Introduction to Peacebuilding: An Islamic Relief Practitioners’ Guide …

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A new introductory guide on how to design community peacebuilding projects was released today by Islamic Relief.

The ‘Introduction to Peacebuilding: An Islamic Relief Practitioners’ Guide’ was developed by Laura Payne from Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations and Islamic Relief’s conflict prevention and peacebuilding programme, funded by Sida.

The guide introduces basic concepts, such as what peacebuilding means, while condensing extensive scholarly debate on topics such as how peace is understood in Islam and how Muslim societies have historically practiced conflict prevention and peacebuilding. It also positions Islamic Relief’s approach to peacebuilding within the current Triple Nexus discourse in the sector, shedding light on Islamic Relief’s holistic approach to sustainable, inclusive community peacebuilding.

“Islamic Relief’s community-based peacebuilding projects seek to address the key drivers of conflict. This means that when the key drivers of conflict relate to poverty and under-development, our peacebuilding and development work may align. At times our peacebuilding work may also align with our humanitarian priorities” says Dr. Sylvia Brown, Conflict Advisor for Islamic Relief.

The guide offers many practical examples from Islamic Relief’s own projects around the world.
The guide emphasises the importance of an inclusive approach to peacebuilding which leaves no one behind:“Different groups of people are affected differently by conflict and social unrest. To build sustainable peace and social cohesion it is imperative that a variety of perspectives is included in peacebuilding initiatives. Be sure to create spaces for meaningful inclusion of people who are normally marginalised from peacebuilding”, the guidance states.

The guidance also emphasises that Islamic Relief’s peacebuilding work should be based on a sound analysis of the context. Each project must be a bespoke design for each context, there is no ‘off the shelf’ solution.

“A peacebuilding project must be based on context analysis and comprehensive and inclusive consultation with local communities. Often, what we see on the surface are symptoms of conflict, such as displaced people, armed groups and damaged infrastructure. To really tackle conflict, it is important to identify what causes it and work to address the cause”, explains the guide.

It directs the reader to external blogs, video clips and many other excellent resources for peacebuilding practitioners which complement Islamic Relief’s community-based approach. It also offers many practical examples from Islamic Relief’s own projects around the world.

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