The “Strengthening Community Peace Mechanisms in Zanzibar” project, implemented by Search for Common Ground in collaboration with the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) and funded by the European Union, aimed to de-escalate and resolve conflicts in Zanzibar. Spanning 24 months (December 2020 – December 2022), the project supported alternative peacebuilding mechanisms at the community level, addressing conflicts in both Pemba and Unguja islands.
By prioritizing alternative peacebuilding approaches, the project successfully mitigated tensions and fostered peaceful resolutions in Pemba and Unguja. The evaluation highlighted the project’s notable achievements in terms of relevance, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability.
The project’s activities were tailored to meet the specific needs of participants, ensuring gender balance, social inclusion, and the active involvement of people with disabilities. The influential participation of local leaders, known as shehas, significantly enhanced dialogue among stakeholders and facilitated the implementation of conflict transformation mechanisms.
As a result, local community conflicts were reduced, and the overall peace process was strengthened. Collaboration and understanding between government representatives and stakeholders improved, leading to the successful resolution of social disputes and conflicts. Notably, the percentage of the population engaged in dialogue and collaboration across different groups increased from 59% to 80%.
Training programs on peaceful conflict resolution proved highly effective, empowering participants with valuable skills and transforming negative perspectives. As a testament to the project’s impact, a significant majority of stakeholders (85%) now employ conflict transformation strategies, compared to 51% at the project’s baseline.
The project also recognized the critical role of media involvement, actively engaging journalists and leveraging the Micheweni community radio in Pemba to promote conflict transformation and educational initiatives.
The evaluation solidified the project’s sustainability, as changes facilitated through dialogue platforms and communication channels are expected to endure. Participants expressed their unwavering commitment to applying the acquired skills in the future, ensuring the continuous advancement of peacebuilding efforts.