Integrating NGO Peace and Development Strategies: Lessons from the Philippines

Sarah McCan


Overt violence and conflict plague over 40 countries and many others experience low intensity conflict and ethnic tension. Supporting those seeking to build a culture of peace within societies emerging from years of conflicts or which still experience violence is one of the central development challenges of the new century. Unless a peace dimension becomes an integral part rather than an add on to long term development efforts the benefits of the latter risk being undermined and overwhelmed by the effects of violence and war.

International development agencies need to examine their role and assess the relationship between their development practice and efforts towards peacebuilding. Much has been written on the complexities facing agencies providing humanitarian aid in emergency situations, including how such relief can, albeit unwittingly, do more harm than good.2 A lot of this literature has focussed on sub-Saharan Africa, home to many violent conflicts and resultant displaced populations. The argument runs as follows: while humanitarian aid is effective and necessary in saving lives, it can inadvertently contribute to or even exacerbate the conflict that provoked the emergency in the first place. This can take place through resource transfers which go to warring factions or by deflecting attention from the root causes of emergencies.3

Although those agencies whose primary focus is long term development are increasingly working in emergency situations, many of which are conflict-laden, it is only in recent years that the link between peacebuilding and longer term development work, as distinct from short term humanitarian interventions, has received much attention in development policy analysis and practice. This paper is intended as a contribution to debates in this as yet relatively uncrowded sphere of development literature.

An oft-cited hypothesis is that working for peace is not necessarily akin to working for justice. Frequently the two are seen as separate realms and the achievement of one can jeopardise the achievement of the other. This tension manifests itself in the challenge between ensuring accountability for human rights abuses and achieving a culture of reconciliation and forgiveness necessary for communities and individuals to rebuild their lives. The Rwandan genocide provides a stark example of the complexities of simultaneously pursuing reconciliation and justice. While building sustainable peace in the Great Lakes region will require concerted efforts towards reconciliation, this may well lead to compromise in holding human rights abusers accountable. This is the daunting task of balancing the need for profound reconciliation, requiring forgiveness, with the demands for justice and accountability. This tension requires that all those involved in such situations, including Northern NGOs, examine what they understand by the term peace and its related concepts and what it is they are seeking to achieve in this regard.

Defining some key concepts

Within the peacebuilding field, a distinction is commonly drawn between negative and positive peace. Negative peace is defined by the majority of theorists and practitioners as the absence of war. Positive or just peace encompasses much more. Jean Paul Lederach describes it as "an orientation toward conflict transformation characterised by approaches that reduce violence and destructive cycles of interaction while at the same time increasing justice in any human relationship".4 This definition fits well with Catholic social teaching, according to which, "peace is a condition of comprehensive well being of human persons and their environment", and where "peace is only guaranteed through meeting the demands of justice". This vision is found in the statements of Catholic development agencies.5 A common component of these definitions is that justice cannot be divorced from peace and this requires working to end conflict through the creation of right and just relationships. Justice is both a condition for and foundation for peace. While these concepts may seem rather obvious they form a very important theoretical base. For those who work out of a positive peace perspective, peacebuilding cannot be seen in a vacuum but is contingent upon wider justice and development issues.

There are numerous definitions of development; one which is used here and which clearly links strongly to peace work is a rights based approach. This views development as the right of individuals, groups and peoples to "participate in, contribute to and enjoy continuous economic, social, cultural, and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realised".6

Development agencies seeking to integrate a human rights perspective effectively into all aspects of their work in order to address unjust structures and the root causes of poverty, increasingly face the added challenge of inserting a peacebuilding dimension into this work, particularly during and after complex conflicts. There is ample empirical evidence that in situations of inter-group conflict or tension development initiatives which ignore conflict are not effective. Investments of millions of pounds in development assistance have been lost through outbreaks of violent hostilities. Rwanda, which was the highest per capita recipient of aid in the world prior to the genocide, saw years of development assistance destroyed within weeks. Indeed at a broader level the Rwandan tragedy raised huge questions on the use and impact of such aid.7

