Our world urgently needs locally-led approaches to advance peace and development. Today’s international aid system is stretched thin, as needs reach record highs. Assistance often continues to hinder local leadership, failing to build on the local resources within communities that form the bedrock of effective social change. Although research consistently shows that peacebuilding is more successful when done by the people most impacted, many operational challenges stand in the way of implementing a new development approach. Sierra Leone’s community reconciliation program, Fambul Tok, offers a unique model for building peace ‘from the inside out’ and can help us to reimagine the top-down approaches that have too often failed to end violent conflicts.

On February 22, the U.S. Institute of Peace co-hosted a discussion with Catalyst for Peace, featuring: Fambul Tok’s Executive Director, John Caulker; Minister of State for the Office of the Vice-President of Sierra Leone Francess Piagie Alghali; and Libby Hoffman, author of “The Answers Are There: Building Peace From the Inside Out.” The panelists re-explored practical solutions to building local capacity and facilitating local solutions; and shed light on the relationships and collaborative and creative work that are essential to the success of programs like Fambul Tok.  

Speakers

Francess Piagie Alghali
Minister of State, Office of the Vice-President, Sierra Leone

John Caulker
Executive Director, Fambul Tok

Libby Hoffman 
President, Catalyst for Peace

Joseph Sany
Vice President, Africa Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Traumatic Decarbonization in Fragile States

Traumatic Decarbonization in Fragile States

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The process of decarbonization—that is, the replacement of fossil fuels with non-hydrocarbon-based forms of energy—is essential for meeting the climate goals articulated by international agreements. But in fragile, oil-dependent nations, where hydrocarbon revenues are often a key means of political control, decarbonization can spell the difference between peace and conflict. This report examines the consequences of the sudden loss of oil revenues for fragile, conflict-affected states and provides recommendations for policymakers on how to manage future decarbonization peacefully.

Type: Peaceworks

Conflict Analysis & PreventionEconomicsEnvironmentFragility & Resilience

The Untapped Potential of Grassroots Peacebuilding in Papua New Guinea

The Untapped Potential of Grassroots Peacebuilding in Papua New Guinea

Thursday, May 9, 2024

This past January, deadly riots in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, spilled over into other towns and cities across the nation. As the dust settled, many held the country’s struggling youth population responsible, at least partially, for kindling the widespread unrest. Papua New Guinea’s government responded by announcing ambitious plans to address a broad range of problems facing youth — a promising move.

Type: Blog

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Iran’s Attack and the New Escalatory Cycle in the Middle East

Iran’s Attack and the New Escalatory Cycle in the Middle East

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Middle East is entering a new phase after unprecedented attacks by Israel and Iran during the first two weeks of April. Robin Wright, a senior fellow at USIP and the Woodrow Wilson Center who has covered the region for a half century, explores what happened, the strategic implications, the political context and the divided world reaction.

Type: Question and Answer

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

View All Publications