The African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme (APCP), flagship programme of ACCORD's Peacebuilding Unit, recently held the first of three African Peacebuilding Coordination Network (APCN) capacity building trainings in Liberia, from 24-28 June 2013. This training was attended by 20 participants representing government, academia and civil society from Liberia, Burundi, DRC, and South Sudan. The aim of this ongoing capacity building is to contribute towards the development of skills in strategic peacebuilding and towards locally owned peacebuilding processes within participating countries.
Participants in ACCORD's APCN trainings were carefully selected through a range of criteria including gender, geographical representation, institutional peacebuilding engagement, sectoral diversity, institutional availability and ability to contribute towards sustainable peacebuilding. This training is to be subsequently built upon in trainings to be held in Burundi (August) and South Sudan (October), with continuous engagement and support being provided throughout the process through an innovative online mentoring platform. The content of ongoing APCN trainings include; conflict analysis, strategic peacebuilding planning, peacebuilding project development and implementation, peacebuilding coordination, monitoring and evaluation- all with an emphasis on local context and experiences in order to positively contribute towards the sustainability of peacebuilding engagements. Practical peacebuilding experiences were engaged with in this first training through the case study of Liberia, with discussions including the role of regional justice and security hubs. Through the three APCN trainings and through ongoing online mentoring of participants by relevant ACCORD peacebuilders, APCN participants will be supported through the process of developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating peacebuilding projects of their own creation.
This training also provided the first opportunity for the Peacebuilding Unit to utilise the first edition of the 'ACCORD Peacebuilding Handbook' in a practical context, thereby identifying both strengths and areas for potential revision and improvement. The Peacebuilding Unit is currently welcoming all comments on this Handbook, a copy of which may be found here.
The APCN Liberia training was an immense success, both in terms of productive engagements with keen participants and in terms of significant media interest generated within Liberia itself. ACCORD looks forward to continued engagement with these participants and to the facilitation of their own peacebuilding projects in a tangible realisation of locally owned peacebuilding.