In it for the long haul? Lessons on peacebuilding in South Sudan
This report draws on the principles of adaptive programming for effective peacebuilding. It recommends funding mechanisms that favour adaptiveness, flexibility, responsiveness and creativity, as well as promotes accountability of peace practitioners in different ways linked for example, to changing conflict and peace dynamics and longer-term theories of change.
Securing long-term peace in South Sudan requires much more than deals between political leaders. This report strongly makes the case for support for local and subnational peacebuilding, the need for a multi-level approach to peacebuilding strategies, and emphasizes that, while external support for peacebuilding has an essential role to play, ultimately South Sudanese agency and ownership must be prioritised.
Local peacebuilding matters because it can provide entry points for long-term transformational change while laying the ground for peace to prevail, it can mitigate the worst effects of national conflict, and it can help inform national processes with customary and cultural values and practice to make peace more genuinely inclusive for all.
The report is based on the wisdom of local peacebuilders and long-term practitioners in South Sudan, whilst also drawing on the wider peacebuilding literature. The report outlines ten principles which can provide some guidance to those who wish to understand or support peacebuilding in South Sudan, accompanied by case studies which explore why these principles can make an important difference. In illuminating the role of ‘local’ or ‘subnational’ peacebuilding, the report also demonstrates the interlinkages between national and local interests, making the case for why analysis which spans multiple levels is critical to inform understanding, strategies and approaches to building national peace in South Sudan.
Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss the report further and please do share widely with your networks.