Creative engages communities to identify and respond to the weaknesses in their social fabric that frequently leads to conflict. Identifying shared values, promoting trust, improving communications and ensuring the wellbeing of all members of a community are some of the pillars of Creative’s efforts to support communities as they face strife and divisions. For example, the West African Fulbe’s culture and identity frequently lead to discrimination against them and even violence at the community level. In Ghana, the USAID/OTI Littorals Regional Initiative addresses these tensions through a multi-pronged effort that includes applied research, dialogue and mediation efforts, village savings and loan associations and identifying common goals.
Governance in Conflict
For communities to be resilient in the face of conflict and crisis, Creative prioritizes good governance that is equitable, accountable and inclusive. Creative uses a people-centered approach to support and engage communities and governance actors as they respond to local needs and address governance drivers of conflict, rebuild trust and improve legitimacy. In Burkina Faso, the USAID-funded Inclusive Governance for Resilience supports initiatives that improve organizations to advocate for their needs and for local government officials to constructively engage and respond to citizens, among other goals.
P/CVE and Conflict Mitigation
Creative supports local initiatives to mitigate and manage the causes of conflict, instability and extremism. The USAID Proyecto Tejiendo Paz in Guatemala trains conflict mediators and community facilitators to engage traditional leaders, women’s groups, youth organizations and other key players to identify causes of these types of conflict, carry out action plans to mitigate them and resolve existing disputes. In Ghana, the USAID/OTI Littorals Regional Initiative supported local efforts to form inclusive mediation committees that resolved disputes before they erupt into violence or spread to other areas.
Creative supports local actors to identify the root causes of conflict and fragility and design customized programming that is appropriate to their needs. Central to Creative’s focus is rebuilding relationships between local authorities and their constituents through the delivery of essential services, rebuilding neighborhoods and more. In northeastern Syria, the Facilitating Urban Recovery and Transition programs are fostering citizen confidence in local councils as they restore essential services, remove rubble, respond to emergencies and more. Meanwhile, the Al Rashad program supports communities to identify ways to increase civilian oversight of the police and address local public safety and security concerns.
Ensuring that youth are neither the victims nor the perpetrators of conflict requires that they are fully engaged in building peacebuilding. In northeastern Nigeria, which has been battered by violence for more than a decade, many communities are realizing that youth are part of the solution. The USAID-supported North East Connection program worked with youth to identify ways to actively support peace and security measures in the Borno state town of Biu.
The USAID Office of Transition Initiatives’ Central America Regional Initiative engages youth organizations to co-create activities that increase community resilience in the face of violence, poverty, poor governance, corruption and climate change.
Women, Peace & Security
Women are essential to identifying and mitigating sources of conflict and ensuring ongoing peace. In northern Benin, more than 300 women who received specialized training are responding to emerging threats and are leading peacebuilding efforts. To reach their target audiences, they use a variety of strategies that range from community outreach to cooking demonstrations.
In addition to Creative’s implementation of programs in challenging locations, its experts conduct research into the drivers and results of conflict. In Ukraine, for example, Creative’s three studies on migration provided policymakers and others with insights during the first year of the war.
Countering misinformation & disinformation
Dismantling fabricated, manipulated and misleading content and replacing it with healthy information eco-systems requires a multifaceted approach. Working with local partners, Creative assesses information consumption and other factors to develop tailored approaches to build digital literacy and increase knowledge of mis- and disinformation. In Mali, the USAID Peacebuilding, Stabilization and Resilience program is supporting local NGOs to develop a culture of factchecking, strengthening independent media and promoting the inclusion of marginalized communities in strengthening media literacy.
Education in Conflict and Crisis
Education plays a vital role as communities rebuild and heal. USAID’s Ethiopia READ II Education Recovery Activity is working in three regions hardest hit by the two-year conflict, which left an estimated 600,000 dead, displaced more than 3.5 million people and traumatized countless more. From social-emotional learning and psychological first aid to reconstructing classrooms and supporting IDPs, USAID READ II Education Recovery Activity is supporting students, their parents and educators as they heal.