Peace Building & Conflict Transformation

Conflicts and violent extremism in Kenya and neighboring countries have resulted in the loss of thousands of lives as well as in destruction of properties and loss of livelihood opportunities

Through its Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation Program, Act! works with communities, grassroots organizations and national civil society organizations as well as with National and County Governments agencies to effectively contribute to improved security and peaceful co-existence within and beyond the national borders.

At Act!, we believe that building the the resilience of communities to withstand external and internal shocks such as those caused by conflicts and violent extremism is a necessary pre-requisite for a peaceful, just and inclusive society.

Our approach to Peace Building and Conflict Transformation includes strengthening resilience of communities against violent extremism, addressing the root causes of natural resources (including extractives) based conflicts, preventing political violence through dialogue and consensus building, supporting Conflict Early Warning and Early Response (CEWER) initiatives and building positive and mutually beneficial cross-border relations amongst communities and governments.

Current Projects:

Strengthening Community Resilience against Extremism (SCORE): The five-year (2014-19) USAID funded activity seeks to address the root causes of conflict and violent extremism, as well as reduce the allure of potentially radicalizing messages.

 Through this activity, Act! is strengthening institutional functionality and technical capability of targeted civil society organizations and communities to effectively address conflicts and violent extremism through innovative approaches such as: interfaith dialogues and counter messaging; empowering women, girls and youth at risk by expanding economic opportunities to respond to violent extremism; and advocating for strengthening and harmonization of policies on CVE both at National and County levels. Other approaches include providing forums for security agencies and communities to freely discuss issues of community safety, creating spaces for community members to discuss and identify ways to improve community safety, CVE clinics, use of theatre performances (drama, music, poetry) to highlight effects of violent extremism on CVE and County CVE Colloquia.

Amongst the notable achievements under the SCORE Activity are the development and adoption of Kwale County CVE Action Plan and the Launch of Tana River County Peace Declaration.

 Activity Areas: Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu and Taita Taveta Counties.

 Peace, Security and Stability (PSS): This is a five-year program (2016-20) supported by the Royal Danish Embassy. The goal of the program is improved capacity and effectiveness of CSOs, government and security oversight bodies to counter violent extremism, prevent political and natural resource based conflicts in Kenya.

To achieve this goal, Act! is providing institutional and technical strengthening support to select civil society organizations and communities in the project areas as well as providing technical assistance to key government and security oversight agencies to prevent conflicts, counter violent extremism and promote peace and security. The program has a research component that provides the evidence required for programming and policy making.

Activity Areas: Kisumu, West Pokot, Isiolo, Garissa, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi Counties

Securing Communities against Threats of Violent Extremism (SECURE): This is a 18 month (October 2016 – March 2018) program funded by the Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT) of the U.S State Department. Through this program, Act! is nurturing partnerships between communities, civil society and governments, including security agencies to address the security challenges occasioned by violent extremism in Wajir, Garissa and Mandera Counties. As part of a broader approach to CVE, the program is facilitating communities and security agencies to embrace technology in identifying and responding to warning signs of violent extremism and radicalization. It is also advocating for non-violent methods by training security agents on human rights based approaches to CVE.

Activity Areas: Wajir, Garissa and Mandera Counties.

Improving Policies for Conflict Prevention: Civil Society Engagement to Transform Borderlands in Africa: This is a three year (2017 – 2020) regional cross-border program funded by the European Union (EU). The overall objective of this program is to increase the participation and contribution of civil society organisations (CSOs) to ensure continental and regional policies on cross-border cooperation in Africa are responsive to the human security priorities of borderland communities. The program is implemented by a consortium comprising of Life and Peace Institute (Ethiopia), Act! (Kenya) Inter Africa Group (South Sudan) and East Africa Sub-Regional Support Initiative for Advancement of Women (Uganda and Eritrea).

In Kenya, the focus of the program is on building the capacity of civil society organizations in border areas of Busia and Moyale to advocate for borderland peace and security issues in regional and continental policies and initiatives.

Activity Areas: Moyale and Busia Counties