Civil Peace Service (CPS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Berghof Foundation

Insightful Quotes
"Being a member of a network in a context of violence is already active peacebuilding."
Insightful Quotes
"Networks can model overcoming fragmentations by building trust and joint vision. They are able to use more entry points than each member organiza-tion alone, combining capacities and access across conflict lines, silos and levels."
Virtual Session 16

Weaving Peace – Networks for Peacebuilding in Exchange

Networks for Peacebuilding foster exchange, joint learning and joint action. They can be focused thematically, regionally or at linking actors across levels. Following the “peace constituency” of John Paul Lederach, peace networks are formed by those people, initiatives and organisations having a sustainable interest in constructive transformation of the conflict (Lederach 1997).

Main Questions
  • What are the most important success factors for peace-related networks?

  • What have been major challenges for peacebuilding network and how did you overcome them?

  • What are lessons learned to share between network activists and members?

Key Theses, Thoughts and Ideas

Building on the initital impulses from the Colombian multi-actor network Redprodepaz and the Civil Peace Service university exchange program SAUP, the peer exchange facilitated by Barbara Unger from Berghof Foundation was enriched by other networking experiences e.g. from Brot für die Welt, the global network GPPAC or the interinstitutional network of Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.

The exchange provided insights on different aspects of peacebuilding networks:

  • Networks are long-term responses of conflict situation, their adaption with regard to conflict dynamics are continuously needed.

  • Building networks in divided and conflict-ridden societies itself is peacebuilding, as it builds up relations that overcome divisions (ethnic, sectoral, etc.) and work on establishing trust in a setting full of mistrust

Peace networks tend to be successful when they are driven by an enthusiasm for change, if they meet a need. A solid organisational structure as well as an active atti-tude of the coordination body is inspiring and motivating the members. The effec-tiveness of multi-actor and dialogue-oriented networks depends on a joint vision for their cause, openness towards other actors, and strong dialogue capacities to bring about the expected changes. Civil society networks follow a constant process of learning, ,mutual empowerment and trust building for cohesion among network members, to strengthen their potentials and ultimately enable for a stronger out-reach. The international donor community called upon to adapt their project orientat-ed funding logic: Networks in conflict are long-term endeavors with the need for long-term support.

The pandemic showed again clearly that digital exchange, while having a great po-tential to link members over distance with little financial effort, is conditioned by in-ternet access in rural areas, challenges with regard to security, digital expertise, ressources for digital platforms and knowledge management.


Dr. Mark Anthony J. Torres
Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, Philippines
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Fernando Sarmiento Santander
Network of Regional Development and Peace Programs (Redprodepaz), Colombia
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Sadie A. O’Mahoney
Southeast Asian University Partnership for Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation (SAUP)
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Barbara Unger
Berghof Foundation, Germany
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Current Topics

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The FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum is a series of events on current and overarching challenges and trends in peacebuilding. With the Peacebuilding Forum, we want to provide future-oriented impulses for the development of peacebuilding and strengthen the visibility and importance of the policy field in its entirety.


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