A group in northern Rwanda uses community-based sociotherapy to bridge deep rifts created by the 1994 genocide. (Insight on Conflict)
Despite so many efforts to make internationally designed peacebuilding and development projects sustainable after the outsiders have left, international NGOs and donors still struggle to realize the goal of “local ownership” in practice. Now, a new approach called “local first,” led by the UK-based organization Peace Direct, aims to go beyond efforts to merely transfer ownership of a program to a local organization—it seeks to put local people in the lead.
Carolyn Hayman, chief executive of Peace Direct, spoke to the Global Observatory about what this means in practice, how it can deliver powerful results, and how international donors and peacebuilding organizations can adapt. What follows is an edited version of the interview, conducted by Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, policy analyst at the International Peace Institute.