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Gerald Ohlsen, known to many as Chair of the Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace Steering Committee and Co-Chair of the Conflict Prevention Working Group, passed away suddenly on April 1 while strategizing for the future of the Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace project. He will be greatly missed after a life of promoting peace and human rights.
Donations to honour his life by contributing to Pathways to Peace should be made out to Peacebuild with a reference to Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace on the memo line.
Peacebuild is co-hosting the launch of the Special Issue of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development on Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA).*
*The Journal issue was developed with the generous support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Peacebuild is co-sponsoring a movie screening on the Fukushima nuclear disaster:
The Final Report of the PCIA Conference is now available here:
In order to continue the stimulating discussions around Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA) from the PCIA Conference, Peacebuild has set up a LinkedIn group. You are all cordially invited to join us at PEACE BUILDING AND CONFLICT IMPACT ASSESSMENT (PCIA).
Please join Peacebuild and Saint Paul University on June 10 at 7 pm in a presentation of the Integrated Peacebuilding Program and a discussion of potential NGO engagement with the new program.
Integrated Peacebuilding Program Description
The complexity of contemporary conflict is eliciting a more decisive response from the international community. Emerging in appreciable degrees is a more integrative strategy of grappling with the sweeping challenges often faced by imploding societies. An ever-expanding range of actors now contributes to achieving a synergy of effort among the government interdepartmental community and civilian organizations supported by military forces. Compounding such national Whole of Government responses is the additional requirement to coordinate these efforts with a growing number of allied and impacted governments, civilian specialists, International Organizations and, where appropriate, with NGOs and other personnel as the context dictates.
The Integrative Peacebuilding (IPB) Program features a hybrid methodology of online instruction coupled with a face-to-face component, comprised of a theoretical base with particular emphasis on the experiential for practitioners. Government personnel and those from the NGO community soon to assume strategic operational roles will be exposed to the systemic and practical challenges known to conflict and post-conflict environments, training that can also be applicable to other contexts, e.g. humanitarian and domestic missions requiring inter-agency collaboration.
The event will include:
- Overview of the Program
- Rationale for and benefits of NGO involvement
- Discussion: Relationship Peacebuilding NGOs - Saint Paul University/IPB
Time: Monday, June 10, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Place: Saint Paul University, Room 105
Refreshments will be offered.
Preparations are swinging into full gear for the upcoming PCIA Conference at York University, Toronto, on May 22-24, 2013.
For the most recent information, please visit the Conference Page under PCIA - PCIA Conference.
We are happy to present the new issue of GPPAC's bi-monthly newsletter. There are many highlights:
Project Ploughshares staff passed around the bubbly to celebrate the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations General Assembly.
Ken Epps, Senior Program Officer, was at the negotiations in New York the last two weeks representing Ploughshares and in his capacity as Co-Chair of the international civil society Control Arms Coalition.
Canada voted with the majority to pass the ATT. Now we will see if Canada is one of the first to sign the treaty when it opens for signature on June 3, 2013, and then ratifies and implements the treaty provisions.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Ploughshares on this long trek, beginning in 1998. After a the celebratory pause, we will be back at next steps to ensure the ATT genuinely contributes to relieving human misery in the world by restricting the illegal movement of arms across borders.
Peacebuild is currently conducting a review of Peace and Conflict Assessment experiences. On the PCIA section of this website, you can see a range of practitioner presentations under PCIA - Introductions and PCIA - Presentations. There is also a nacent PCIA bibliography.
Feel free to register on the site (right side bar) and comment on any introduction or presentation, or to post your thoughts on the forum (you need to be logged in to post).
We are also organizing the following events - let us know if you are interested in participant in any of them via teleconferencing (prevention[at]peacebuild.ca):
We very happy to present to you the next issue of the GPPAC E-newsletter. In this issue, you will find many interesting examples of our work on conflict prevention; in specific country/conflict situations, from Ghana to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as along GPPAC’s thematic priorities of Preventive Action and Dialogue and Mediation.
December 26, 2012
Dear Members of Peacebuild,
As the New Year approaches, renewal is underway at Peacebuild!
We are delighted to announce Peacebuild’s new Board of Directors:
Chair, Peggy Mason
Vice-Chair, Eric Abitbol
Secretary, Rena Ramkay
Treasurer, Erica Noordermeer
It is our pleasure to inform you that Silke Reichrath (formerly our Conflict Prevention Working Group Coordinator) has agreed to assume the demanding role of Coordinator at Peacebuild. For now, she will be working one day per week until September 2013. We very much hope that this will expand as Peacebuild develops its capacity to meet new challenges.
Peacebuild continues to develop the Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace initiative in support of the engagement of Afghan civil society in a comprehensive peace process for both that country and the region. Former Peacebuild Executive Director David Lord recently undertook a mission to Kabul and has developed a Concept Note with respect to future programming in collaboration with our partners and others on the ground. This is being distributed to potential donors and others, as the initiative undergoes a broad outreach and funding phase. Details about the Pathways process, the preparation of which began in 2008, can be found at its website: www.afghanpathways.org. You can also follow Pathways on Facebook and Twitter.