NGOs and the broader development community realise that conflict prevention and peacebuilding are important when tackling the root causes of complex emergencies. In Rwanda one cannot claim that had development efforts focused on inter- communal harmony and peacebuilding the genocide would have been averted. Nevertheless there are many examples from around the globe where strategies which have addressed inter- ethnic tensions have lead to pockets of resistance, to communities who have refused to take up arms and to the establishment of peace zones as a result of grassroots based peace-related work.8 Examples of this will be illustrated in the Mindanao case study below. In many countries much of this peace work is through community organising and strengthening, supporting peace skills training and capacity building for alternatives to violence. Such efforts can yield significant results in building communities and structures for lasting peace. Thus it is incumbent on development agencies to accompany these processes, to learn from them and to integrate the lessons into future strategies.

A social constructivist view of conflict is based on the core assumption that conflict is a natural and commonplace experience present in all relationships and cultures.9 Conflict is negatively perceived, for the most part, and is regarded as a destructive force, yet it can also be viewed as a constructive opportunity for change. Rarely, if ever, do entrenched relations and structures change without conflict of some form. In considering conflict as a force for change, or a transformative process, there are possibilities for effective intervention. A key challenge lies in enabling people and societies to participate fully in processes for change so as to create more just social, economic and political structures. Strategies which seek to empower local communities to respond to conflict and lead to increased civil society participation in conflict resolution and peacebuilding should be key areas of work for-development agencies.

Linking peace and development - possible approaches


Linking aid and peacebuilding organisations

This section draws on existing development literature and debates on when and how development agencies can be most effective in peacebuilding through development. One way is through establishing institutional linkages or alliances between organisations working for peace and conflict resolution, such as International Alert, and those agencies with broader emergency- cum-development mandates. Such linkages can be an effective and efficient way of making optimal use of limited resources and expertise while at the same time ensuring that aid programmes do not unwittingly exacerbate existing tensions. Building linkages between development and conflict resolution agencies remains under-explored in field programmes and at a global level in international peace advocacy.

Engendering peacebuilding and development work

While gender mainstreaming is a stated priority for all development agencies, albeit one which is put into practice to varying degrees, gender mainstreaming is of special relevance when one assesses the impact of war and conflict. War tactics are gendered in their operation. Conflicts in the Balkans over the past decade brought this clearly to the fore where "the rape of women of the enemy was a horrifyingly common weapon which became in the minds of many observers a defining characteristic of the Balkan conflicts. Women were sexual targets both as women and as symbols of the enemy. The conflict was thus intentionally and brutally gendered."10

Women are the worst affected in conflict situations, yet with few exceptions they are glaringly absent or under-represented in virtually all bodies directly concerned with conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Women and conflict was one of the critical areas in the Global Platform for Action agreed at the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Among the main concerns reflected in the Platform document were rape as a war crime, military expenditure and the proliferation of anti- personnel mines, and women's roles in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.11 The case for enhancing the role of women in peace processes has been made on numerous occasions at various national, regional and international fora. At the Beijing conference, an expert group meeting on political decision- making and conflict resolution stated that "the absence of women from decision making processes indicates a value system that supports gender stereotypes that are not conducive to peace".12

As agencies are committed to engendering development work, integrating peacebuilding and gender dimensions into conflict situation programmes is imperative. Conflict resolution and prevention should reflect gender perspectives. International development agencies have an important role to play in capacity building aimed at involving women in peace activities. Throughout conflicts women display endurance and resourcefulness in their coping mechanisms and are frequently bridge-builders even though or indeed because they are often the shock absorbers. Working in partnership with women's groups from the grassroots to middle and top levels, development NGOs can support peacebuilding through highlighting and publicising women's organisations in conflict situations, strengthening the capacities of women's groups affected by conflict and allowing women to articulate their views on peace and conflict resolution at national and international fora.

Identifying the interface between development practice and peacebuilding

Given their development mandate and access to communities, their societal structures and local leaders, international NGOs have a key role to play on peace and conflict issues. This task does not imply a wholesale overhaul of existing programmes but revisiting these programmes, with Southern partners, using a peace lens.

