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.  


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

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