Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Sierra Leone: UN, partners voice 'utmost concern' at electoral violence Scoop: Sierra Leone: UN & Partners Voice Utmost Concern

Some worrying news from Sierra Leone:

'The United Nations and its international partners have voiced renewed concern at widely reported cases of intimidation and violence ahead of elections in Sierra Leone next month, calling on all concerned to avoid incitement and provocation in the small West African country that is still recovering from a disastrous decade-long civil war.

"The UN and international community remain fully committed to supporting credible, fair and violence-free elections," the partners said in a weekend statement, which welcomed positive steps by the Government, including a successful voter registration exercise and preparations for polling, counting, tallying and the announcement of results.

"However, since the official start of campaigning, cases of intimidation and violence have been widely reported. We view this development with utmost concern. It constitutes a threat to the democratic process. It also goes against the interests of the people of Sierra Leone, who want peaceful, free and credible elections," they added.

The statement called upon leaders of all political parties to promote a peaceful campaign and prevent provocative conduct on the part of their supporters as the country prepares to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on 11 August, the second since emerging from the civil war in 2002.'

Friday, 27 July 2007

Launch of the ICT for peace foundation, Geneva

We are happy to see the following announcement:

'The ICT4Peace Foundation announced the launch of ICT4Peace: An International Process for Crisis Management today.

ICT4Peace aims to enhance the performance of the international community in crisis management through the application of information Communications Technology (ICT) - technologies that can facilitate effective and sustained communication between peoples, communities and stakeholders involved in crisis management, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding. Crisis management is defined, for the purposes of this process, as civilian and/or military intervention in a crisis that may be a violent or non-violent with the intention of preventing a further escalation of the crisis and facilitating its resolution. This definition covers peace mediation, peace-keeping and peace-building activities of the international community. In bridging the fragmentation between various organisations and activities during different crisis phases, ICT4Peace aims to facilitate a holistic, cohesive and collaborative mechanisms directly in line with Paragraph 36 of the WSIS Tunis Commitment.'

A comprehensive concept note on the project can be found here. They also have their own blog.

The New Security Beat: PODCAST - Trade, Aid and Security

The New Security Beat has an interesting podcast on Trade, Aid and Security: An agenda for peace and development. From their post:1844074196.jpg

'Current approaches to trade and aid often fail to stem poverty, promote stability, or prevent conflict in the developing world. According to Trade, Aid and Security: An agenda for peace and development, existing policies are poorly designed and benefit rich countries, denying developing nations access to vital financial markets. Lifting people out of poverty requires a secure environment and effective trade and aid policies can promote the preconditions for peace and stability. Oli Brown, Project Manager and Policy Researcher at the International Institute for Sustainable Development and one of the editors of Trade, Aid and Security, discusses current development strategies and the conditions for wider political and economic stability.'

Nepal Food shortages, security threaten a fragile peace

AlertNet published a short article looking at the threat to the fragile peace in Nepal, following a decade-long Maoist rebellion. With elections schedule for November:

'... violence continues, especially in the south, and security remains a problem throughout the country with police demoralized, the U.N. envoy in Nepal, Ian Martin, told a news conference after briefing the U.N. Security Council.

Two U.N. food agencies also warned on Thursday that natural disasters in 2006 and 2007 had severely hurt crop production in Nepal, leaving 42 of the country's 75 districts facing food shortages.

"This is particularly troubling during this highly sensitive post-conflict period," Richard Ragan, World Food Program (WFP) representative in Nepal, said in a statement.
A U.N. report said the postponement of elections initially planned to take place by mid-June had tested the unity of Nepal's eight political parties and "failure to ensure a credible election within a realistic and well-planned period could have a much more serious impact."

Presenting the report to the Security Council, Martin said he emphasized "the very considerable challenges that still remain," especially in terms of security.'

Friday, 20 July 2007

Jobs- Programme Management Advisor (Peacebuilding and Recovery)

UNDP is recruiting for a Programme Management Advisor (Peacebuilding and Recovery) based in Kathmandu.

'Under the overall supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP RR and the direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative (Programme), the Senior Programme Manager (SPM) will head the Peacebuilding and Recovery Unit within the Programme Division and lead the development and implementation of UNDP’s post-conflict recovery strategy in Nepal. S/he will act as an advisor to Senior Management on all peacebuilding and recovery aspects of the UNDP Country Office (CO) Programme. The SPM will work in close collaboration with other UN Agencies, United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), Bureau for Crisis Prevention & Recovery (BCPR)/UNDP HQ staff and Government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society to successfully implement the peacebuilding and recovery components of the UNDP programme.'