Many development programmes can become more explicitly linked to conflict resolution and peacebuilding. NGOs can support actions by a range of groups who may not be included in official peacebuilding processes. Strengthening civil society groups, such as indigenous communities or minorities who are often excluded from decision-making, through supporting mobilisation, participatory decision-making approaches and bottom up initiatives, is central to peacebuilding.

Some examples of how development agencies have successfully contributed to empowering local capacities for peace include:

  • Promoting peace education to support local peace initiatives;
  • Training community leaders and community groups in negotiation, mediation and non-violent alternatives to conflict resolution;
  • Empowering communities to work for peace through community organising work;
  • Supporting existing initiatives and structures which aim to increase civil society constituencies for peace;
  • Advocating with and on behalf of partners at an international level on issues of structural violence, e.g., lack of access to land, exploitative practices by extractive industries and the global trade in arms;
  • Developing conflict prevention and peacebuilding strategies which can be incorporated into humanitarian aid modalities.

For agencies to build effectively upon indigenous peace capacities, agency personnel should adopt a peace lens when analysing proposed interventions and assisting local partners to plan programmes. A peace perspective should in time play as important a role as gender in underpinning all development analyses. For development agencies to achieve this there needs to be commitment at all levels, from staff capacity building on peace issues to the prioritisation of peacebuilding as a key dimension of organisational strategic planning.

Peacebuilding - the need for clear analyses


To approach conflict as a strategic issue agencies must develop the capacity to analyse conflict situations to determine how an organisation can and should intervene. At what level can it support the emergence or consolidation of grassroots capacities for peace or alternatively when should it assist with reinforcing top level peace initiatives? Some agencies focus their support on leadership level mediation processes, others are better placed to build upon local constituencies for peace through peace education and community skills training. A comprehensive conflict analysis is also essential in enabling agencies to move from a purely reactive response towards a proactive one which expands the possibilities for development intervention and is vital in addressing the causes of conflict. Agencies should distinguish between proximate and root causes. According to Professor Hizkias Assefa "proximate causes in most instances are the ones that are immediate and visible while the root causes are the most fundamental causes and usually invisible".13 Distinguishing between both sets of causes has vital ramifications for achieving sustainable peace.

Jean Paul Lederach's vertical and horizontal approaches to peacebuilding are a widely acclaimed analytical framework. Vertical peacebuilding builds relationships between all levels of society in peace related initiatives, such as linking leader-level initiatives with middle level processes and grassroots activities. Horizontal peacebuilding fosters constructive understanding and dialogue across the lines of division in a society.14 In his numerous studies of conflict and peace related work, Ledarach has pointed out that gaps between these different levels within a post-conflict society result in unsustainable peace. The 1996 peace process in the Philippines provides one example of this. The peace plan left many groups dissatisfied. They subsequently broke away from the agreement and engaged in renewed violence as they felt disempowered and excluded from the agreement.

The Filipino experience is all too common. During the majority of peace processes efforts are for the most part concentrated on top level interventions such as mediation and negotiation work between the parties to the conflict, while less attention is given to supporting middle and grassroots level strategies. But in the vast majority of post-conflict situations what happens at the top level rarely filters down to the grassroots, thereby sowing the seeds for fresh outbreaks of violence. Comprehensive peacebuilding requires the co-ordination of multiple activities, linking multiple stakeholders at all levels of society. Ledarach's frameworks highlight the need and scope for development organisations to engage in peace related work. Initiatives with church and community leaders, local NGOs and local communities, (all existing and key stakeholders of development agencies), in collaboration with top-level processes are central to promoting long term peace. Building an infrastructure for peace relies on the support and contribution of all sectors of society to open channels of communication and to create linkages between them.

