Putting local actors in the driver's seat

PRIF Report by Samantha Ruppel on achievements and challenges of the German Civil Peace Service in local peacebuilding

Gerad from s CPS partner university discusses with community members in Sierra Leone. Photo: HSFK/Ruppel

In the so-called "Local Turn on Peacebuilding", researchers have been calling for greater active involvement of local actors in peacebuilding projects. In response to this, non-governmental organizations such as the German Civil Peace Service (CPS), among others, now attach great importance to close cooperation with local partner organizations in their worldwide efforts to prevent conflicts, and have thus contributed to the professionalization of civil peacebuilding.

In her new PRIF Report 4/2020, Samantha Ruppel examines the CPS's work in Liberia and Sierra Leone to analyze the successes and obstacles that arise in the attempt to achieve equal cooperation and overcome power differentials between the German organizations of the CPS and their local partners, and how these obstacles are dealt with. Despite a number of positive findings, it is clear that a thorough reflection of the power relationship between all the actors involved remains crucial to the success of peacebuilding projects.

Download (1.6MB): Ruppel, Samantha (2020): Local Peacebuilding and the German Civil Peace Service. Civil Conflict Transformation Between Partnership and Power Imbalance, PRIF Report 04/2020, Frankfurt/M.