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Sierra Leone: UN Fund Approves Projects to Assist Peacebuilding Efforts (Page 1 of 1)

Short piece on the PBC having approved funding for four new projects in Sierra Leone:

'The United Nations fund set up to help address the immediate needs of countries emerging from conflict today approved four new projects to support the ongoing electoral process and improve the judiciary, water, sanitation and health facilities in Sierra Leone.

"The approval of these projects is timely and demand-driven," Christian Holger Strohmann, Spokesperson for the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), said following the action taken today by the UN Peacebuilding Fund's Steering Committee for Sierra Leone.'

The article also puts a figure of $16 million USD as the total financing allocated to seven Sierra Leone-based projects of the PBC.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Job- Senior Programme Officer: African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme- ACCORD

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is recruiting for the position of Senior Programme Officer: African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme. The following is from their website:

'The African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme seeks to enhance coherence across the peace, security, humanitarian, development and human rights dimensions of African peacebuilding operations. The purpose of the Programme is to improve the planning and coordination dimension of African peacebuilding operations. The Programme will work towards this overall objective through four output areas: (a) Training personnel responsible for planning and coordination and establishing a database of those trained; (b) Refining the training material already developed in the field and developing new training material; (c) Undertaking applied research that can inform policy development and training; and (d) Facilitating policy development aimed at assisting the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), Regional Mechanisms, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and African Member States to develop and adopt policies and operating procedures that will facilitate the system-wide coordination of peacebuilding operations.

Key Responsibilities:
- Day-to-day implementation of the African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme;
- Planning and conducting activities and training interventions;
- Liaison with donors, training partners and UN and AU Mission personnel;
- Research, analysis and writing;
-Preparing budgets and assuming responsibility for financial management of the Programme;
- Report-writing;
- Representing the Programme at regional and international conferences and meetings;
- Assisting with the strategic planning of the Programme and preparing annual proposals;
- Travel within and beyond the continent to implement the Programme.'

Monday, 9 July 2007

Resource- Peace and Collaborative Development Networking

Peace and Collaborative Development Networking: Building Bridges, Networks and Expertise Across Sectors

This looks to be excellent resource: a professional networking site to encourage interaction between individuals & organizations worldwide involved in development, peace, conflict resolution and related fields.

Ning in general is a great free service for developing social networks, and it is being used extremely well in this instance. This network already boasts 543 members.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Jobs- Peace Fund Trust Advisor- Nepal

UNDP is looking for a Peace Fund Trust Advisor to be based in Nepal.

'In support of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Peace Fund will finance activities carried out by government or NGO entities in the five following areas: a. Management of Camps and Reintegration of Former Combatants; b. Rehabilitation of Internally Displaced People (IDPs); c. Election of Constituent Assembly; d. Strengthening of Law and Order and Police Administration; and e. Support to the Peace Process.'

Jobs- Peace and Development Outcomes Evaluation Consultant- Sierra Leone

UNDP is advertising for a consultant for a Sierre Leone-based project: Peace and Development Outcomes Evaluation Consultant.

This seems a particularly interesting position, particularly given that there is no globally recognized set of evaluation criteria for peacebuilding activities.

From the description:

Outcome to be evaluated
The outcomes to be evaluated are defined by the Country Programme Document of UNDP Sierra Leone, which is stated as follows:

1. Increased livelihood opportunities for war affected populations especially women and youth
2. Improved capacity for conflict resolution and addressing human rights issues at community level

Objectives and scope of the outcome evaluation
This evaluation is being undertaken to determine the collective outcome of four years of peace and development work in Sierra Leone, from 2004-2007. The evaluation report will present findings and conclusion, lessons learned and recommendations for the future.

The main objectives of the outcome evaluation:
Assess progress towards the outcome
Assess the factors affecting the outcome
Assess key UNDP contributions to outcomes
Assess the partnership strategy
Each of the key issues shall be evaluated using the main evaluation criteria as appropriate: effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, impact, and sustainability. Specifically, the following issues should be addressed:

Outcome analysis
What is the current situation and possible trend in the near future with regard to the outcome?
In the past, has sufficient progress been achieved vis-à-vis the outcome as measured by the outcome indicator?
What are the main factors (positive and negative) that affect the achievement of the outcome?
Are the outcome indicators chosen sufficient to measure the outcomes?
To what extent are synergies in programming such as partnerships among various UNDP programmes related to outcomes?

Output-outcome link
Whether UNDP’s outputs or other interventions can be credibly linked to the achievement of the outcome (including the key outputs, projects, and soft assistance)
What are the key contributions that UNDP has made/is making to the outcome?
What has been the role of UNDP soft-assistance activities in helping achieve the outcome?
With the current planned interventions in partnership with other actors and stakeholders, will UNDP be able to achieve the outcome within the set timeframe and inputs – or whether additional resources are required and new or changed interventions are needed?
Whether UNDP’s partnership strategy has been appropriate and effective.
Assess UNDP’s ability to develop national capacity in a sustainable manner (through exposure to best practices in other countries, holistic and participatory approach). Has UNDP been able to respond to changing circumstances and requirements in capacity development?
What is the prospect of the sustainability of UNDP interventions related to the outcome?

