Individual Consultant for Stakeholder Mapping and Conflict Analysis
Malawi Country Office - MALAWI | Published August 11, 2017 - Deadline August 29, 2017
Malawi has a reputation for being a peaceful and stable country but the mass demonstrations 20th July 2011 that led to 20 fatalities and similar incidents are evidence that Malawi cannot take its peace for granted.Over the years, the country has benefitted from the use of traditional conflict management mechanisms and practices in resolving local and national conflicts. Government, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders have provided various forms of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. These institutions include the Judiciary, District Labour Offices, the Office of the Ombudsman, Malawi Human Rights Commission, Public Affairs Committee, National Forum for Peaceful Settlement of Conflicts, etc. While some of these institutions have played a critical role in managing national conflicts, their efforts have been impeded by two main challenges, namely; lack of enabling legislation and absence of a national peace architecture that promotes pro-active rather than reactive conflict management in the country. As a result, their efforts have mostly been ad-hoc and unsustainable.The country’s commitment to continued use of non-violent means of resolving conflicts is specifically provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi under section 13(l) which states; “adoption of mechanisms by which differences are settled through negotiation, good offices, mediation, conciliation and arbitration”.In furtherance of this commitment, and following the 2011 violence, the Government of Malawi invited the United Nations to provide support in building national capacities for peace and dialogue. As a result, the Government of Malawi has commenced the process of establishing a National Peace Architecture (NPA) to serve as the national pillar for peacebuilding, conflict prevention and transformation. The NPA will functionally be represented at national and district levels where these structures will be engaged in a collaborative manner with other key stakeholders in reconciliation and transformative dialogues that foster national cohesion. Ongoing support to the government to develop a National Peace Architecture (NPA) has seen the establishment of three pilot District Peace Committees (DPCs) and finalization of a draft national peace policy, which is currently awaiting cabinet approval. National Peace Architecture is understood as a dynamic network of independent structures, mechanisms, resources, values and skills which, through dialogue and consultation contribute to conflict prevention and peacebuilding in a society. A full-fledged NPA mechanism is expected to be in place by the end of 2018, with an aim to establish DPCs in all districts of the country.The UN is also supporting the Public Affairs Committee (PAC), an interfaith organisation, as ‘insider mediators’, playing the roles of intermediaries between national leaders, and as advocates for peace and good governance.