The Stability Fund’s goal is to work towards a peaceful, secure, stable Somalia. To achieve this, the Stability Fund aims to address the security, development and political drivers of conflict in a local area to achieve the following outcomes: i) Legitimate, viable governance structures able to make and enforce rules locally. ii) Existing and emerging conflicts brought to conclusion and risks of future conflicts mitigated.
To improve inter-communal harmony and to participate effectively in the peace process by increasing the capacity of civil society, women, youths, religious and ethnic communities through the Paung Sie Facility (PSF). It gives partners the organisational strengths necessary to do this work themselves in the longer term. The programme also supports greater sensitivity in government, investor and donor policy and practice to inter-communal and other conflict dynamics
The programme will support progress towards fairer and more stable power structures for Somalia; including the sharing of power and resources; enshrined in a process of constitutional review and will support to increase civic engagement, which in turn will inform a more open electoral system for the 2020/21 elections.
How do you see Rwanda? In the aftermath of the genocide that shook the world, how do you picture this small East African country? And who has shaped these images? Who are the photographers, storytellers, reporters, editors and filmmakers who have influenced your imagination? My research examines how Rwanda has been 'curated' for international audiences - the visual and verbal stories told about genocide and its aftermath and the ways in which they have been disseminated globally. In 1994 between 800,000 and a million people were killed in Rwanda in just one hundred days. Many of these killings took place in people's homes or nearby public spaces. After genocide survivors often returned to where they lived before, to the sites where they lost hundreds of friends and family members. These killings and the process of rebuilding life after genocide, are grounded in an intimate knowledge of a particular place. However, during genocide and its aftermath many Rwandans were displaced. And the first international stories about Rwanda were told by foreigners mostly travelling to the country for the first time. Familiarity with place then, in Rwanda, is intimately tied to the question of authorship. Survivors giving testimony about genocide recollect sites of killings, the places where people hid, routes out of the country. Accounts by influential visiting journalists and novelists by contrast dwell on the strangeness of the landscape and disorientation. To understand experiences of genocide we need to listen to local people who lived through the events and are still grappling with their consequences. But to understand how Rwanda has been perceived internationally we must also pay attention to the narratives of outsiders. This fellowship begins with two writing projects that study and contest these dynamics. My monograph Rwanda: The Testimony of Place, examines how the field of testimony has been shaped and is changing the further we move from 1994. My translation of Yolande Mukagasana's testimony La mort ne veut pas de moi will bring a key Rwandan voice to English-speaking audiences for the first time. I then develop these themes of place and authorship building on my existing networks established while making the BBC documentary Living with Memory in Rwanda and curating the AHRC-funded exhibition Rwanda in Photographs (2014). Exploring my Rwandan colleagues' observation that Rwandans have little control over narratives circulating about them internationally, I will map ways in which stories about Rwanda are consistently mediated by outsiders from the Global North, and challenge these dynamics through interventions designed to foreground Rwandan voices. In 2018 I will convene a workshop facilitated by photographer-activist Marcelo Brodsky (Argentina) and writer-editor Billy Kahora (Kenya), bringing together Rwandan photographers and writers with NGOs based in Rwanda. The workshop aims to demonstrate that NGOs can benefit from working with local artists as opposed to flying in foreign journalists for their communication campaigns, and offers valuable training and networking for participants. Slideshows in Kigali and London will share the results and selected work will be published in a journal special issue. Accompanying the workshop are three further interventions: A policy briefing for photo editors outlining the business and ethical case for commissioning photography locally rather than internationally; A quantitative study co-authored with social psychologist Dr Keon West showing why this is important for humanising the people depicted; And a visually-rich website drawing together my own research and images generated over the past five years of engagement activities. This fellowship will establish me as an emerging leader in post-conflict cultures, providing time to complete two key publications and funding to forge new way s forward through projects that combine both academic research and cultural activism.
