Report on Conflict Analysis Highlights Importance of Engaging with Local Actors

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October 31, 2012

A report from the People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project (PPP) underscores the importance of engaging with local actors, such as civil society organizations, government, police, and individuals to analyze conflicts. The March 2012 report, From Conflict Analysis to Peacebuilding Impact, was compiled by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld for the EU Instrument for Stability. The report states that conflict analysis is a key first step to any engagement in international conflict-affected areas, and that analyses must be used to formulate responses.

To this end, the report suggests six ways to use conflict analysis more effectively:

  1. Undertake different forms of research and analysis for different needs
  2. Think carefully about who has ‘ownership’ and ‘agency’ of research and analysis
  3. Ensure that the process is appropriate, not only the end product
  4. Encourage analysis to focus on potential solutions, not only to describe the problem
  5. Priorities and make space within the institution to translate analysis into responses
  6. Support participatory conflict analysis as a peacebuilding intervention.

Key to accomplishing these goals is for analyzers to “build the capacity of local actors to articulate their needs, views and ideas to decision makers.” According to the report, working with local actors helped inform peacebuilders’ understanding of local contexts and allowed marginalized and moderate voices to be heard. This in turn allows for the analysis to better reflect the realities on the ground in a conflict zone, and for more effective and actionable recommendations to be made.