UNDP-CSO Partnerships for Conflict Prevention: Experiences from the Field




UNDP-CSO Partnerships for Conflict Prevention: Experiences from the Field

November 3, 2015

UNDP-CSO Partnerships for Conflict Prevention: Experiences from the Field (2005) is an initial inquiry into how CSOs and UNDP can engage more effectively in preventing violent conflict and sustaining peace. This publication serves to improve learning and practice in these areas by studying five cases including South East Europe, Colombia, Nepal, Ukraine, and Cyprus.

The case study from South East Europe examines UNDP engagement with a network of local NGOs and think tanks in developing early warning systems. The Colombia case study delves into the mechanisms and tools that can be used to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) in post-conflict environments and highlights some lessons learned from a pilot small grants project. The case study addressing the proliferation of small arms and light weapons assesses the contributions of CSOs in the area of research and the development of international instruments to monitor the spread of small arms. The Cyprus case study describes the partnership established between the Bi-communal Development Programme and the Mediation Association, a CSO with expertise in building skills in mediation and reconciliation. The case of Nepal addresses the issue of enhancing the capacity of community-based organizations in peace building efforts at the local level.  The Crimea Integration and Development Programme of Ukraine emphasizes the importance of area-based development as an entry point to promote and strengthen partnerships with local civil society organizations.  


The experiences presented in this report underscore the critical importance for UNDP and other international organizations to actively engage with civil society actors at all levels in preventing violent conflict and rebuilding peace. In many cases, the credibility and effectiveness demonstrated by CSOs have led to a transformation in the nature of their relationship with governments and the United Nations – from programme sub-contractors to policy advisors and interlocutors. This evolution in the scope of partnership with civil society organizations is essential in addressing the growing challenges of conflict prevention and peace building.