Persistent Impact: An Urgent Call for a Conflict-Sensitive Approach to the COVID-19 Pandemic
In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CSPPS has kept in close contact with its members to learn about how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact their individual contexts and work. In 2020, this work resulted in the report "Fighting COVID-19, Building Peace – a civil society perspective. What Local Peacebuilders say about COVID-19, Civic Space, Fragility and Drivers of Conflict".
Unfortunately, after one more year of facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the voices of local peacebuilders are still not sufficiently heard by national and international decision-makers, and their lived experiences are still not sufficiently taken into account.
Upon seeing that both the work of the Platform and that of local peacebuilders remains sharply impacted, CSPPS once again reached out to its membership and issued a third survey in order to document the pressing challenges they continue to be confronted with. This new report “Persistent Impact: An Urgent Call for a Conflict-Sensitive Approach to the COVID-19 Pandemic” identifies a number of persistent trends that need urgent international attention and concerted action, including heightened economic vulnerabilities and increased exposure to gender-based violence.
Divided into four main sections, this report first explores how the pandemic continues to affect civil society’s capacity to operate by looking at measures that restrict movement and public gatherings, as well as new reliance on digital technologies. The second section focuses on the relations between government, CSOs, and local communities, describing issues of societal mistrust and political transparency during the COVID-19 pandemic. The third section provides a more in-depth analysis of the exposure of local and vulnerable communities to socio-political, economic, and environmental tensions that have been exacerbated after one year of crisis. The report concludes with recommendations on how to structure and implement such recovery efforts, and highlights how key stakeholders can cooperate with local peace actors to ensure these opportunities are seized.
Supporting our members and their efforts remains the key objective for the CSPPS Platform in 2021 and beyond - and in order to do so, we not only encourage you to read and share this report widely across your networks, but also to proactively reach out and join us in our efforts towards Building Forward Better in partnership.
We sincerely thank all members who provided valuable inputs into this report.