Partners for Peace (P4P):
Promoting Peaceful Livelihoods in the Niger Delta
In most conflict environments, it is the troublemakers and the opportunists who have the loudest voices. In Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region, the Partners for Peace (P4P) project is a network of women, men, and youth with a stake in peace.
Since August 2013, 1,248 traditional rulers, civil society actors, government officials, community leaders, and students have come together to empower the communities most affected by violence and give voice to those most strongly committed to peace and development. They have created nine, state-level chapters in the Niger Delta, and dozens of sub-chapters at the local government area level. Hundreds have been trained in conflict assessment and are now actively implementing peacebuilding projects and activities to address communal conflict, land disputes, political tensions, and youth restiveness across the region.
In only its second year, the project has already realized critical successes in preventing violence in several Niger Delta states and is positioned to be a pivotal voice for peace in the upcoming Nigeria general elections.
For this project, the FFP has partnered with the Foundation for Partnerships in the Niger Delta (PIND) to catalyze, facilitate, and support the Network through several key initiatives. To begin with, we consulted local stakeholders throughout the Niger Delta about conflict dynamics and discussed how they might collaborate to better scale their respective efforts and promote the message of peace in their communities. Based on their feedback, we built an ICT Infrastructure to establish channels for the Network to exchange knowledge and best practices through a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. To strengthen local participatory conflict assessment, we built an online Peace Map that integrates data on conflict from a wide range of sources (over 14,000 incidents) and lists the locations of peace agents (over 420 peace initiatives to date). With technical support from FFP and PIND, the Network also formed their own infrastructure and governing bodies, including State Executive leadership and, later, a Central Working Committee to coordinate activities across the nine Niger Delta states.
Additionally, in recognition of the fact that sometimes horizontal efforts are not enough, we spearheaded the formation of a working group in Abuja called the Peace and Security Working Group (PSWG) with national level donors and practitioners to leverage local level analysis for improved collaboration and information sharing among those working in the peace and security space and in a position to affect policy.
In 2014, drawing on data integrated on the Peace Map, the Chapters each did their own local-level conflict assessments to identify hotspots and analyze the root causes of conflict. They also spearheaded a Chapter self-assessment process to determine their own strengths and weaknesses and actions they could take to mitigate conflict and build peace. Out of this process, they designed activities and began implementing projects. Now, going into the election period, they will all be focusing on preventing violent outbreaks during the campaigns, registration, primaries, general election, and post-election periods. Catalyzing and facilitating local peacebuilding efforts is at the heart of FFP’s mission and strategy for promoting human security in the Niger Delta and elsewhere in the world.