We support peacebuilding institutions to deploy technology to conduct virtual consultations and participatory research in peace processes.
Our work supports participatory methods to produce, analyze and share quantitative and qualitative data about conflict and peace. We have adapted three methodologies – virtual consultations, participatory video and participatory polling – to the specific needs of peacebuilders, developed tools and resources for practitioners, and worked to adapt them to different conflict contexts.
Somalia Democratisation Support
Build Up is supporting democratisation in the Somali region through the provision of technical assistance, accompaniment and mentoring to Somali electoral commissions. This assistance is provided through a peace-building lens that contributes to a locally owned and driven democratisation process. In addition to technical assistance, Build Up is applying its co-design approach to bring its unique innovative and technological skills to explore areas of institutional and operational strengthening with electoral commissions, including in areas of online presence, voter education, and social media tools to monitor misinformation and disinformation around elections.
Leveraging Technology for Peacebuilding in West Africa
On behalf of the ECOWAS Commission in the context of the GIZ ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations Project, we surveyed 64 organizations running peacebuilding programs, and held eight, two-hour online consultation workshops with 76 peacebuilding practitioners based in West Africa. The consultations aimed at understanding the types of interventions in the region that are utilizing technology for conflict prevention and peacebuilding, the challenges that peacebuilders face in adopting technology and the opportunities within their contexts that could advance and support technology-based programming to build peace. The consultation concluded in a report, Leveraging Technology for Peacebuilding in the ECOWAS Region, and included training and support for the WAPSI planning team in coordination of the first West African Peace And Security Innovation Forum
OSESGY Women’s Peace Perspectives
The Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen (OSESGY) sought support to increase the number and scale of its consultations with Yemeni women through innovative online convenings, with particular attention to outreach and engagement of women in marginalized and hard-to-reach areas. From 2020-21, Build Up designed and facilitated three online consultations that provided OSESGY with inputs on Yemeni women’s different perspectives regarding specific questions of relevance to the peace process and the peace agreement. Read more about this here.
Online dialogues using Whatsapp with Tunisian youth
Under the heading “الكلمة كلمتك” or “A vous la parole”, this project was a pilot for a youth-centered approach to digital conversations, using WhatsApp as a platform that is more informal, engaging, and overall more popular than other chat applications in the MENA region. The consultations took place on 10-12 November 2021, and engaged a total of 65 Tunisian youth from 17 different governorates. The objective of these online dialogues was to corroborate perspectives and opinions from youth on their current role in public life, the barriers to their participation, and the needs that arise when envisioning platforms and processes that can bring diverse Tunisian youth together to discuss public matters that affect their futures. The larger goals were to test the viability of the platform for gathering larger numbers of youth for an engaging and agile virtual exchange and other forms of sectoral dialogues, and to incorporate the findings of the conversations into UN plans and initiatives.
Somalia Peacebuilding Fund Consultation
With the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund for Somalia Secretariat realized its stakeholder consultative conference would not be possible as originally planned. Rather than waiting for the pandemic lockdown to end, they reached out to Build Up to assist them in running the consultative process online. Build Up designed and implemented two public and two closed consultations, each one building off the other, leading to a set of recommendations that the UN will use in deciding its peacebuilding focus in Somalia.
Project Tripod in the Philippines
Throughout 2018 and 2019, Build Up worked with International Alert’s youth network to train two cohorts of youth leaders in participatory video and strategic communications. The project accompanied the production of seven short films that tackle urgent issues faced by the youth and their communities: migration (from Mindanao to urban areas such as Metro Manila), discrimination, flooding, disintegrating indigenous culture and traditions, clan feuding, and violent extremism. Since production, the films have been showcased to diverse audiences through community screenings in Quezon City in Metro Manila, Matanog and Parang in Maguindanao, Indanan in Sulu, and IDP camps in Marawi. These have also been featured prominently in Alert’s social media campaigns, raising awareness with more than 60,000 views and galvanizing action.
Support to the Political Transition in the Central African Republic
In December 2015, USIP began a year-long project to support the political transition in the Central African Republic. USIP contracted Build Up to design and facilitate a community-based art methodology that would serve as both a form of qualitative research and a more inclusive method for participating citizens to share their perspectives on security sector reform and the disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration, and repatriation process with national leaders. Read more about this project.
Cross-Border Dialogue through Participatory Video in South Sudan
Supported by the VISTAS program, the Dinka-Misseriya Joint Border Peace Committee in Northern Bahr ElGhazal state works to reinvigorate cross-border economic ties, restore and improve relationships, and address divisions between the communities on both sides of the Sudan – South Sudan border. In support of the Committee’s work, Build Up ran a participatory video initiative aimed at bringing young men and women into this process as peace actors in their own right. Read more about this project.
Participatory Justice Barometer in Mali
With the support of Interpeace, Build Up worked with IMRAP to establish a participatory barometer on the governance of justice in Mali. Over the year, we conducted online workshops on design, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination. IMRAP prepared participatory indicator design workshops, and co-developed the questionnaire for surveying. The data was then made accessible and used to inform participatory analysis workshops in Mali via an interactive website.
Participatory Baseline Assessment in Burkina Faso
Build Up worked with Interpeace and the Laboratoire Citoyennetés to design and implement a participatory quantitative baseline assessment of the state of peace and social cohesion in Burkina Faso. The questionnaire was developed by a representative group of Burkinabè, and 2396 people in the six regions of Burkina Faso participated in this study. Build Up published the data open source on an online tool to allow for a participatory analysis process. The data can be accessed here.
Participatory Assessment of Accountability and Public Action in Niger
Build Up worked with the Prime Minister’s Office in Niger to think through the design a participatory process to evaluate public action. Instead of primarily relying on macro-economic indicators, the Office wants to base its assessment on people’s and Majors’ evaluation of the effectiveness of public interventions. This new system is intended to create a pathway for citizens to hold public officials to account.
Participatory Justice Barometer in Guinea Bissau
With Interpeace, Build Up supported Voz di Paz to design and implement a participatory barometer – , a process of action-research in which the public is engaged from the conception of the questionnaire until the implementation of the survey and the data analysis. The barometer aims to capture the citizens’ perceptions and experiences with the formal and traditional justice, and to encourage discussions around the topics covered. The collected data can serve as an instrument to face the challenges related to the justice sector, improve the governance, and strengthen the capacities of the citizens, authorities, and civil society organizations operating nationwide. Check out their website justicapapaz.org.
Somali Region Participatory Polling
With the support of Interpeace, Build Up worked with three local research organizations—the Academy for Peace and Development, the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies and the Puntland Development Research Center—to design and implement participatory polling methodologies.
Support to Sudanese Civil Society
The Sudanese Development Initiative SUDIA actively incorporates technology into its peacebuilding and civil society empowerment programs. It runs a Community Communications System that combines SMS, online mapping and radio to disseminate information in remote communities at risk of conflict. Build Up supported the design and maintenance of this system, as well as collaborated on training for civil society.