Peacebuilding Interventions Programme

Peacebuilding Interventions Programme

Strengthening community-led peacebuilding

About the programme

About the IJR Peacebuilding Interventions Programme

The IJR Peacebuilding Interventions Programme focuses on strengthening community-led peacebuilding through transitional justice processes, evidence-based research, capacity development, informing policy and technical assistance to governments, inter-governmental organisations and civil society. In this regard, the Programme actively works to support the implementation of the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), across Member States to guide their own internal gender-sensitive transitional justice and peacebuilding processes. The Programme’s work is informed the insights gained from working with governmental stakeholders and local level communities in countries such as Burundi, Central African Republic, Eastern DRC, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Sudan, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The Programme has acquired a significant track-record through its work on interventions in Lesotho, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda. Internationally, IJR has provided strategic and technical advice to stakeholders in Colombia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UK, and USA. The Programme continues to serve as trusted advisor to key decision makers and inter-governmental actors on transitional justice and peacebuilding initiatives, and engages with the African Union (AU), SADC, EAC, IGAD, ICGLR, European Union (EU), and the United Nations system. In particular, the PBI Programme has partnered with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on a number of in-country interventions in Africa. This Programme is achieving its impact by enhancing and enabling African governments, societies as well as inter-governmental organisations to implement their own transitional justice and peacebuilding processes.

Sustaining Peace in Southern Africa Project

This Project works with countries in Southern Africa which are burden by the legacy of human rights violations, to deepen the understanding of civil and state actors and citizens concerning transitional justice and reconciliation and empower victims to access transitional justice. The project has convened pre-election and post-election dialogues on the elections in Zimbabwe which included a range of actors from across the Southern African region. In addition, it has undertaken capacity building and stakeholder engagement interventions in Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique. The project actively works with civil society networks in the SADC region and has collaborated with the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries.

Cross-Border and Regional Reconciliation in the Great Lakes Project

This project works to create and disseminate knowledge, build capacity, and facilitate dialogue on peacebuilding, security, and memorialization issues across the Great Lakes Region. It achieves this by creating spaces for cross-border and inter-generational dialogue through which victims and survivors of past violations, in Burundi, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, share their experiences and personal stories. The project creates dialogue spaces and educational platforms that challenge existing biased and misinformed narratives of the past, which are a source of tension within societies. The project’s impact in through the transformative nature of the stories from victims and survivors to alter the perceptions within divided societies, which lays a foundation for restoring relationships and promoting cross-border dialogue and regional reconciliation in the Great Lakes region. The project has developed the “Faces and Traces: Paying Tribute Unsung Heroes” photobook and the documentary film “Broken Hearts 1972” which showcase original research and documentation of the experiences of victims and survivors in the Great Lakes region. This project also convenes policy platforms where governmental and inter-governmental actors are engaged on transitional justice and peacebuilding issues.

Regional Peace and Security through the Prevention of Violent Extremism

This project works to shift the narratives of, and approaches to, Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Africa, by engaging community actors to identify the alternative approaches to peacebuilding through a transitional justice lens, and utilizing these insights to inform policy dialogue processes at the African Union. The project undertakes research which sheds light on the role of violent extremism as a cross-border drivers of conflict in Africa. In particular, the project has undertaken field research in Mozambique, Kenya and Nigeria to generate policy reports that were disseminated to in Addis Ababa, to provide policy insights to African Union member states, United Nations and civil society actors. The project develops sustainable partnerships so that the IJR can continue to provide durable support to stakeholders in the region to mitigate against violent extremism and promote continental peace and security.

Pan-African Reconciliation Network (PAREN) Project

This project works to expand and sustain a network of practitioners and analysts to support the implementation of the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP) in order to address the injustices of the past and to build towards peaceful, inclusive and democratic societies across Africa. The project achieves this through policy research, analysis, capacity building and providing technical implementation support to African countries. The project has worked in the Horn of Africa Region to enhance the capacity of stakeholders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The project has published the edited book entitled: African Union and Transitional Justice: Healing the Past and Restoring Human Dignity (Jacana Media, 2024) which includes a number of case studies from across Africa on governmental and societal efforts to promote peace through transitional justice interventions. In addition, the project contributes towards advancing the agenda on the intersection between mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and peacebuilding.