On 18 and 25 May 2023 ACCORD conducted Organisational Development (OD) sessions for local South African women peacebuilders. Following two years of promoting and enhancing peacebuilding at a local level, this initiative that started in 2021 with the set group of women peacebuilders, now seeks to strengthen their understanding and awareness of national and regional policies. As such, the first OD session unpacked ‘Governance and Building Constituencies’ and the second session walked the women through the process of ‘Translating Strategic Priorities into Action Plans.’
Both sessions were facilitated by peacebuilding, gender equality and conflict resolution expert Ms. Alison Lazarus. The sessions focussed on the importance of good governance practices for effective functioning, growth, and the practical approach to embed these practices within their organisational structures to ensure sustainability. Ms. Lazarus emphasised the relevance of internalising good governance practices as well as understanding the need for an organisational vision and mission which together provide a framework and direction for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) to work from.
The participants worked on tasks that assessed their knowledge gained thus far into the programme. They were also allocated time and offered practical knowledge on developing and presenting their organisational vision, mission and objectives. The second OD session on, ‘translating strategic priorities into action plans’ provided guidance towards the development an eighteen month plan that will popularise the South African National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. During this phase of the initiative, Ms. Lazarus guided the participants on team coordination efforts towards aligning the community needs with the priorities and strategies of their organisations.
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”.