Conflict Prevention Mechanisms in the Covid-19 Pandemic Er

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The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – Mediation Support Unit (MSU), with ACCORD, convened a hybrid dialogue to facilitate discussions towards building and strengthening partnerships between Civil Society Organization’s (CBO’s), Academia, Think Tanks, Faith Based Organizations (FBO’s), Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO’s) in the Region. This dialogue took place in Nairobi, Kenya from 22-24 October 2021. 

During the welcoming address, Dr Aleu Garang, the Head of the Mission of IGAD to the Republic of South Sudan and Director of IGAD MSU at the IGAD Secretariat in Djibouti, highlighted the relevance of knowledge sharing in conflict prevention, management, and resolution efforts.  Dr Garang’s remarks set the intention of the dialogue which aimed to strengthen institutional and operational capacities within IGAD MSU and its partners through knowledge sharing. 

The platform brought together representatives from the Youth Hub Sudan, ANATABAN, Sports for Peace Kenya, South Sudan Women Empowerment Network, Women International Peace Centre, Global Network for Women Peace Builders (GNWP), Young Women Mediators, African Leadership Centre (ALC), Centre for Social Development (CES), Centre for Research and Human Development (CRHD), Centre for Peace Universities of Juba and Khartoum, Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS). ACCORD was represented by Mrs Karishma Rajoo, General Manager of Programmes, and Ms Marisha Ramdeen, the Coordinator within ACCORD’s Programmes Division. The facilitated discussion allowed for sharing of lessons learnt and explored the challenges and opportunities that new technologies present for peacebuilding. The challenges discussed, included, the lack of resources and information to address key issues in the communities, misinformation, digital divide, loss of financial resources, and issues affecting women, and youth in peace and security.

The dialogue provided the IGAD-MSU with the opportunity to engage with its partners, to strengthen collaboration and networking between the organizations by creating a space for sharing of experiences and best practices in conflict prevention and mediation. The partners recommendations echoed the need to support further capacity building and funding opportunities for youth-led organisations, incorporating arts and culture as a method of peacebuilding, encouraging more evidence-based research, capacitating women mediators through the use of technology, and enhancing partnerships through exploring longer-term dialogues on capacity development. 

ACCORD continues to work with partners by sharing the institutions 29-year thematic expertise, and now using hybrid models and programming tools in the process of building mediation and conflict prevention capacities. During this COVID Pandemic Era, ACCORD contributes to knowledge sharing across different platforms and groups through the COVID-19 Conflict and Resilience Monitor and Coffee with ACCORD podcast videos.  ACCORD will continue to engage with IGAD-MSU and its partners to support processes and collaborative efforts to achieving peace, security, and prosperity in the IGAD region.