On Peace: The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in National Peace Building

Amb. Christiana Jolaoso

Ed.166/ 28.04.2021

Each day comes with varying conflict issues and events, ranging from domestic abuse to power tussle amongst politicians, communal crises across states, and food insecurity. We, therefore, need to find ways to make sure that these fragments of insecurity do not destroy the hope of peace we have as a country.

Individuals, organizations, and government MDAs must work together to build peace. And today, many NGOs are springing up to take proactive steps towards the prevention and resolution of conflict.

How’s that?
Strategies in Peace Building
Non-governmental organizations(NGOs) play active and visible roles both domestically and internationally to ensure peacebuilding. Here are a few ways they do that:

Establishing Local Peace Constituencies;

Excessive reliance on external help leads to overdependence and passivity. That’s why NGOs establish local peace constituencies of people from diverse sectors. They encourage dialogue among stakeholders, including religious leaders, leaders of opinion groups, journalists, the youth, and more, to engender increased cooperation, solidarity, and peaceful conflict resolution.

NGOs also mobilize local resources to empower society members and enroll new participants, including sidelined women, into their activities.

Guiding Conflicting Parties to Resolution:

NGOs serve as mediators between opposing parties. They facilitate updated and extensive fact-finding missions and map out strategies to eradicate conflict.

As mediators, NGOs work in communities traumatized by wars, major civil conflicts, and natural disasters. They work with experts to help people through the impact of trauma on their lives and thought patterns.

You’ll also find NGOs on advocacy tours to conferences and meetings to help individuals and organizations settle disputes, demystify challenges, build trust, and restore relationships.

Organizing Capacity Building Initiatives:

By training people and raising their consciousness about conflict causes and resolution, NGOs enhance peacebuilding. They also invest in capacity-building programs to promote peace at different levels.

NGOs engage the internet, media channels, research reports, and position papers to create general awareness about the actual causes of conflict and explore the best strategies to control them.

They also utilize interactive methods, including workshops, seminars, adult literacy, family education, and informal socio-cultural activities to educate target audiences on peacebuilding.

Providing Warning Signals of Conflict:

NGOs’ critical role in peacebuilding is to provide early warning signals of violence or conflicts and introduce conflict resolution interventions.

It is easier to tackle unpleasant situations when you nip them in the bud instead of allowing them to grow branches.

Through communication hubs, NGOs can rapidly track and report signs of violent conflicts or conflicting outcomes, such as human rights abuse. They can then notify stakeholders to introduce preventive measures.

Strengthening Democracy In Society :

NGOs strengthen the rule of law, democratic processes, all-inclusive politics, and active citizenship initiatives in countries that experience incessant violence. They collaborate with partners to develop communication hubs for facilitating democracy and human rights.

When you engage people’s contributions in policy formulation and implementation, you make them feel important. They’ll develop healthy self-esteem and form a sense of belonging, which will minimize conflict in society.

Fast Tracking Peace Interventions:

A few times, intergovernmental bodies and agencies have been too slow in handling crises, primarily because of political complexities.

NGOs bridge these gaps by speeding up the processes of national governments and international organizations in peace stability. These processes include monitoring conflicts, preventing arms delivery, encouraging peaceful dialogue, tackling socio-economic diversities, bringing human rights violators to justice, etc.

Final Thoughts:

Non-governmental organizations like the Peacepace Initiative play a significant role in sensitizing individuals to build peace. Through programs, activities, and collaboration with MDAs, they can uphold a country’s long-term vision of maintaining peace and stability. It is, therefore, important for individuals and these government agencies to work with them to promote peacebuilding.

That’s because Together We Can!

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