Organisations working on conflict prevention and peacebuilding increasingly understand the importance of making their programmes responsive to the communities with which they work. That means that they need to engage with those communities to understand their priorities and perceptions. But how can these organisations avoid inadvertently putting communities in danger in the process?
Since 2012, the Stimson Center has explored how UN peacekeeping operations can engage with conflict-affected communities, safely and effectively to develop strategies to protect civilians from deliberate violence. If UN peacekeeping operations don’t have the ability to engage directly with conflict-affected communities or their engagement would create a risk to the community, we recommend that they work with civil society organisations that have long-standing relationships with communities and understand the context better than external actors.
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