This project uses participatory visual and audio methods to explore the roles of communities in conflicts in places where new resource investments become entangled with longer histories of resistance, protest and violence. East Africa is experiencing a resource boom as investors seek to access to coveted deposits of oil, gas, minerals and geothermal fields. National governments portray new investments and associated infrastructure as beneficial for growth, transforming rural margins and enhancing livelihood opportunities for communities. Yet, achieving these goals on the ground is often undermined by competition for control of resources, corruption and uneven political power. There is evidence that new extractive operations often worsen tensions at the rural margins by aggravating existing contests for wealth and power and influencing new patterns of conflict. In fact, in many rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), politics around new resource developments are reconfiguring conflict dynamics, even in places with legacies of violence and unrest. To address these issues, this project bridges the social sciences (social anthropology and human geography), the humanities (history, digital arts and visual inquiry) and community-based participatory research (CBPR) to examine how different 'communities' of actors 'see' and experience resource conflicts in Kenya and Madagascar. We ask how different views, values and strategies for legitimising claims to resources shape relations around resource developments, contribute to conflict dynamics and reflect the changing character of resource conflicts in SSA more broadly. Conflict, in different forms, is always part and parcel of negotiating among different communities of actors - more so in places where ways of valuing and relating to important resources varies dramatically across different groups of government, private sector and local community stakeholders. While it is unsurprising that new large resource developments could spark new conflicts or renew tensions in places, the concerns and views of people in marginalized communities are often unseen or illegible to a wider range of actors. Governments and investors may introduce local compensation schemes and use local gatekeepers to champion 'development', though often without fully grasping community experiences of and responses to the increased presence and control of the state and non-state actors that is implied in new extractive development. The central proposition of this project is that varying, 'hidden' narratives of conflict must be recognised, understood, dialogued and shared to develop pathways through which conflict can be transformed from within and thus promote more peaceful outcomes in resource development contexts. Focusing on specific, contested resource development sites in the two project countries through deep collaboration with local researchers, community advocates and diverse members of local populations, the project will use qualitative fieldwork, a variety of participatory visual and audio methods, and textual analysis to document and analyse the views of (and differing perspectives within) different key groups of actors. We also ask how located histories of resistance, protest, co-option, and consent intersect with contemporary conflicts around resource developments. International teams will collaborate with conflict stakeholders to produce multimedia digital narratives, key outputs around which community-level, national and cross-national dialogues on conflict will be convened. Developing shared visions of what conflict is about requires 'seeing' not only as a state (the transformative potential of extractive industries), or as a private investor (need secure local consent through various means), but also the various ways of 'seeing' as someone who lives in a place where resources are found, extracted an d resource claims are contested in complex ways.
In 2015, the United Nations Refugee agency (UNCHR) reported that world-wide displacement hit an 'all time high' as conflict related violence and persecution increase and threat environments become more diffuse and complex. Quite shockingly, it was calculated that today, one in every 122 people is either a refugee, displaced or seeking asylum. Across huge swathes of the globe, people are uprooted as they try to negotiate profoundly difficult conflict circumstances, involving not only state armies, but non-state armed groups, criminal gangs, drug traffickers, and jihadists. To make matters more complex, individuals often occupy ambiguous victim-perpetrator statuses, moving between combatant and civilian roles, either through coercion or through choice. Central Africa has witnessed prolonged and repetitive forms of displacement for many, many years. In 2015, the UNHCR described forced displacement figures related to this region as 'immense'. To date, international organisations have prioritized 'going home' as the most durable solution to this crisis. Processes of 'return and reintegration' represent a huge practical and policy challenge for world governments and are therefore a critical international policy issue. This research project aims to study precisely these dynamics in the central and eastern African countries of Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Sudan through an inter-disciplinary, multi-sited ethnography of 'return'. By analyzing how refugees, internally displaced persons and former combatants negotiate and experience 'return' we aim to fill a large gap in current knowledge on the 'lifecycle' of conflicts in some of the world's most difficult places. Drawing on anthropology, comic journalism, history, heritage studies and political science we will focus on the everyday experiences of those attempting to build or re-build communities in central Africa, contributing to a better understanding of how conflict-affected societies constitute or re-constitute themselves. Our research will explore the relationships of returnees with each other, with the 'stayee' population and their engagement with national governments and international peacebuilding actors. We will examine if and how standardized peacebuilding approaches to return - such as Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR); transitional justice (TJ); and psycho-social support (PSS) are relevant to people on the ground who negotiate conflict realities and their legacies on a daily basis. We will also investigate those ubiquitous processes that are persistently set aside by international actors, including customary spiritual practices of individual and collective healing and ideas associated with religious belief. We will go beyond merely documenting the manner of return to focus specifically on how processes of return shape and reshape public authority across our research sites, questioning any assumed linear transition to 'civilian life' and to 'peace'. Our in-depth, inter-discipinary study of return across the Central African region will help us better understand the conditions under which conflict-affected societies are able to move on peacefully and/or live productively in situations of acute social stress and also the conditions under which mutuality is simply not possible and violence becomes endemic and seemingly inescapable. We also hope to place current central African experience in wider comparative and historical contexts giving fellow scholars and policy makers a much clearer picture of how and when social repair becomes possible in situations characterized by such staggering levels of upheaval and suffering.
