The IJR Peacebuilding Interventions Programme is positively contributing towards empowering African countries to design, develop and drive their own transitional justice processes. Transitional justice includes a broad range of processes and interventions, which includes bringing former enemies together to dialogue and pursue redress for past injustices, which is necessary to the building of fair, inclusive and democratic societies in Africa. Despite the formal adoption of the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), the policy has not been fully engaged with and it is currently not being sufficiently utilised by African Union member states to guide their own internal gender-sensitive transitional justice and peacebuilding processes. This Programme is directly contributing towards achieving this impact by improving the understanding and strengthening the capacity of African governmental, inter-governmental and civil soceity actors to frame and implement their own transitional justice and peacebuilding processes.

Sustaining Peace in Southern Africa Project

Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are still grappling with the structural injustices embedded in historical legacies of slavery, colonialism and apartheid that are compounded by culturally held beliefs and practices that promote violence, especially on women and children. These have been further worsened by emerging issues that include rise in violent extremism, migration, climatic change and the Covid-19 pandemic. While the achievement of political independence and the acceleration of the democratisation agenda gave hope for a new beginning, the struggles for good governance, social justice, peace and sustainable development continue. IJR uses the transitional justice lense, in particular the provisions of the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), to build the capacity of countries and communities to achieve resilience, justice, peace and reconciliation to achieve their local, national and regional targets, towards the universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Regional Reconciliation in the Great Lakes Project

This project seeks to create a 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. Through the sharing of narratives introspection processes are initiated which can contribute towards healing enemy images of “the other”. Stories from victims/survivors and witnesses have the power to transform perceptions within divided societies, can create to forging links and bringing people together, which is a necessary foundation for promoting regional reconciliation in the Great Lakes region, and elsewhere in Africa. This project also convenes policy platforms where governmental and inter-governmental actors are engaged on transitional justice and peacebuilding issues.

Countering Violent Extremism in Central and Southern Africa

This project strengthens the capacity of governmental and civil society actors in the central southern African region to mitigate against the spread of violent extremism, through the implementation of transitional justice, peacebuilding, and reconciliation processes. The project undertakes research which sheds light on the role of violent extremism as a cross-border drivers of conflict in Africa. 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.

Psychosocial Peacebuilding Project

This project contributes towards advancing the agenda on the intersection between mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and peacebuilding. It seeks to understanding the way in which people are psycho-socially affected by violent conflict and how this, in turn, affects peacebuilding, through research, training and facilitation. IJR works in partnership with governmental and civil society actors to facilitate interventions that will support the implementation of this work in African countries. The IJR was been invited to join the International Interagency Standing Committee on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, Working Group on MHPSS and Peacebuilding, which enables it to share its experience gained from engaging communities across the continent.

Social Dialogues in Agriculture Project

The Social Dialogues in Agriculture Project (SDA) analyses the key tensions and conflicts in the Western Cape agriculture sector and the rural economies, and utilises its insights to capacitates and supports networks of local leaders to help address the underlying issues. IJR works through a network of seven Peace Panel and Dialogue Platforms across the province, and draws upon the expert input from an IJR Provincial Advisory Group as well as locally-based mediation and facilitation practitioners who collectively cover Eden, Central Karoo, Eden, De Doorns, Witzenberg, Grabouw as well as the West Coast. IJR utilises sustained dialogue and peacebuilding approaches to analyse and understanding the regional conflict system, which informs the facilitation of dialogue and mediation interventions. The first phase of this project run from 2016 to 2019, and IJR is currently overseeing the implementation of the second phase of this project.

Pan-African Reconciliation Network Project

The IJR Pan-African Reconciliation Network (PAREN) seeks to reinvigorate existing partnerships and collaboration with practitioners, analysts and organisations working on transitional justice, peacebuilding and reconciliation interventions across the African continent, as well as around the world. PAREN supports the work of governments, inter-governmental organisations and civil society actors, in implementing the provisions of the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), through research, analysis, training, awareness raising and stakeholder consultations.