Rena Ramkay will continue to represent Peacebuild at the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in The Hague and will develop program initiatives with our North American Region colleagues in Mexico and the USA. Sophie Toupin will continue as the North American region’s Gender Focal Point.
We have recently received funding from IDRC (International Development Research Centre) for the new initiative, Assessing Impacts of Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA): A North-South Participatory Research Project. Our partners on this initiative are Peacemedia-paixmédia, York University’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS), and the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development (JPD). A virtual dialogue process is underway in anticipation of a 2013 conference in Toronto and a special PCIA issue of the JPD.
We are also developing our involvement in issues related to children and armed conflict, including participation in the Dalhousie University-led Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts (CYCC) as a Network Partner. Erica Noordermeer is leading these efforts, while Prajeena Karmacharya is Peacebuild’s liaison with the Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada, which carries on the work of the former Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group.
Peacebuild has a new website at http://www.peacebuild.ca. We encourage you to register as a Member and build your profile. Please use this space to share your news, link your organization and project affiliations, dynamically building the Peacebuild community. We also take this opportunity to encourage you to update your membership, renewing your commitment to the Peacebuild network.
We are looking forward to working with you, and in support of your work. In this capacity, we encourage you to communicate with us, sharing your thoughts as to how we might do that effectively. Our aim is to participate in building and catalyzing a dynamic, national dialogical culture of peace in cooperation with you all.
Wishing you a wonderful 2012 holiday season and a happy New Year for 2013!
Peggy, Eric, Rena, Erica, Prajeena, Gerald, Sophie
The Board of Peacebuild
Peacebuild has obtained a small grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for the 'Assessing Impact' project to evaluate and improve Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA). ‘Assessing Impacts of Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA): A North-South Participatory Research Project’ is a collaborative initiative spearheaded by Peacebuild: The Canadian Peacebuilding Network and Peacemedia-paixmédia, in association with York University’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS) and the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development (JPD).
The project will involve video presentations and online discussions of the experiences of eight Southern practitioners and several international experts; eight papers by the Southern practitioners and a bibliographic review of 15 years of PCIA literature to constitute a special edition of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development; and a conference at York University in Toronto in May 2013.
Thanks to seed funding from CARE Canada, Peacebuild was able to send Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace International Steering Committee member David Lord on a mission to Afghanistan to discuss priorities and plans for the Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace process with Afghan partners, civil society stakeholders, and potential funders. From October 8-28, 2012, David Lord interviewed 27 individuals, including Afghan civil society activists, academics and international analysts and diplomats.
Top of mind among Afghans interviewed in Kabul were the current drawdown of US and other foreign conventional combat forces, uncertainty as to whether Afghan forces can adequately fill the resulting gaps and take a security lead, and the high probability of presidential and provincial council elections now scheduled for April 2014 generating more instability. Further fuelling fears for the near-term future is an economic downturn that has already begun to bite as the war economy contracts.
Despite the increasing insecurity and realization that the conflict will not be resolved militarily, there is currently no credible peace process. A plethora of Track 2 and unofficial processes have not had any visible results to date. Civil society is concerned about closed-door negotiations and agreements at the expense of hard-won gains in human rights. It is also frustrated with token inclusion in select processes or events. Calls for a comprehensive peace process led by a multinational institution or a group of impartial countries are common. Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace reaffirmed its commitment to support Afghan-led peace initiatives and to advocate internationally for a comprehensive and inclusive peace process.
Over the summer, Peacebuild invited around 100 former members and volunteers to fill in a survey on SurveyMonkey, with the option of using an e-mail attachment or simply responding by e-mail. The survey response rate was 18%, somewhat on the low side (under 20%) but within the normal rate for membership surveys (5-40%). Most respondents wanted to remain in the network (likely those who are not interested also did not take the survey) and are willing to pay a membership fee.
Respondents considered that the most important role for a peacebuilding network is the relationship with international networks like GPPAC, followed by coalition building for lobbying and information exchange and discussion on national and international trends and policies. There is little appetite for sub-networks/working groups. The development of member projects did not score high on importance, but did score high on people’s willingness to volunteer. Since it is likely to be the only source of revenue beside modest member fees, it would appear that member projects should be pursued where members have an interest and are willing to take the lead on a project.
Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace launched a new report, “New Directions for an Inclusive Peace in Afghanistan,” on June 7, 2012, at the University of Ottawa.
Given current fiscal realities, Peacebuild decided to close the office at 1 Nicholas Street. The network was generously hosted by the World Federalists of Canada for two years, until that office had to move itself. Peacebuild's new contact information is:
c/o Peggy Mason
406-575 Byron Avenue
Ottawa, ON Canada
Produced with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).