peacebuilders on ways to utilise NAP will assist them in using the policy as a tool to promote change within their organisations and communities.

To kick-start the Initiative, an introductory session was held on 23 March 2023, where the women peacebuilders had an opportunity to reflect on and characterise their existing partnerships. This exercise sought to probe the participants to reflect on the type of partnership they envision having with ACCORD in this next phase, and consider what the next steps would be in attaining such a partnership. It was agreed that from this reflection, that a ‘partnership agreement checklist’ would be drawn up and considered in the upcoming sessions. 

This project is located within ACCORD’s institution-wide 2022 – 2026 vision, particularly the strategic objectives seeking to “Strengthen the role of multi-dimensional stakeholders to deal with complex conflicts” and “Enhance the role of women to prevent, mitigate and resolve complex conflicts”. ACCORD looks forward to the next session in which participants will be assessed on their level of understanding of the theories, and concepts covered in the previous project period.

Article by:

Lwandile Moyo
Programme Officer