Local peacebuilders and their networks are widely recognised as critical agents in meaningfully building and sustaining peace. Yet, there is a dire gap in resourcing local peacebuilding work: not only in terms of the amount of funding ultimately reaching local organisations, but also – and perhaps more importantly – in terms of which local organisations can access that funding and what type of peacebuilding work is supported.
The international donor community (ie bilateral donor governments as well as multilateral funding facilities) continues to struggle to find ways to directly support local peacebuilding actors, allowing them to drive priorities when it comes to programming and implementation. Too often, local organisations are relegated to working as sub-contractors implementing policy and programmatic goals of someone else in the aid ecosystem. This prevents them from implementing their own solutions to the problems that they themselves are best positioned to understand and solve.
This working paper aims to advance efforts to provide concrete suggestions to donor governments and fund managers on how to more effectively resource locally-led peacebuilding, drawing on lessons learned and insights gained from other sectors. The paper takes note of the challenges faced by the international donor community to directly support local peacebuilders and acknowledges that there are real limitations to what is possible in terms of adjusting the current funding model. However, this does not mean that it is altogether impossible to address limitations and to increase the efficacy of peacebuilding programming.