‘Now I see it differently’, said one of the participants on our four-day course on conflict analysis and conflict sensitivity in Birmingham, UK last month.
The event, designed to train and prepare civilians for crisis management missions worldwide, brought together members of EU, UN and OSCE missions in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kosovo and elsewhere.
International Alert has successfully concluded two EU-funded projects in Tajikistan, one on secular-religious dialogue and the other on the promotion of peaceful behaviour among young people. We held conferences with local stakeholders in the country to review the successes, recommendations and lessons learnt from both projects.
International Alert and Transition International recently held an advanced course on reintegration of ex-combatants for a distinguished group of 25 professionals in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.
In the Lancashire mill towns of Brierfield and Nelson, International Alert is training young people in a diaspora community affected by conflict at home and abroad, to be peace advocates.
Conflict Sensitivity Consortium (with support from DFID) has been working since 2008 to enhance the impact of development, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding programming through increased and more effective integration of conflict sensitivity. This experience (drawing from 35 member agencies in 4 countries) has culminated in the production of 'The how to guide to conflict sensitivity'.
International Alert implemented a Training of Trainers in Batken Province (Oblast) of the Kyrgyz Republic between 2nd and 6th April 2012, as part of Alert’s contribution to TASK – an EU-funded conflict mitigation and peacebuiding project in Kyrgyzstan implemented by Alert together with partners Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI) and Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society (CDCS), and 12 other international and national NGOs.
Main image: Trainers from Batken Oblast outside the training facility, Meerim Children’s School in Batken City
'I have loved this week and learnt so much.'
'This is an excellent opportunity for learning – very beneficial both professionally and personally.'
'I liked the course, it has given me lot of insights and practical skills.'
'This week has made me self-aware!'
For large parts of the population in West Africa, political participation and contribution to public circles is impaired by a number of challenges. Women and young people, in particular, might face cultural, economic or political obstacles when attempting to make their voices heard.
In the framework of a training project covering Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, Alert has trained a number of facilitators who conduct workshops for groups of women and young people. These workshops empower traditionally excluded groups and assist them in planning activities which will help them to contribute meaningfully to the political debates in their respective contexts.
This publication is a toolkit, a resource pack for facilitators from Liberia. Sierra Leone and Guinea. Published in French and English, it provides a number of exercises which can be used to foster discussions and reflections around analysis, visioning, skills-building and planning to enhance the political participation of women and youth.
International Alert and Transition International are offering a DDR advanced course on reintegration.
PLEASE NOTE: APPLICATIONS FOR THIS COURSE ARE NOW CLOSED.
Cost: the course is free of charge
Full board accommodation for the duration of the course is included in the cost. Participants have to be able to commit to attend the course in full.
The repeated recurrences of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict since 1992 following the break-up of the Soviet Union, along with the increasing isolation of South Ossetia from the outside world have resulted in widespread trauma and the destruction of the South Ossetian social fabric. Since the latest flare-up of violent hostilities in August 2008, opportunities for working on issues related to peacebuilding and civil society development in the South Ossetian context have been reduced to a minimum. Enemy images and stereotypes created during wartime are exacerbated by political and media discourses. Meanwhile, the reinforcement of physical borders hinders both social and economic interactions between people, reducing longer-term prospects for peaceful coexistence.
Confidence building in this context must be approached extremely sensitively, as premature efforts can have negative impacts that would set back the prospect for dialogue and normalisation of relations for decades.
International Alert is working with teachers to provide skills in dealing with individual and social trauma, to help them provide adequate support to their pupils, parents and communities. Through a combination of training and "learning by doing", these teachers are offered a wide range of tools that they can use in the classroom and in their communities. They are encouraged to initiate extra-curricular activities and promote problem-solving at a local level in recognition of how self-help and community mobilisation can be a powerful antidote to social trauma.