Integrated Peace and Development Unit (IPDU)
Many actors and stakeholders in the Niger Delta are working in the peace and security space, whether private sector, government, traditional leaders, or CBOs and NGOs. However, too often they lack the skills, knowledge, tools, or relationships necessary to be effective in conflict sensitivity or conflict early warning, assessment, and peacebuilding. FFP is partnering with the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) to set up a center of innovation in conflict and peacebuilding research and best practices in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It is envisaged that the IPDU will serve as a primary resource facility that any agency or organization can draw upon for information, capacity building, or applied learning in mitigating violence and in support of peace.
In the run-up to the 2015 elections, the IPDU will focus its efforts on preventing violence from escalating during the campaigns, registration, voting, and post-election period. Already, the IPDU, in collaboration with Partners for Peace (P4P), has conducted workshops with local experts to review the experience of previous elections, recent developments, and explore possible scenarios of election violence in each Niger Delta state. These findings have been triangulated against quantitative data as represented on the Peace Map to identify hot spots and inform our conflict prevention strategy. To further enhance our early warning infrastructure we are setting up a two-way bulk SMS platform to engage all 1,248 P4P members for real-time updates and mobilization. IPDU will also use media as well as training of peace actors in the predicted hot spots of violence, to optimize social capital for the prevention of conflict escalation. After the election, these platforms and mechanisms will be adapted for use in the evolving conflict landscape, as challenges and hotspots change.
A central, ongoing function of the IPDU will be to analyze a wide range of data and produce alerts, bulletins and memos to be circulated both at the local and national level in Nigeria among key stakeholders as well as internationally. The IPDU will also play a critical liaison role with IOCs, the P4P Network, the Peace and Security Working Group (PSWG), other NGOs and appropriate responders. Finally, the IPDU will play a supporting role to the P4P Network chapters as well as the P4P Central Working Committee.
To date, the IPDU has hired a manager, and is now in the process of building up its staff strength. Programmatic emphasis has been on research, early warning, and scenario development to inform its Operating Plan for 2015.