Advocating for peace

The role of international NGOs does not stop with comprehensive peace and development programmes. Linking partners' experiences on the ground with national, regional or international advocacy efforts to address the structural or systemic causes of conflict is vitally important. Highlighting the lessons from grassroots experience and gathering empirical evidence is a key component of effective advocacy on peace and conflict issues. Many Northern NGOs strive to build peace and conflict resolution into advocacy efforts which already cover issues as complex as debt and trade policies. For instance CIDSE15 is exploring peacebuilding and its role as a Northern network in advocating on the impact of extractive industries and land policies in conflict zones. Overall there is growing recognition that development programmes in countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone and the Philippines should empower communities to seek recognition of their rights, including the right to peace and security, but also link these efforts with international advocacy agendas. The risk is that such groups will face further violent repression as they confront injustice. The value of solidarity which drives development agencies requires international advocacy to put pressure on repressive regimes to stem violent responses to civil society engagement.

Integrating peacebuilding and development work: case experience from Mindanao

The challenges and lessons from a holistic approach to integrating development programmes with peacebuilding and community solidarity initiatives are evident in the following Philippines' peace and reconciliation case study. It illustrates practical applications of some of the approaches outiined and draws on the experience of the author working with Catholic Relief Services (CRS)16 in Mindanao.

Mindanao, the southern island of the Philippines has a population of 12 million Christians, 4 million Muslims and 2 million indigenous people and has suffered a protracted and highly divisive Muslim/Christian conflict for 30 years which has cost over 120,000 lives. While this conflict is often perceived as religious its roots lie in a highly complex history of cultural, historical and structural violence and oppression encompassing land issues, impoverishment, disempowerment, marginalisation and poor governance.

Islam arrived in the Philippines two centuries before Christianity, yet with the Spanish and then US colonisation, Christianity became predominant throughout the Philippines, including Mindanao. A significant factor in the Mindanao conflict was government resettlement schemes dating from the 1920s to the 1950s. These relocated landless farmers from other predominantly Christian regions to the resource rich and underpopulated island of Mindanao. Large tracts of land inhabited by Muslims but not titled were given over to migrant Christian settlers. The legacy is evident in that public services, regional administration and education systems are all primarily Christian-run and the Muslim and tribal minorities are the poorest and most marginalised groups in Mindanao. The Muslim perspective is that they are not free to fully practice Islam and along with their socioeconomic deprivation this led to the armed struggle for self-determination by the Moro National liberation Front (MNLF) and violent conflict from the early 1970s onwards.

Negotiations began between the government and rebel groups in 1992 and both sides signed a peace agreement in 1996. This opened a window of opportunity for development organisations to incorporate community harmony and conflict resolution activities into their work. Many NGOs realised it was not possible to continue development programmes without addressing the deep ethnic divisions and mistrust. CRS, which had been active in health, agriculture and micro-credit, developed a new strategic direction centred on promoting peace and justice as the cornerstone for development projects.17

Official peace initiatives were largely institutional and leadership focussed; community initiatives were less of a national priority. CRS and its partners realised that to build sustainable peace at grassroots level, community initiatives were imperative. Its strategy centred on promoting peace and reconciliation through community development, and as many existing partners worked in conflict areas, a lot of previous organisational partnerships continued but with a new orientation. CRS believed that its presence on the ground helped it gain acceptance as a Catholic agency in working with mixed communities. As CRS had traditionally worked through local Christian, Muslim and indigenous NGOs there was scope to work on peace related initiatives. Following months of consultation and discussion with local partners, three main programme strategies were prioritised: community based solidarity projects, peace education and inter- religious dialogue.

Community based solidarity projects

These are grounded in reconciliation and relationship building through collective action by different religious or cultural groups, bringing communities together around a common goal to foster peace and reconciliation. The focus is on creating social cohesion and harmony while supporting economic initiatives which enhance the livelihoods of community members. Community organising, conflict management and economic initiatives are the basis for socio-economic betterment and community harmony.

One such initiative is the Myriamviile community bakery project, involving 250 Muslim and Christian families resettled from squatter areas in Cotabato City, one of the most conflict- torn cities in Mindanao.18 Most had fled their homes in the 1970s. Many have relatives involved in rebel activity and frequently fighters or militia pass through as transient boarders. The aim was to strengthen community relations through a bakery, giving employment as members of both communities work side by side. All activities around the bakery incorporate cross-community elements and seek to increase inter-religious understanding. The formal opening of the bakery in June 1997 included multi-faith activities. Capacity building has included on- going conflict resolution workshops with "dialogue of life" meetings and informal discussions between Muslims and Christians about their respective religious traditions. The bakery has been a financial success whilst building community relations and understanding as evidenced by increased inter-religious marriages, greater openness to other traditions and joint participation in religious celebrations.

