Promoting participatory approaches to peacebuilding

A civil society needs assessment in Khyber Paktunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Pakistan’s north-western regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have emerged as key conflict zones. Instability and underdevelopment have paved the way for the crisis unfolding in this region, with some capitalising on the frustrations of local communities by pushing conflict and insurgency. Alongside domestic problems, the conflict in Afghanistan perpetuates a regular flow of militants between Afghanistan and Pakistan, contributing to instability by spreading extremist ideologies and increasing the risk and incidence of violence in KP and FATA. In this context, it is challenging for national, let alone international, non-government organisations to operate; so local civil society organisations (CSOs) have stepped into this space, providing a range of essential services and support to local communities, with limited external backing.

The aim of this report, which details perceptions of local CSOs in KP and FATA, is to identify how these non-state actors can contribute to peacebuilding efforts in the north-west of Pakistan. By identifying the challenges in the work being carried out, there is an opportunity to shape the character and work of CSOs in KP and FATA, in order to produce context-specific and efficient peacebuilding approaches. The report also provides practical recommendations to build CSOs’ capacity and promote their strengths in this field.

“The potential contribution of local CSOs in KP and FATA to participatory and effective peacebuilding is significant and invaluable and, if harnessed, could be instrumental in bringing sustainable peace and prosperity to the region.”