From Peace to (People-Centered) Development – tracing the journey

Catalyst for Peace’s work with Fambul Tok in Sierra Leone has shifted from its initial focus on post-war community reconciliation. As we have written about elsewhere, building on the lessons of that work, we are focused now on creating spaces for communities to lead in their own development, supported by an inclusive governance infrastructure. Simply stated, the work has moved from peacebuilding to development (and inclusive governance) – while still incorporating a peacebuilding lens throughout.

In partnership with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, we are working to build a national policy framework to help grow this inclusive peace and development process, called the People’s Planning Process (PPP), across the country. Together, we convened national and international policymakers in Freetown, Sierra Leone in February of 2017. In that Roundtable event, my colleague John Caulker (Executive Director of Fambul Tok) and I shared the story of our work and our decade long partnership, tracing the emergence of the PPP and illuminating the strong foundation on which it rests.

Here is a video of that presentation. In it, John and I talk about how the lessons from Fambul Tok’s national scale but fully community-owned and led reconciliation process paved the way for a post-Ebola People’s Planning Process (PPP). We share how we used an ’emergent design’ process to build inclusive infrastructure at every level, from village through section, chiefdom and district, and how that leaves us now poised to take the process across the country – with the newly formed partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. Although some sections of the presentation were only partially recorded (notably, those articulating some of the core concepts and the underlying theoretical frameworks we’re working from), enough of those sections are here to give a brief insight into those concepts, as well as the core process and content values that ground the work at every level.

The journey has moved forward notably since this February Roundtable, as other posts have noted. Stay tuned for the next installments.

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