Peace zones

One initiative, which emerged out of an emergency and rehabilitation project, was the Bual peace zone project. Bual is a mixed Muslim-Christian community which has been beset by years of sectarian violence. In December 1996 over 200 homes were burned down, the result of land conflict. CRS collaborated with a Muslim NGO, Kaduntaya Foundation Incorporated (KFI), in responding to this emergency and both organisations provided peace education centred on prejudice reduction and non-violent conflict resolution as a long term response.

Conflict resolution workshops included local government staff, rebels and the military with a programme on basic socio- economic needs within Bual. An integrated development programme followed covering organisational strengthening, community social services, farm and economic enterprise development with peacebuilding as a cross-cutting issue. Activities included Muslim-Christian dialogue groups, mediation and conflict resolution skills workshops for community leaders as well as joint cultural celebrations.

In 1999 the community declared Bual a peace zone, resolving to use only peaceful means to settle disputes, not to brandish firearms in the village and to work together for community prosperity and against peace saboteurs. Muslim and Christian leaders meet regularly to discuss community concerns and a peace and order council addresses community conflicts as well as outside security threats. This has helped to sustain the peace zone. Inter-communal trust is growing as people venture out of their homes after dark; in the past this was considered too dangerous. When regional violence flared in Mindanao in April 2000, over 200,000 people fled their homes and many mixed communities disintegrated. Bual peace zone was one of the few in the area to survive. None of the residents left, bearing witness to the community's strength and cohesion.

The joint presence of KFI and CRS has overcome suspicions of conversion and helped build relations with the community. The integrated approach to peace and development is constantly challenging but is seen as the only way forward as the socioeconomic activities in Bual could not have happened without some form of community reconciliation. Physical infrastructure is often cited as a prerequisite for economic activities and is for the most part expenditure intensive, but peace is fundamental to economic development in polarised communities. Though the components of a peace infrastructure take time to build and much maintenance they are generally not expenditure intensive.

Towards a culture of peace - the role of education

Another strand for integrating peace and development is peace and conflict resolution training. In the communities covered there was a great demand for formal and non-formal conflict resolution skills. Formal peace education promotes the integration of peace education modules into schools, colleges and other learning institutions. Non-formal peace education entails community level peace seminars to enhance skills and create new space for encounters between mixed communities.

In the Philippines non-formal peace education seminars are much more than mere training forums; they are frequently the catalysts for further community peace-related activities. These workshops aim to reduce prejudices and break the cycle of intolerance and misunderstanding found in post-conflict communities. Participants engage in historical journeying as part of an active participatory cultural dialogue. For many Muslim/Christian communities these workshops provided a safe and neutral space where they could air and share their historical grievances and hurts. Such storytelling is vital to the healing process in Mindanao. The conflict resolution modules use various methods to enhance skills for effective relationship building and problem solving. They empower individuals to become community leaders with conflict management skills and to view leadership as a shared task. Over the past three years workshops have been held not only for community leaders, but also for the military, church leaders and women's groups.

The methodologies and pedagogy of peace education posed considerable challenges for traditionally trained teachers. Teacher training and development needed to be incorporated into peace education projects alongside skills in module development and curriculum design. Patent and community involvement in these new, and perhaps threatening, education processes was vital. Where families ate not engaged, difficulties arise, most frequently around parent hostility towards interfaith prayet and similar classroom activities. When families are engaged, there is a softening of attitudes and the education gains are multiplied and extended within the wider community.

