Africa

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As Violence Spikes in the Central African Republic, International Community Must Act

We urge the international community to support grassroots approaches to violence prevention in the Central African Republic.

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Project Mazava II: Building Trust around Madagascar’s Mining Sites

As the 2018 elections approach, new tensions arise around Madagascar’s mining sites. Our work is helping prevent violent clashes.

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Engaging Youth and Community Leaders to Prevent Mass Atrocities in Central African Republic (CAR) US Department of State 23 September 2016 – 31 October 2017

CAR has ongoing conflict along ethno-religious lines, and deeply-rooted into the country’s low human development indicators. The overthrow of President François Bozizé in March 2013 by the predominantly Muslim alliance, Seleka, and the subsequent recruitment of thousands of youth from Christian and animist neighbourhoods to form anti-Balaka militias, […]

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“Zo Kwe Zo: All People are People” USAID October 15, 2015 to September 29, 2017.

Search for Common Ground’s 24-month project aims to prevent inter-community violence and support an inclusive peacebuilding process in the Central African Republic in partnership with the Association of Women Communications Professionals (AFPC), Discover the Journey (DTJ), and a range of media, community, and civil society groups. Our project is supporting peace efforts in the conflict-prone areas of Bangui, Bossangoa, and Bangassou.

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Bolstering Judicial and Social Accountability Processes in the Central African Republic US Department of State 18 September 2015 – 31 August 2018

The conflict in the Central African Republic requires urgent intervention to support peacebuilding processes that address the roots of ongoing violence. Search for Common has been working with US Department of State funding on an ambitious program involving community leaders, media, civil society, and the government.
Given the context of widespread impunity in the Central African Republic (CAR), which impedes the country’s post conflict transition to peace and stability, Search for Common Ground, in partnership with American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), is implementing a program with the goal of supporting the rule of law and consolidation of peace in CAR through judicial and social accountability.

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Final Evaluation – Jan 2017 – “Engaging Children and Youth as Partners in Preventing Violence against Children”

“Engaging Children and Youth as Partners in Preventing Violence against Children” was a regional project funded by the European Commission. It aimed at contributing to the eradication of all sorts of violence against children and youth in three border-sharing post-conflict countries of West Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The external evaluation focused the effectiveness of the project and the quality of young people’s participation. It included a mixed methodology approach, with emphasis on qualitative methods. In each country, it included document review, surveys, semi-structured focus group discussions, and key informant interviews.

Youth were involved as researchers in the project and successfully conducted research which identified the worst forms of violence in the three countries and well as current approaches addressing them. Conclusions and recommendations were intended to be used broadly to influence country level programmatic and policy actions, and to mainstream findings at a societal level to enable communities to better prevent worst forms of violence. It was considered effective and useful but took place on a relatively smaller scale than planned. Unfortunately, was little to no evidence of changes of programmatic or policy actions in any of the countries, though there were evidence of project activities catalyzing significant community action projects to prevent violence against children.

A key success of the project was the active involvement of youth researchers (YRs) which ensured the implementation of activities, as well as a strong impact on the YRs themselves who grew personally and professionally. There was an adequate gender balance, and the participation was deeply meaningful to them and to the project. Many children and youth felt their voice was valued for the first time in their lives, and the project’s youth-led and participatory innovation drew attention from many stakeholders. The YRs provided credibility, commitment, and creativity that helped the project succeed despite many obstacles, including the worst Ebola Crisis in history. However, poor communication and coordination hindered the project’s success. Further, cases of vicarious trauma among the YRs was identified by the evaluation consultant who had a background in child phycology, and SFCG identified adequate actions to respond to this serious issue.

In terms of recommendations, the YRs should be well prepared emotionally and psychologically before going to the field, while in the field, and after returning from the field.

The potential risks of vicarious trauma should be assessed, identified, and addressed during the project design phase, and future proposals related to child and youth participation should be reviewed by qualified professionals with contextually relevant child and youth participation experience. Further, SFCG and primary stakeholders should increase the usage and distribution of project outputs in order to optimize the effectiveness of similar projects.​

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Past is Prologue: Criminality & Reprisal Attacks in Nigeria’s Middle Belt

Communities in Central Nigeria are locked in a worsening cycle of violence between largely Christian farming communities and predominantly Muslim pastoralists, most of whom are ethnic Fulani. 24 out of 36 states (67%) and Abuja-Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have witnessed inter-communal violence in the last five years and […]