UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Building Inclusive Civil Societies with, and for, Young People in 5 Post-Conflict Countries
Project Data Last Updated: 27/08/2020
IATI Identifier: GB-GOV-13-FUND--GCRF-AH_R005354_1
The legacy of internal conflict, violence, even genocide poses one of the most intractable obstacles to development in post-conflict states. The on-going lack of resolution of the past is often a very significant factor in the marked fragility of any development gains in such countries. Our project investigates the efficacy of civil society organisations (CSOs, including museums, heritage organizations, community participatory arts and activist groups) in promoting social reconciliation and respect for equality and human rights in the aftermath of conflict in 5 countries from across the DAC list of ODA recipients and from the OECD list of 'fragile states': Colombia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Kosovo and South Africa. Over the last 40 years, these countries have had to confront the material consequences of their violent pasts. Each has a very different relationship to this past, from Colombia, where the processes of reconciliation are only just beginning, to Cambodia where the violence of the Khmer Rouge has passed into history and yet its memory continues to shape contemporary society. The international development community and donor states have invested heavily in the work of CSOs supporting reconciliation initiatives, particularly focussed on children and young people - a disproportionately large part of the population due to the effects of past violence on their parents' generation. This demographic imbalance is often exacerbated by the long-term impact of a wide range of social issues (e.g. HIV/AIDs in South Africa, on-going visa restrictions in Kosovo). CSOs are invariably considered 'an essential component of peace-building work' (Zelizer 2003). For example, the role of community theatre in Rwanda is often cited in efforts to support transitional justice, similarly the growth of inter-ethnic musical groups in post-war Kosovo. Such initiatives can have immediate, therapeutic impact for participants. They are also often considered to play an important role in the building of stable institutions, and stronger societies, raising awareness of human rights in the face of weak state structures. However, given the lack of resources generally available in CSOs and the focus of colleagues in international development on the frontline delivery of services to the communities they support, there is only a weak research evidence base for the efficacy of these interventions. Building on our previous GCRF projects, we will deliver the first large-scale comparative study of CSO practice across a range of post-conflict societies, confronting the challenge of building strong institutions for the delivery of social justice for young people. We will begin by undertaking a critical review of current work by CSOs across these countries, in order to highlight innovative practice, as well as areas that require further investigation. This will lead to 5 'proof of concept' pilot projects, based on lessons learnt from this review. Our initial R&D phase will then lead to the commissioning of 2 rounds of projects, one aimed at ECRs, one at colleagues at all career stages. Adopting quantitative and qualitative, co-production and action-research methodologies, we will work in partnership with researchers at HEIs and IROs across these 5 countries, locally-based CSOs, the British Council (BC) and its in-country network of partners, as well as other international development organisations (including UNICEF, UNESCO, Hope and Homes for Children, Plan International, Salzburg Global Seminar, PAX). We will develop new methods, case studies and practical toolkits, for engaging children and young people with the many ways that violent national pasts continue to impact on their communities and countries. In the process we seek to make a significant intervention both on the ground and at policy level across and beyond our 5 case-study countries.Objectives
1) To critically evaluate and significantly impact CSO practice in the area of human-rights building in post-conflict societies in order to effect real change in the lives of some of the world's most marginalized communities of children and young people, from former child soldiers in Colombia to the undocumented children of illegal migrants in South Africa. 2) To build international and interdisciplinary research capacity at scale and across a range of developing countries, while also producing high-quality research outputs, practical 'tool kits' and engagement events. This will involve drawing out the collective learning from over 20 international development projects that we will commission and rigorously evaluate over the course of our network plus project. We will begin with 'proof-of-concept' projects focussed on our 5 case-study countries. Our commissioned work will then grow in scale to encompass projects that will involve post-conflict societies from across the ODA list of recipient countries. We will have a particular emphasis on the development of early career researchers (ECR) in this regard. Along with providing career development opportunities for a number of PDRAs from the global south and 2 PGRs, the project will also coordinate a dedicated funding call for ODA-focussed projects led by ECRs based in the global south working in partnership with colleagues in the UK. This will be complemented by a larger-scale funding call for more experienced colleagues from ODA countries to work in partnership with UK researchers and international CSOs. 3) To effect, through an internationally-comparative evaluation of practice, lasting policy impact across and beyond the CSOs with whom we will be working, as well as other international multilateral organisations, particularly those that are central to the distribution of funding for international development. Evaluation of these projects will be focussed on i) ensuring that the practices developed during the project are embedded into the on-going work of the CSOs with which we will have been working ii) developing future projects in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the network produced during this project. 4) To create pathways to global policy impact via our partner organisations, their network of community-based organisations and connections with local and national government. These organisations currently include the British Council, UNICEF, UNESCO, Hope and Homes for Children, Plan International and PAX, but will grow over the life-time of the project as we commission new work. 5) To generate synergies with other GCRF projects in order to ensure the maximum impact of RCUK's investment. This will involve working with Salzburg Global Seminar who will organise a bespoke dissemination event for us to engage global leaders in the results of our research. 6) To demonstrate the critical importance of Arts and Humanities research, in partnership with other disciplines, for the delivery of effective international development, thereby making a substantial contribution to the emerging field of Arts and Humanities Research for Development.
|Extending:||UK Research & Innovation|
|Funding:||UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy|
|Implementing:||University of Leeds|
Sectors groups as a percentage of country budgets according to the Development Assistance Committee's classifications.
A comparison across six financial years of forecast spend and the total amount of money spent on the project to date.