Inter-religious dialogue

In Mindanao the role of the church and NGOs in suppotting peacebuilding through conflict resolution and intet-religious dialogue has been very significant. In 1997 Christian and Muslim religious leaders formed the Bishops-Ulama Forum fot Dialogue to better understand each other's culture and to build bridges between the two communities. This is one of the few such inter- religious dialogue forums active in any conflict situation today. While symbolic to a large degree, this gathering shows that dialogue is possible and that there is the will among religious leaders to talk with each othet. This example prompted other local leaders to work towards similar dialogue. NGO support for this helped to build the capacity of religious leaders in peace related skills including more systematic dialogue and to promote better inter-cultural understanding. It also showed religious leaders as exemplars of good practice in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

Case study conclusion - lessons learned

Three years on, the main task for the organisations involved in peace and reconciliation in Mindanao is to strengthen the link between peace, reconciliation and more conventional socio- economic development activities, a significant challenge due to conflict escalation in the region since March 2000. Since then, Mindanao has been the scene of intense religious and ethnic conflict. Despite this there has also been a tangible momentum in peacebuilding in the form of peace rallies, peace walks and at a national level the declaration by the President of a Mindanao Week of Peace to be held every November. The Bishops-Ulama Dialogue Forum remains active and is one of the only inter-religious forums of its kind. These initiatives have inspired those working for peace in the worst affected parts of Mindanao. They have also been a strong voice of protest against pro-war attitudes and a countervailing force to those advocating a return to violence.

One of the key issues arising from the Philippine peace and reconciliation programme is the difficulty in developing appropriate impact assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of such programmes. Unlike mainstream development interventions in health or credit where there are clear indicators of success, the gains from peacebuilding are often very slow and intangible. Impact is difficult to gauge within the three to five year time frame typical of many development programmes. Some would say peacebuilding is muitigenerational and cannot be adequately measured or assessed by conventional development indicators and assessment tools. Changes in perceptions and attitudes cannot be easily measured, yet these are pivotal in breaking the cycle of prejudice and animosity inherent in most conflicts. Anecdotal evidence, properly gathered, is a key indicator of the impact of peace programmes yet very little credence is given to such evidence; many donors want clear, concrete and tangible results. In their support for peacebuilding international development agencies need to invest more resources into researching the outcomes of these efforts. Case studies are a vital part of this and provide a body of knowledge which can be shared within and between countries and regions.


The Philippine peace and reconciliation case study demonstrates the scope and need for development agencies to integrate a peacebuilding perspective into their programmes. More generally, this paper has emphasised the importance of broadening our understanding of development work to incorporate a peacebuilding dimension, and the corresponding requirement for those working in the area of peacebuilding to integrate a greater socioeconomic perspective into their work or to collaborate with development organisations in so doing. In most post-conflict settings these fields of activity are highly interdependent, yet to date common approaches have only been conceptualised or practised to a limited extent. The challenge is to bridge these gaps in programming and policy.

There are many aspects to integrating peacebuilding into development work. These include: the challenge of integrating a cross cutting issue such as peacebuilding into conventional development structures, some resistance within development agencies to addressing peace as a constituent element of development work along with a lack of sufficient skills and resources in peace related programming, practice and policy work. However in spite of these difficulties, peacebuilding is increasingly being prioritised by development practitioners and theorists alike. Agencies realise that to build peace, a multi-level approach is necessary, thus opening the way for increased intervention. The challenge is for development agencies to take a proactive approach to peacebuilding, rather than purely reactive measures. This entails adopting a peace lens and framework in all programming from strategic planning to programme design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In order to do this effectively, agency-wide commitment to enhancing organisational skills and resources in the area of peacebuilding and conflict resolution is necessary. This commitment to peacebuilding within agencies should in turn translate into a commitment to developing the skills of institutions and individuals working for peace on the ground.

Peacebuilding is a long term project and conventional monitoring and assessment tools need to be adapted to the particularities of such work. Peacebuilding initiatives often support countervailing civil society forces where governments, which are charged with protecting rights and building peace actually do the opposite. Northern NGOs have a particular added value in supporting such efforts and undertaking advocacy. Where governments actively promote peace NGOs can also support civil society capacities for peace as these can serve to complement and consolidate good policies. Northern NGOs have been all too visible in dealing with the fallout from emergencies/conflicts. Yet even the most expensive form of long-term investment in peace and development work costs only a fraction of the cheapest mop-up emergency operations. As Northern NGOs reflect on their future role, the satisfactory incorporation of peacebuilding into their diverse development programmes and advocacy activities should be the focus of much attention and debate, and the subject of networking and experience-sharing.


