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Dialogues with Dexis | Bridging the Gap Between Local, Inclusive, and Conflict-Sensitive Programming Approaches


Bridging the Gap Between Local, Inclusive, and Conflict-Sensitive Programming Approaches

On December 19, 2023, panelists and Dexis moderator Andrew Sinclair explored how the integration of conflict sensitivity, gender equity and social inclusion (GESI), and localization enables more effective peacebuilding. All panelists are partners on Dexis’ Programming for Prevention and Peacebuilding (P4P2) Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ).

Too often the foreign assistance community views and treats conflict sensitivity, GESI, and localization as discrete initiatives, relegating these principles to a box to check or tradeoff weigh. Across the peacebuilding practice, however, the principles underpinning these initiatives share common approaches and methods that are mutually reinforcing. Acknowledging this overlap, panelists drew on their experiences applying conflict sensitive, GESI and localization approaches in their work to identify practical methods for prioritizing diverse local perspectives and empowering communities to achieve better peacebuilding outcomes.

Nell Bolton, Technical Director for Equity, Inclusion, and Peacebuilding at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) set the stage by outlining how CRS considers cohesion, conflict, power, equity, inclusion, and safety in the program design phase to ensure responsive and tailored programming that fits local conditions and the societal context. Programming teams are encouraged to take a holistic and integrative approach to multisectoral assessments rather than considering each as a standalone exercise. Given the relationship between social cohesion, conflict sensitivity, GESI, and localization, CRS created a guide for practitioners that integrates these approaches to design and implement more responsive and effective programs.

Resource: Social and Power Dynamics Assessments: A Basic Guide for Busy Practitioners (Catholic Relief Services)

Khirad Kargasov, Civil Society and Partnerships Advisor at Saferworld, continued by discussing how Saferworld integrates conflict and gender sensitivity in practice through its local partnership approach. Engaging in local partnerships builds trust, facilitates the inclusion of marginalized groups impacted by conflict, and strengthens both the understanding of and responsiveness to communities. Saferworld continually works on advancing trust by advocating for the needed resources for local organizations and being sensitive of the power dynamics of programming inherent in the partnerships.

Resource: Turning the Tables: Insights from locally-led humanitarian partnerships in conflict situations (Saferworld)

Resource: Towards solidarity: Saferworld’s partnership journey (Saferworld)

Resource: Resourcing change: Supporting women’s rights organisations in fragile and conflict-affected states (Saferworld)

Ahmed Abdi Mohamed, Technical Advisor for CRS’ Nabadoon Reconciliation Activity provided an example of how to integrate these principles at the local level. Nabadoon, a USAID-funded people-to-people reconciliation activity combines GESI, localization, and conflict sensitivity by incorporating detailed and ongoing gender and conflict analyses as it empowers local peacebuilders. By prioritizing these principles throughout the program, women are now elevated to leadership roles where they continue to promote inclusion in major community discussions.

Resource: Video: Integrating Social Cohesion & Justice for Enhanced Development and Humanitarian Outcomes (Catholic Relief Services)

All three panelists underscored how conflict sensitivity, GESI, and localization build on and reinforce one another in peacebuilding, which requires a multisectoral mindset that prioritizes a nuanced understanding of local power dynamics, conflict conditions, and social inclusion.

Dialogues with Dexis brings together diverse practitioners in conflict prevention, stabilization, governance, and global security to discuss emerging trends and new innovations. To receive future event invitations from Dexis, sign up below.

In Somalia, featured panelist Ahmed Abdi Mohamed supports projects in facilitating workshops on peacebuilding and other topics. Photo by afad tuncay/Shutterstock.com

Featured Panelists

Picture of Nell Bolton, Technical Director for Equity, Inclusion, and Peacebuilding, Catholic Relief Services

Nell Bolton, Technical Director for Equity, Inclusion, and Peacebuilding, Catholic Relief Services

Nell Bolton serves at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as Technical Director for Equity, Inclusion and Peacebuilding and as Lead for a strategic initiative on Fostering Just & Cohesive Societies. She has supported CRS’ peacebuilding and governance programming throughout the world, including as a Regional Technical Advisor in the Europe, Middle East and Central Asia region, East and South Asia, and Central Africa. Following a return to her native New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, she led a variety of civic engagement, advocacy, and faith-based coalition-building initiatives and remains active in social, racial, and restorative justice initiatives in Louisiana. Ms. Bolton holds an M.A. in International Peace Studies from the Kroc Institute at Notre Dame and an M.T.S. degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Picture of Ahmed Abdi Mohamed, Technical Advisor, Nabadoon Reconciliation Activity, Catholic Relief Services

Ahmed Abdi Mohamed, Technical Advisor, Nabadoon Reconciliation Activity, Catholic Relief Services

Mr. Ahmed Abdi Mohamed serves as a Technical Advisor at CRS, playing a crucial role in the Nabadoon Reconciliation Activity project in Somalia. In his capacity, he supports partners in facilitating workshops on peace building, conflict analysis, Saving and Internal Loan for Communities (SILC), and Trauma Awareness and Resilience. With extensive experience, Ahmed has previously served as the Program Manager of Protection for the CRS Somalia program, accumulating over 20 years of experience in both humanitarian and development sectors. His academic background includes a Master of Arts in Peace, Governance, and Development from the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) and a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Planning and Management from Admas University, Ethiopia.

Picture of Khirad Kargasov, Civil Society and Partnerships Advisor, Saferworld

Khirad Kargasov, Civil Society and Partnerships Advisor, Saferworld

Khirad Kargasov serves as the Civil Society Partnerships and Learning Advisor at Saferworld, leading the organization’s partnerships approach with his team and other organizations globally. Khirad has been with Saferworld since 2014 as Area Program Manager in Juba, South Sudan, and then later as the Tajikistan Country Manager and Central Asia Regional Manager. He has substantial experience in community policy and community security, establishing civil society networks, and promoting the role of local and community-led organizations in security sector reform.

Picture of Andrew Sinclair, Senior Technical Advisor, Dexis Consulting Group

Andrew Sinclair, Senior Technical Advisor, Dexis Consulting Group

Andrew is the Senior Advisor for Dexis’ Center for Global Security and Stabilization, leading strategy and thought leadership across Dexis’ security and foreign assistance portfolios. He brings considerable expertise operating in complex conflict environments with the U.S. government. Before joining Dexis, Andrew served as the USAID Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) Country Representative for both Libya and Syria. In Afghanistan, he led the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) for USAID. Before his federal service, Andrew researched multilateral peace operations at the Center on International Cooperation. Andrew holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan.

Event Details

This event has concluded.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023
10:00 am- 11:00am EST 
Virtual Event