Understanding and responding to security needs in conflict-affected areas

Lessons learnt from working with communities in Shida Kartli

On the face of it, life along the administrative boundary line (ABL) between Shida Kartli and South Ossetia has improved substantially since the August 2008 War. However, while physical security incidents have decreased in number and the overall situation is now much more stable, a sense of general insecurity and disquiet continues to pervade everyday life. This is partly because the approach taken to security by all actors does not always prioritise local security concerns.

Saferworld and the Caucasus Institute for Peace Democracy and Development (CIPDD), with support from the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) and the Gori Information Centre (GIC), and in partnership with people living along the ABL, have since February 2010 tested (1) ways that a range of actors can better understand what makes communities feel insecure, and (2) locally appropriate ways of responding to the causes of insecurity. This publication summarises the lessons learned from this period of testing and outlines a vision for how further development of a community-based approach to security could make an important contribution towards the prevention of future violence, and even conflict transformation.