  • Anderson, Mary, Do No Harm: Supporting Local Capacities for Peace through Aid, Lynne Reiner Publications, 1996
  • Curle, Adam, Making Peace, Tavistock Publications, London, 1971
  • Maja, Korac, Linking Arms: Women and War in Post-Yugoslav States, Life and Peace Institute, Sweden, 1998
  • Lederach, John Paul, Preparing for Peace, Syracnse Press, New York, 1995
  • Lederach, John Paul, The Journey towards Reconciliation, Herald Press, Pennsylvania, 1999
  • Lederach, John Paul, Building Peace-A Conceptual Framework, United States Institute of Peace, 1997
  • Moser, Caroline, Gender Planning and Development: Theory, Practice and Training, Routledge, London, 1993
  • Jeffrey, Paul, Recovering Memory: Guatemalan Churches and the Challenge of Peacemaking, Life and Peace Institute, Sweden, 1998
  • New Routes: Journal of Peace Research and Action, Life and Peace Institute, Sweden


  1. The focus of this paper is on international development agencies or Northern NGOs from which the case study material is also drawn. However, the analysis could also be extended to Southern NGOs.
  2. Mary B Anderson, Do No Harm: Supporting Local Capacities for Peace through Aid, 1996.
  3. Alex de Waal, "Humanitarianism unbound: the context of the call for military intervention in Africa" , Trocaire Development Review, 1995, pp.29-46
  4. Lederach, John Paul, "Strategic concepts and capacities for building just peace", unpublished document, 1999
  5. Trocaire, the development agency of the Catholic Bishops of Ireland, in its 25th anniversary declaration notes that "The absence of justice is frequently the main rason for the absenee of peace" Trócaire Development Review, 1998, p.8.
  6. The right to development", UN Declaration, 1986, cited in Oxfam Handbook of Development and Relief vol.1, Oxfam, 1995.
  7. See Kevin Kelly, "Development and social change: the challenge of building civil society in Rwanda", Trocaire Development Review, 1999, pp.57-80.
  8. Reflection on peace practices", Uppsala consultation on case studies from 22 conflict situations, 17-20 October 2000, Uppsala, Sweden, CDA/Mary Anderson Project, publication of proceedings pending.
  9. Lederach, John Paul, Preparing for Peace, Syracuse University Press, 1995, p.9.
  10. Lucia Ann McSpadden, Foreword in Maja Korac, Linking Arms: Women and War in post-Yugoslav States, Life and Peace Institute, Sweden, 1998
  11. Martha Njeri Mwangi, "The role of women in peacebuilding in Africa", CIDSE Peacebuilding Workshop, The Challenge of Partnership-Towards an Alliance for Peacebuilding, Nairobi, 16-18 June 1998.
  12. Cited in "Women 2000: women and decision-making", UN Division for the Advancement of Women, October 1997
  13. Hizkias Assefa, "Causes of conflict in Africa", paper delivered at CIDSE Workshop, The Challenge of Partnership-Towards an Alliance for Peacebuilding, Nairobi, 16-18 June 1998.
  14. Lederach, John Paul, Building Peace - A Conceptual Framework, United States Institute for Peace, 1997.
  15. CIDSE, International Co-operarion for Development and Solidarity, is a coalition of 15 Catholic development agencies from Europe and North America. CIDSE members share a common vision on poverty and social justice and a common strategy on development programmes, development education and advocacy. The network has just formed a special consortium comprising programming and advocacy staff to re-examine its work on peace and conflict resolution issues and to devise future strategies in this area.
  16. CRS is the relief and development organisation of the US Catholic Bishops Conference. It has been operational in the Philippines since 1945. The author worked as an intern for Trocaire/CRS as part of these agencies' joint activities on peace-related work.
  17. The guiding vision of the programme was to promote reconciliation and sustainable development through community action and development and to empower people to effectively and peacefully resolve conflict within their communities.
  18. The community is 40% Muslim and 60% Christian.