SYSTEM THINKING PARTNERSHIPS FOR POSITIVE PEACE RESEARCH PROJECT
NEPAL, SOUTHERN THAILAND, INDONESIA, AND COLOMBIA
Background: Systems Thinking Partnerships for Positive Peace built partnerships with government, academic institutions, INGOs/NGOs, business, communities and individuals in Southern Thailand, Nepal, Colombia and Indonesia.
Purpose: Each country is undergoing its own peace-building and natural disaster recovery process. The goal was to learn about the country and culture and to understand the specific development needs from each stakeholder’s perspective, while also identifying initiatives that could meet the requirements of the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund. EoE worked with the University of Hull to meet with stakeholders in each country and identify areas for collaboration and research to achieve goals that aligned with the countries’ values and upheld the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Local Partners: USAID Green Invest Asia, Prince of Songkla University Hat Yai Campus, UN Women, Prince of Songkla University Pattani Campus, ASEAN Fisheries Education Network, World Vision, Chana District Hospital, Songkhla Province, World Food Program, UNICEF.
Thailand is geographically vulnerable to natural disasters such as flash flooding, tsunamis, landslides, storms, and coastal erosions. Additionally, the country has faced internal conflict as parties exploit the marginalized population and take disproportionate advantage of the land's natural resources. Potential research themes in Southern Thailand were identified by local stakeholders and centered around disaster and emergency management by empowering the marginalized, mental health and wellbeing, data management, monitoring, and accountability, and natural disaster preparedness.
01 SOUTHERN THAILAND
Local Partners: Resources Himalayan Foundation, Tribhuvan University, Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, Government Central Planning Office - Prime Minister, Rooster Logic, Quest International College, Kathmandu University, Nepal Institute of Justice, Women Development Advocacy Centre, Department for International Development, SmartPaani, Collective Campaign for Peace, National School of Entrepreneurship, D.A.V. Business School, Research Inputs and Development Action Nepal, Quest international College, Institute for Policy Research and Development, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, Women Development Advocacy Centre, Higher Ground Nepal, World Wildlife Foundation, Palladium, Poverty Alleviation Fund Agricultural and Forestry University, Institute of Crisis Management Studies, Collective Campaign for Peace
Systemic solutions for issues of sex trafficking and depletion of rural communities were identified to be the primary focus for research in Nepal. About 70% of men in Nepal migrate out of the country in search of work. Local women are then left vulnerable to sex trafficking and opportunities for capacity development by local business owners decrease. Potential research themes in Nepal, which were identified by local stakeholders including gender-based violence, social entrepreneurship, and the articulation of new federal governance structures.
Local Partners: Amazon Conservation team, University of Magdalena, Santa Marta, Colombia National Planning Department, Chamber of Commerce of Bogota, Association of Colombian Conciliators in Equity, District Department of Security, Coexistence and Justice, Arco Iris Corporation
The 2017 Colombian peace agreement calls for a restorative justice approach to the strengthening of peace and security in communities. According to projections by the Bogotá Secretary of Government, 29% of homicides could be avoided by addressing breaches of contract and another 6% could be prevented through conflict resolution among couples (Ceasc, 2015). A key characteristic of this approach is working with disputes within communities, prioritizing those regions that have been historically under a guerrilla rule of law. Since the signing of the peace agreement, the Colombian justice department has been working to strengthen, build capacity and co-ordinate the informal justice system with the formal criminal system using restorative justice mechanisms. This effort is compounded by the complexity of reintegrating former combatants into communities, coexisting with victims of the war. The effort is intended to support victims, former combatants, their families, and wider community members as they build informal justice systems, collectively deciding on outcomes through a facilitated, consensual, participative and often highly emotional process. Efforts toward conducting the research and social change in Colombia are under way.