Leadership and Peacebuilding
Leadership and Peacebuilding through a Working Group approach
The ALC established the Working Group on Leadership and Peace-building (WGLP) in 2012. It aims to critically interrogate the conceptual and operational gaps in peacebuilding and leadership through the lens of researchers and policy practitioners. The research project achieves this by developing a network of researchers, policy makers and practitioners for the purpose of experience sharing, interrogating existing practice by researching conflict terrains and stimulating and crystallising new policy thinking in Africa.
Additionally, the group facilitates both theoretical understanding and appreciation of the practical challenges of leadership and peacebuilding and policy practices on the ground. Conceptually, there is no disagreement on the overall objective of peacebuilding that is, preventing the recurrence of armed conflict by dealing with the factors or issues at the root of conflict. Operationally, however, the focus on the post-conflict phase is not only narrow, but also unethically sound. The research initiative therefore explores the ways in which leadership is applied in peacebuilding approaches, particularly process-based leadership and its role in revealing the underlying flows in thinking; and how lasting solutions to conflict, from within the wider society can be developed.
It is intended that through regular interaction, the Group will contribute to efforts to produce cutting edge research and analysis of key thematic issues and country/region specific initiatives. The WGLP contains several layers of interaction. First are core Researchers and analysts. These researchers carry out the main research and writing responsibility of this project. Second are sub-Working Groups, which focus on specific thematic and country/region case studies.
Adopting a working group approach to the subject of leadership and peacebuilding in Africa has a number of benefits. First, it fosters regular interaction and partnerships between researchers, policy makers and practitioners, thus bridging the gap between research and policy. Second, the working group approach prevents duplication of effort(s) on the already numerous studies conducted and published on peacebuilding in Africa. It builds partnerships with a range of actors working on peacebuilding in Africa, including those in policy and practice, to synthesise existing work. This is important because African perspectives to peacebuilding are less visible internationally, and where this visibility is noted, the emphasis on the institutional elements of peacebuilding glosses over or neglects other peacebuilding initiatives that are outside the framework of recognised institutional arrangements.