CPAID will be at the forefront of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research designed to strengthen our knowledge about how the governance of societies in impoverished, marginal and/or conflict affected places actually functions. Without a sound knowledge of the dynamics of public authority in these places, development and inclusive growth policies simply cannot succeed. 1) Produce high-quality, evidence-based research that informs local, national and international policies to promote inclusive growth in our research countries. Inclusive growth in many places in Africa and elsewhere has proved elusive. Formal governance can be remote, development policies persistently fail and humanitarian aid, at best, assists a minority. CPAID will use innovative approaches to research across disciplines and beyond narrow academic concerns. Our research will draw its understandings from ordinary people, and in particular vulnerable, marginalised and excluded groups and populations. CPAID will take public authority as its conceptual starting point, exploring the ways in which governance of people actually occurs. CPAID used the term public authority to refer to all forms of authority beyond the immediate family unit, from clans, religious institutions, aid agencies, civil social organisations, rebel militia and vigilante groups - to formal and semi-formal mechanisms of government. 2) CPAID's research will focus on under-researched areas involved in prolonged conflict, endemic violence and social upheaval across Africa including DRC, CAR, South Sudan, Somalia, and Burundi, and in the now relatively peaceful states of Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Ethiopia. All research locations are ODA recipients and qualify as 'least developed countries'. Often there is no data available from which policies to promote inclusive governance can be developed. In these countries populations are impacted by weak, ineffective or exploitative state institutions, but we know very little about the forms of public authority which actually serve populations and the possibilities for inclusive economic growth. CPAID's experienced researchers will study and draw comparisons about how forms of public authority coalesce to shape patterns of governance and conflict over resources across spaces, and temporal scales. 3) CPAID will foster and enhance already existing local partnerships to understand how public authority and governance is (re)shaped following processes of disruption, displacement and return. Drawing upon existing local knowledge and experience, the research will be co-designed, co-produced and co-disseminated. Through long-standing collaborations with confirmed local partners, the CPAID will develop richer and more relevant analyses and prescriptions, opening up new perspectives on public authority and inclusive growth in our research countries. The centre will privilege new theoretical frameworks and tools of analysis developed from local wisdom. 4) CPAID will use innovative approaches to research across disciplines and beyond narrow academic concerns. Public authority is a notion that makes this possible and seeks to free our research from problematic and misleading assumptions and projections about the nature of statehood, formal authority and formal governance. CPAID focuses on the populations governed, and their experience of this, thus allowing for meaningful exploration of possibilities for inclusive growth. CPAID involves world-leading scholars from anthropology, economics, development studies, international relations and political science. The central research team have a deep and long-term engagement with the cultures, politics, histories and security dynamics of many African countries. Crucially, this means that local populations can be fully involved in research, and investigations can be conducted ethically and successfully.
First, the project will engage scholars working on the political economy of conflict and war to peace transitions. This includes researchers working on issues of violence (e.g. Christopher Cramer, Stathis Kalyvas, Teo Ballve), resources, statebuilding and political settlements (e.g. Jonathan Di John, James Putzel, Philippe Le Billon, Douglass North and Mushtaq Khan), and hybrid political orders (e.g. Volker Boege, Kate Meagher). The research will contribute to this literature by providing a comparative evidence base regarding the perpetuation of criminalised economies in peacetime and the complex dilemmas and trade-offs that exist between peacebuilding, development and counter narcotics efforts to tackle illicit economies. The research will be disseminated through publication in leading development and politics journals, through engagement with existing research networks (such as the Political Settlements Research Programme) and UK and international conferences. Second, the research will benefit scholars working on drugs and other illicit economies, including Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Carolyn Nordstrom, Richard Snyder, Ko-Lin Chin, Francisco Thoumi. The research aims to redefine the field of drugs and development by generating an innovative, interdisciplinary framework for conceptualising the dynamics surrounding drug economies that combines political economy, livelihoods, gender, and public health analysis to understand the tensions that exist between counter-narcotics policies and concurrent efforts to address state fragility and poverty. The project is well-placed to disseminate research to audiences across different disciplines through the SOAS Violence, Conflict and Development research cluster, the new SOAS Corruption Centre, the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project, the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour (CRDHB) and The Centre for Health and Social Change (ECOHOST) (both hosted by the LSHTM). Third, the research will strengthen recent borderland studies scholarship focused on how state margins are not simply reflective of power relations at the centre, but are often constitutive of new political and economic orders (e.g. Hastings Donnan, Thomas Wilson, Benedikt Korf, Timothy Raeymaekers, Paul Nugent, James Scott and Willem van Schendel). Research will strengthen this growing body of literature by demonstrating how a borderlands perspective can address the lack of sensitivity to space in much of the literature on war to peace transitions and statebuilding, which focuses predominantly on national-level political settlements. The research will engage beneficiaries by submitting publications to targeted journals including Geoforum and Journal of Borderland Studies, and through interacting with the Asian Borderlands Research Network, the Association for Borderland Studies and the African Borderlands Research Network. Fourth, the project will provide an important contribution to the literature engaged with developing new research approaches for working in insecure terrain (e.g. Gutierrez-Sanin, Mansfield, Ko-Lin Chin). The research's integration of in-depth fieldwork, GIS spatial imagery and public health analysis will showcase methodological innovation that may then be adapted to other research initiatives in drugs and conflict-affected environments. These findings will be disseminated through the project's workshops and capacity building initiatives with UK-based and southern researchers. The project aims to strengthen the links between UK and southern researchers in Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar across all of these areas of knowledge by establishing an extensive research network through the project's proposed Policy Lab and subsequent Research Consortium for Transforming Illicit Economies.