Donor to the Project: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency - SIDA
Implementing Parties: Interpeace’s Regional Office for Latin America in Guatemala, and Interpeace’s partner organizations in Liberia - the Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP), and in Timor-Leste - the Centre of Studies for Peace and Development (CEPAD).
Dates: 2014 - 2016
Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR) was designed by SeeD’s long-term strategic partner Interpeace, to better understand, address and assess the key sources of fragility and resilience within conflict or violence-prone countries. The FAR program combined multi-stakeholder participatory research in the three pilot countries – Timor-Leste, Guatemala and Liberia – with a dialogue process at the global level involving SeeD among various other international experts and practitioners. In this regard, SeeD contributed to the FAR programme by providing feedback to the initial Global Desk Review on Resilience and participating in two Global Methodology Workshops held in New York. Furthermore, SeeD took part in a week-long survey design workshop in Guatemala City and provided feedback to the final project report entitled “Assessing Resilience For Peace: Guidance Note” (published in April 2016).
FAR compared the resilience factors in order to explore where they were unique to particular country contexts, and where they would offer more generalizable experiences and analysis. The FAR program has demonstrated that resilience is indeed a useful addition to the peacebuilding approach with the potential to inform peacebuilding practice in ways that help prevent the onset and re-emergence of conflict and foster sustainable peace. Resilience strongly enhances the conflict prevention agenda and presents an added value to the efforts of the international community. While an assessment of resilience aims at influencing action and policy towards sustainable peace at all levels in the long term, the FAR program has demonstrated that assessing resilience is also an empowering peacebuilding exercise in and of itself as it mobilizes in-country stakeholders to take collective action towards transformative peace. This holds great potential both in terms of prevention and cost-effectiveness and should therefore be considered by donors in all peacebuilding, state-building, humanitarian aid and development initiatives. Apart from its inherent potential for conflict transformation, the resilience approach presents the opportunity of greater collaboration among practitioners, donors and policymakers working in various fields of international development.
Guatemala Pilot Case: The FAR consultations highlighted the importance that Guatemalans place on organized political action as a manifestation of resilience. In this respect, resilience is conceived as a set of capacities mobilized in response to particular obstacles or sources of conflict in order to achieve a specific outcome or goal. In the Guatemalan context, it is important to distinguish between specific manifestations of violence and more structural factors that contribute to entrenched violence and poverty. The FAR research in Guatemala therefore sought to identify the resilient actions and capacities of individuals, communities and groups in relation to these varied sources of conflict, as well as the meanings attributed to these actions and capacities. Participants gave a wide range of examples of actions they take to address these legacies and face these challenges and stressors.
Uptake of Findings: In Guatemala, the FAR program found an entry point for policy-making in analysing the ways in which information flows. Horizontal and vertical collaboration between different sectors of society were found to be important sources of resilience for peace. It resulted in a draft proposal to set up a multi-sectoral structure for the resolution of conflicts related to the management of national resources. Misinformation on the other hand fuelled socio-environmental conflicts. This particular proposal resonated strongly with public officials, the private sector, as well as civil society, all of which share a keen interest in finding a solution to ongoing conflicts related to the management of national resources. The findings were also relevant to the ongoing debate on reforming public institutions, because of the April 2015 political crisis, which created opportunities to experiment with new forms of institutional arrangements.
More detailed information can be found at: http://www.interpeace.org/programme/far/