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  • Writer's pictureGustavo de Carvalho

Developing Better Peacebuilding Projects: One step at the time

Last week, I conducted an induction workshop for the UN Peacebuilding Fund in Guinea-Bissau to better plan, design and implement PBF projects. It was a fantastic opportunity to bring together UN Agencies, CSOs and the government to support better peacebuilding projects.

I was particularly impressed by how much national actors are keen to learn more about planning skills. Their attitude of wanting to absorb all the content was an important sign that there is indeed a possibility for them to become even more active players in defining priorities.

UNCT and particularly national actors, provided some of the most sophisticated analyses I've seen in a long time. Their nuanced take on challenges, dynamics, and priorities within the Guinea-Bissau peacebuilding was nothing less than impressive.

The main challenge was to translate these priorities into realistic and catalytic responses, with a strong monitoring and evaluation component. Their work on designing hypothetical responses during the workshop shows that, while some areas should still be enhanced, most are on the right track to developing more effective projects. But that must be ongoing work that goes beyond just one workshop.

Strengthening the planning capacity of peacebuilding actors is not simply a technical exercise. It requires continuous work by the individuals engaged in these processes, and strong institutional backing so that these skills can be well implemented.

I'm hopeful that the discussions we had last week (and continued this week) will positively contribute to ensuring that PBF projects in Guinea-Bissau indeed fulfil their catalytic role in the peacebuilding environment in a place often forgotten by other donors.

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