The Swiss-based organisation 'Initiatives of Change' held six days of 'honest conversations' with 33 leading Burundians

The Swiss-based organisation 'Initiatives of Change' held six days of 'honest conversations' with 33 leading Burundians

"Following last September´s ceasefire agreement between the Burundi government and rebel Palipehutu FNL (National Liberation Forces), 33 leading Burundians, including three former heads of state, held six days of 'honest conversations' as guests of Initatives of Change at its conference centre in Caux, Switzerland. In this bid to consolidate the fragile peace in their country the Burundians felt the need for an informal setting where they could build relationships of trust. Members of parliament, political leaders, representatives of Palipehutu FNL, religious leaders, and representatives of civil society tool part. 'Caux has helped us to open our hearts...to each other.´said one political leader. Another added, 'If we are motivated by our fears and hurts our country will never come out of the vicious circle of violence."

Japan to chair U.N. Peacebuilding Commission | The Japan Times Online

The U.N. Peacebuilding Commission has picked Japan as the chair to lead the 31-member panel during its second one-year session that started last week.

'"Japan is very, very honored to have been elected to the chair of the Peacebuilding Commission in its second year and, of course, it is not always easy to get a new mechanism off the ground and get it working in the U.N. system," Kenzo Oshima, head of the panel, said after taking up his new post.'

Monday, 2 July 2007

Jobs- Peace Building Advisor, Ethiopia

ZOA Refugee Care is recruiting for the position of Peace Building Advisor, based in Ethiopia.

'The Peace Building Advisor advises and supports the Head of Programmes of ZOA Ethiopia on all aspects of its Peace Building programme. He may also provide general advisory support to ZOA Ethiopia as requested by the Country Director.

In addition, the Advisor provides advise and support to the ZOA international Programme in Apeldoorn and specific country programmes for a maximum of 10-20% of his time and with funds reserved for this within the Peace Building budget or made available by ZOA international. For this secondment he will liaise with relevant HQ staff and Country Directors.'

Jobs- Senior Civil Society Development Coordinator, DRC

IRC is recruiting for a Senior Civil Society Development Coordinator, based in Bukavu, DRC.

'The Senior Civil Society Development Coordinator is responsible for overseeing IRC’s CSD program portfolio in the DRC. The Senior CSD Coordinator is responsible for defining and implementing IRC’s strategic vision in the CSD sector – significant evolutions are expected in this regard before the end of FY07. IRC plans on priming on a civil society development program in response to a general RFA for the D. R. Congo (DRC) related to governance and policy reform. He/She manages and supports a GBV Coordinator, Civil Society Program Managers (currently 1 but likely to expand if additional grants are awarded), and a Partnership Support Manager.

Training- Core Skills for Working in Conflict | Peaceworkers UK

Peaceworkers UK is offering a course entitled Core Skills for Working in Conflict. It will be held from 17-22 July in the UK.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Kofi Annan Launches Global Humanitarian Forum

A formal announcement has finally been made concerning the Global Humanitarian Forum, a new organization created by from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with support from the Swiss Government. Based in Geneva, the Forum will help people in poor countries play a greater role in finding solutions to their developmental and humanitarian problems.

While the former SG is vague on precisely what the organization will do, he does provide one precise example of what they might do:

'For example, he says the United Nations and other members of the humanitarian community would not have been able to deal with natural disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and the earthquake in Kashmir without the help of the military.

"If the military had not come in and provided heavy logistical support … many more people would have died as we would not have been able to get to them," said the former U.N. chief. "And, so the military have become important players in humanitarian relief. And, yet, when we get together to discuss humanitarian issues, they are not around, they are not at the table."

"I think we would want to bring them to the table to discuss with humanitarian actors how we could cooperate. And, from my own previous experience, I know it is not an easy relationship," he added.

Mr. Annan says he recognizes private aid groups are not comfortable working with the military. He says he hopes the Forum can improve this relationship

UN decides to split Department of Peacekeeping Operations

The United Nations General Assembly decided by consensus to split the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), creating a new Department of Field Support to look after management and logistic under the supervision of an Under-Secretary-General. The Peacekeeping Department will now concentrate on operations and will also be headed by an Under-Secretary-General.

'...Ban sees it [the splitting of DPKO] as an important part of the reforms process and asserts that it would increase the overall efficiency at a time when the world body is being asked to take on more and more responsibility of peacekeeping.'