Youth Consultations on Peace and Security: Findings from Focus Group Discussions and Interviews Including Hard to Reach Youth in Tunisia

This study is part of the Youth Consultations on Peace and Security in Tunisia after the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security acknowledging the critical role of youth to contribute to the sustainability of peace rather than stereotyping them as victims or perpetrators of violence. The research activities were implemented by Search in 2015 and funded by the United Nations Population Fund.

The study was based on a qualitative approach, with the objective of providing hard to reach young men and women from six localities in Tunisia the opportunity to express themselves about how they are most affected by violence.

Among the research findings, the study highlights women of all ages experience violence according to gender stereotypes and cultural social codes that impede their freedom and well-being. Women are still seen as the primary victims of violence and easy targets, but acts of violence are usually assigned to men. For young men between 15 to 25 the main source of violence is the police, perceived as enemies. The recommendations revolve around adopting personalized approaches aligned with the real needs of young people. It is also important to build trust with youth to ensure their effective engagement in peacebuilding programs.

BOKE HERY: Reinforce the dialogue and reduce the conflicts between mining companies, authorities, and communities.

This study is part of the project funded by GIZ authorized by the Federal Republic of Germany in two areas of Guinea that hold a big amount of mineral resources where several mining companies operate. While large quantities of bauxite can represent opportunities for development for the community, there are several negative impacts to mining, which create frustrations and are the sources of conflicts. This conflict scan focused on two localities – Boké and Boffa.

The conflict scan used qualitative data collection, mainly interviews and focus groups. The results show that the main conflicts linked to mining exploration are employability of youth in the communities, dissatisfaction around the provision of social services (water and electricity), and community relocation. The consequences of these conflicts include the destruction of public buildings and mining company goods, arrest and detention of youth from the communities, and even death. The only formal conflict resolution mechanisms at local level between the communities and mining companies are the Dialogue Committees in Mining Localities. The population from all the relevant localities assert that if their children were employed by the mining companies and if families whose land has been affected by the mining company’s work are indemnified, there would be no more conflict.

The main recommendations relate to leading awareness campaigns in the different districts where the conflict scan found tensions are high. Some of the topics Search should touch upon in sensitization efforts are community engagement in conflict resolution mechanisms, livelihood sources that do not depend on mining activities, entrepreneurship trainings to young people to orient them to other sources of employment.

Plateau Will Arise: Consolidating an Architecture for Peace, Tolerance, and Reconciliation

This study is part of the 18-month project “Plateau Will Arise: Consolidating an Architecture for Peace, Tolerance, and Reconciliation” funded by the European Union with the objective of building local ownership of the peace architecture in the Plateau State to ensure its sustainability.

The evaluation used qualitative and quantitative data collection relying on a survey, interviews and focus groups. The survey noted great improvement in intergroup relations contributing to a climate of peace where over half of the men and women in the targeted populations report low levels of violence. Mutual greetings, joint football games, and faster responses to calls for help were among the examples given of improved relationships. One of the recommendations involves focusing activities on the unique safety concerns of women and teach women to address gender-based violence.

United for Greater Governance: Empowering Rural Communities to Strengthen Local Governance and Accountability Processes

This study is part of the European Union funded project “United for Greater Governance: Empowering Rural Communities to Strengthen Local Governance and Accountability Processes” aiming to increase the accountability and citizen participation in local decision-making around service delivery and governance in rural Sierra Leone.

Qualitative and quantitative data collection noted there is little inclusion of citizens in development planning and decision-making meetings.The majority of citizens do not engage with elected officials out of fear of political intimidation. Levels of participation in accountability processes around public services is also low and most community members report not having received any trainings or access to training opportunities.

Based on the findings, the study recommended that Search target women and youth in rural areas and use participatory approaches to increase civic education among these target groups. Additionally, it is recommended to increase community engagement efforts through radio programming since it is Sierra Leone’s most popular information dissemination channel.

Youth Consultations on Peace and Security

The “Kallo Karayé” (On East Ensemble) project is an initiative implemented by Search for Common Ground and funded by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to promote leadership and community engagement in order to strengthen community resilience in Diffa. It is within the framework of this project that a conflict scan was carried out, with the objective of collecting information on conflicts and tensions affecting the sites in order to inform the programmatic decisions of the actors operating in the target areas.

The conflict scan is based on a qualitative approach (Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant Interviews) in 4 different sites: Kablewa; Garin Wanzam; Nguigmi; and Kindjandi. Focus Groups Discussions targeted Nigerian refugees, displaced persons, and host populations. Key Informant Interviews targeted traditional leaders, government actors, security forces, community leaders, youth representatives, representatives of different ethnic groups, and women leaders. The results of this study showed that 3 main conflicts were identified due to the insecurity and precariousness on the different sites: conflicts related to resources; conflicts related to delinquency and banditry, and conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. Gender based violence is present in the 4 sites demonstrating that they are particularly vulnerable. Most of the tensions analyzed by this Conflict Scan predated the displacement of populations. However, the displacement has increased the existing tensions. The results highlight that these tensions led to extreme forms of violence, including deaths. Confrontations can worsen and degrade the situation on the sites.

Fostering Relationships, Strengthening Ties (FOREST): A New Partnership for Dialogue and Dispute Resolution in Guinea’s Forest Region

This conflict scan is part of an 18-month project funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict Stabilization Operations. It operates exclusively in the Forest Region of Guinea. It was carried out in May 2017 to analyze the conflict dynamics of six prefectures and identify three community hot spots (Beyla, Lola, N’Zerekore). The report presents causes, consequences, the main actors, and local resolution mechanisms by parties involved in the conflict.

According to the data collected, violent conflict has reduced since January 2017. Conflicts and tensions that were recurrent in the baseline study have now been resolved, and spots where there were high levels of violence are now peaceful. Agropastoral, land, and political conflicts are the conflicts that are still commonly experienced by the populations of there prefectures. Search’s efforts in educating and sensitizing the population are widely appreciated amongst the population especially by youth, women, and community leaders.

There is also an increased concern amongst the population in maintaining peace in their localities creating an opportunity to involve all social groups in dynamics consolidating peace. Peace committees are recommended to work with different social groups in the localities to maximize efforts around peacebuilding. Additionally, peace committees are recommended to organize separate meetings with breeders and farmers to better understand each party’s side to the conflict.

Researching His Way to Empowerment

After participating in the Amahoro Iwacu-Peace in My Home program, Sixte completed research to help him and others understand problems within his community and created programs for youth in his community to alleviate poverty and to help others to use peaceful means to solve conflict.