INTRODUCTION AND ORGANISATIONAL OVERVIEW
The Observatory of Conflict and Violence Prevention (OCVP) is a non-political, non-denominational, non-governmental organisation founded in June 2009.
OCVP is working to build an evidence-base that can be used to design programmes and inform policies at a time when the country is emerging from prolonged conflict, and the transitional institutions need to be nurtured with local information and adapted to local dynamics. To achieve this, OCVP has three programmatic areas of focus: research and analysis; training; and knowledge management. Over 3 years of experience of working in areas of conflict, crime and peacebuilding, the OCVP recognized the need to apply holistic approaches to these issues.
Peace is one of the most important goals in human society. It is the basis of sustainable development and happiness that everyone strives to achieve at all cost. To achieve this goal, we must do all we can to avoid or prevent conflict. Violence and war brings nothing but death, destruction, hatred and underdevelopment. To prevent conflict and bring about peace and development we must search for the reasons that we go to war or are violent against each other, and then work to prevent or avoid it. As a well-positioned and professionally staffed institution, the OCVP is striving to support on-going peacebuilding across the country.
SCOPE OF WORK
OCVP carefully approaches its different programmes from research, training and advocacy perspectives, drawing on the data collected at district levels and disseminating findings to various stakeholders at district, regional and national levels to inform policy-making and programming. It is linked to the growing number of Somali academic institutions; OCVP is also plugged into an international network of academic research institutions working on areas of conflict resolution, peacebuilding, humanitarian issues and sustainable development. Its activities include: conflict resolution and management, early warning and response network, post-conflict development, post-conflict governance and evidence-based programming, environment and sustainable development, and humanitarian relief issues. Furthermore, the OCVP draws outside expertise when necessary to further advance programming in the Somali regions. Hence, the OCVP is situated at the crossroads between academics, community practitioners and policy makers – a position of which it has to take advantage and make use of so that its dream can be realized.
In order to contribute to the process of peacebuilding OCVP collects and analyses data on crime and violence, researches all kinds of insecurity related issues, and delivers training on peace and conflict to enhance sustainable development through an integrated approach.
To become a leading research, training and advocacy institution on all humanitarian and development areas, with a particular focus on peace and security in all regions of Somalia.
Valuing humanity as pivotal, we constantly invest in people in all dimensions, appreciating diversity and recognising individual and collective contributions to peace and sustainable development in Somalia.
Committed to integrity and fairness in all relationships and transparency in all our work and relationships
Maintain the organisation as a benchmark in peacebuilding and sustainable development in Somalia.
The objectives of the Observatory are the following:
· To monitor conflict and violence indicators, map the actors in community safety, research and write practice papers, manage and analyse data collected on the ground in various communities and share it with various partners;
· To gather lessons learned (practice notes) from a range of implementing agencies and offer policy recommendations to different governments;
· To provide training to community safety practitioners;
· To support an effective Early Warning and Response Network (EWARN) between local communities, and authorities, practitioners, academics and politicians to prevent violence of all kinds in the communities.
THE THREE PILLARS OF OCVP
Training and peace and development education: Based on the latest findings and lessons learned, the OCVP gathers and develops context-specific formal training modules for actors at district and national levels responsible for implementing responses to insecurity. A training centre is established within the Observatory that delivers high standard training on conflict management and sustainable development related topics tailored to the Somali context. The training centre is also available for hire. Furthermore, trainings are provided to district and national level authorities on conflict and humanitarian related issues, analysis, resolution and mediation as well as other conflict transformation and sustainable development related issues.
Research and analysis: OCVP professionalises and institutionalises data collection and analysis on safety, security and other humanitarian issues and distils findings in a format appropriate for various target audiences and stakeholders. Qualitative as well as quantitative research methods are applied to better understand the programmes the organisation hosts in the Somali communities. This manifests in a yearly community assessments of the activities on the field, especially safety and security analysis and specific research on particular security matters. The OCVP Research Team has so far conducted a series assessment on ‘Conflict and Security Assessments’ at various districts across Somalia. We have been also contracted by the Danish Demining Group (DDG) to conduct conflict mapping at a district level in Somaliland. The findings of these assessments are designed to inform DDG interventions at district levels in the country.
Knowledge management: OCVP reviews and standardises lessons learned and knowledge management products and methodologies, and actively disseminates findings. The knowledge accumulated from the various actors is stored in the central knowledge bank and shared amongst practitioners across the Somali regions.
Post Conflict Governance and Development
Post conflict governance and development is one of the pressing issues that are often neglected after initiatives are made to deescalate conflicts. Addressing these issues is of prime importance to prevent future conflicts. They include: development governance; economic and financial governance; and democratic governance. The inability to solve problems like land conflicts and inequalities between ethnic groups, and the implementation of land legislation and decentralisation can rejuvenate conflicts in fragile states and deter sustainable development. It is believed that many of the current and future conflicts, civil disorder and instability in Somalia have their roots in issues having to do with land ownership and land governance. Dealing and addressing these land issues will be a major challenge to any new government for Somalia. Hence, the OCVP wishes to investigate and document issues that have to do with post-conflict governance in general and land governance in particular, and generate first-hand information that can be vital in debating and addressing critical issues.
Displacement and Migration
Peace initiatives most often fail because they do not anticipate post-conflict problems. The achievement of lasting peace does not end with the termination of violence and the signing of peace processes. The return and reintegration of those uprooted by the armed conflict is a crucial part of the peace accords that could end the confrontation.
OCVP believes that some of the biggest challenges remain the effective social and economic development of the areas where returnees have settled. In addition, the mitigation of tensions between returnees and locals, as well as between different types of returnees and even within organised groups. This is the premise with which OCVP works.
Trauma Healing and Social Reconstruction
The outcome of most conflicts has always been trauma and social destabilisation. Distressing events such as conflicts violate the autonomy of the person at all levels. They have primary effects on the systems of attachment and meaning that link individual and community and damage relational life. This raises the question of how individuals and communities endure, break apart under, or work through and transcend the effects of traumatic violence. Healing of the individual and social wounds caused by violent conflict appears to be linked to the coming to terms with the events of the past, the restoration of a sense of justice, and a context of basic security and socioeconomic development. These are the questions that OCVP is researching to answer so as to heal and reconstruct the shattered psyche and social integration to enhance peace and sustainable development.
Environment and Livelihood
Environmental protection and management is very indispensable for sustainable development in our communities today at this critical era of climate revolution repercussion. This life-supporting ecosystem services and goods for human needs and natural processes are under threat in many parts of the Horn of Africa. The scramble for these resources, overexploitation of resources brings about land degradation, biodiversity loss and resource scarcity. These resource-related problems exacerbate, conflict, food and water insecurity, poor waste management, etc in the Horn of Africa and seriously threatens human well-being. It is reality today in Somalia that overwhelming majority of citizen depend directly to their immediate environment for livelihood and survival, hence, the country will only able to achieve developmental goals and stability if it actively analyses its environmental problems, defines solutions and develops policies on how best to manage its natural resources and secure the livelihoods of its people. OCVP has been set to address these issues in an integrated approach to make these resources and remain as a source of livelihood to the people
To strengthen its national, regional and international presence, viability and sustainability, OCVP has signed a series of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Mogadishu, East African University in Puntland and Amoud University of Somaliland. It has also signed a MoU with the United Nations University African Programme for Peace in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.
OCVP has initiated a partnership with International Development Agency (TIS-DAI), Centre for Global Counterterrorism Cooperation (CGCC) in New York, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) in the UK, as well as International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the Centre of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.