In implementing humanitarian, development and peacebuilding activities, development agencies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are often likely faced with challenges of understanding the context in which they are operating, and how interventions should interact with the context to maximise positive impacts on the conflict environment. Recognising this, ACCORD’s African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP) trained personnel from International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and its partner organisations working in South Sudan on ‘Conflict Sensitive Approaches to Development, Humanitarian Assistance and Peacebuilding’. The main objective of the training was to build the knowledge and skills of the participants in terms of mainstreaming conflict sensitivity in their projects/programmes and institutional policies and practice, thereby contributing to the overall effectiveness of their organisation’s efforts in South Sudan. Conflict sensitivity requires that programme interventions should be based on an understanding of a context in order to avoid unintentionally creating further division and to maximise the potential contributions so as to strengthen social cohesion.
The training was conducted from 15-17 September, 2015 in Juba, South Sudan. The training brought together 31 personnel from IOM and its partner organisations that are engaged in humanitarian, development and peacebuilding work across South Sudan. The training increased knowledge in analysing conflict contexts in South Sudan, and how these can be impacted by the programmes of IOM and its partners. It equipped the participants with skills in conflict-sensitive programming to maximise the positive impact and minimise the negative impact of programme interventions.
The training further created an opportunity for increased networking and synergy between ACCORD, the IOM personnel and IOM’s South Sudanese partner organisations, thus contributing to coordinated and coherent interventions between and among the organisations. Trainees were equipped with the knowledge and skills on how to mainstream conflict sensitivity into their projects and programmes, and at organisational level.
The training will enable IOM humanitarian practitioners and staffs of its South Sudanese partner organisations to adjust existing development, humanitarian, human rights and peacebuilding activities to avoid or minimise unintended social fractures and promote sustainable peace in South Sudan. The training will also improve the overall effectiveness of peacebuilding in South Sudan, as it imparted the required conflict sensitivity skills for IOM and other peacebuilding actors to better implement conflict-sensitive programming in support of peacebuilding.
The training was held under the auspices of the APCP. The overall objective of APCP is to contribute to greater coherence and coordination amongst peacebuilding actors in Africa towards enhanced stability and security across the continent, with South Sudan being one of APCP’s focus countries. ACCORD will continue to enhance the capacity building of key peacebuilding stakeholders in South Sudan as part of the APCP.