CITIZEN'S PEACE PROJECT
Under the umbrella of the Citizen’s Peace Project, Justice Africa is currently engaged in four clusters of activity in South Sudan that, together, work towards two core objectives: supporting internally owned and directed processes and preparing people for the challenges of peace.
COMMUNITIES FOR PEACE
Through Communities for Peace Justice Africa is supporting South Sudanese initiatives for peace, promoting inclusivity and dialogue and providing mechanisms for South Sudanese to learn from the experience and expertise of other South Sudanese in peace building. Justice Africa provides support to:
- Local initiatives that target inter and intra-communal issues at the local and national levels. In order to receive support from Justice Africa, actors or institutions must already be engaged, or be interested in becoming engaged with Justice Africa, and they must be closely connected to communities or stakeholders targeted by their initiative. The initiatives must also practice inclusivity in their processes – ensuring that all sides to an issue are heard and consulted – and the proposed activities must fit into a broader strategic process. Specifically, technical support is provided through Justice Africa’s role as an advisory organization, facilitation, secondment of staff, creating linkages to expertise and documentation. Appropriate and effective financial support that is responsive to the context and works against the corruption of proposed initiatives is also provided.
- Learning forums that bring actors together to share their experiences and learn from each other. These learning forums consist of a variety of formats, however Justice Africa promotes learning forums that are inclusive, that are designed in a manner appropriate for the issue, and that will be effective in creating positive and collaborative learning.
PREPARING INTERNALLY FOR REFORM
Justice Africa promotes South Sudanese thinking on issues of reforms, works towards people-oriented processes for reform and supports the development of workable options or solutions for reform through three core activities:
Conducting community level research allows what is happening in South Sudan to first be understood and accurately articulated. Research provides information on how systems, frameworks and relationships are functioning in the issue focus areas Justice Africa is engaged with.
THINKING ON AND DEVELOPMENT OF REFORMS
Once data has been collected and there is improved knowledge around the particular issue of concern, development of reforms begins through consultative and inclusive processes. Ideas are thoroughly debated and workable options for reform that take the social, political and economic realities on the ground into consideration are developed.
ADVOCACY AND LOBBY EFFORTS
Advocacy and lobbying around proposed reforms begins. It is the primary concern of Justice Africa that these efforts are representative of the views of citizens and that advocacy and lobbying are designed to be effective within the context.
Justice Africa is currently supporting reforms on several crucial issues:
- Resource governance
Justice Africa is engaged with the issue of resource governance in a number of ways. Activities include:
- Research on community, mining and exploration relationships and rights
- Mentoring and acting in an advisory capacity
- Providing support to civil society coalitions
- Providing support to civil society initiatives
- Providing support to policy influence
- Coordination and information exchange in print and online media
- Security sector governance
Justice Africa has conducted research on security sector issues and is developing reports on the findings.
- The constitution and the law
Justice Africa acts in an advisory capacity as requested through a Constitution Resource Team and also has a Legislative Review Team, that develops tool to support review processes, facilitates thematic reviews of legislation and supports the advocacy and lobby efforts of partner organizations.
- Sexual violence
Justice Africa is engaged with this issue in a number of key ways.
- Research is being conducted on community perceptions of sexual violence, community views on options for redress, and the effects of conflict on sexual violence. Careful and sensitive documentation of the experiences of those who have suffered from sexual violence is also being done.
- Raising awareness on the issue of sexual violence.
- Supporting law reform and legislative drafting.
- Supporting advocacy and lobbying efforts.
- Support to disability actors
Justice Africa has acted in an advisory capacity to disability actors.
SUPPORTING CIVIC CAPACITIES
Justice Africa is supporting and promoting principled social/civic activism by developing linkages within and between social and civic groups at national and local levels, supporting civic groups to build on their capacities and by provide appropriate and effective support to civic groups to support specific initiatives. Specifically, Justice Africa’s activities in support of civic capacities are:
- Mentoring and advisory to support civil society to think critically and strategically and to be more inclusive of other actors, especially in terms of building collaborative relationships with other national and local actors
COORDINATION AND LINKAGE
- Civil society coordination
- Technical / financial support to Forums
- Citizenry – civil society – leadership linkages
- Technical / financial support to briefings
- Local – state – national linkages
- Involving state and national actors in coordination activities and civic efforts towards peace and reform initiatives
Justice Africa uses flexible funding parameters that allow funding to be responsive to the needs of civil society. Funding is targeted to committed civil society actors and provides the necessary flexibility to support activities that are part of a broader process, rather than just singular events. Accordingly, Justice Africa provides funding in three ways:
- Quick response funding is made available for advocacy and policy needs, enabling civil society groups to respond quickly and effectively to emergent concerns
- Regular funding is provided to support organisational development and sustainability, contributing to the sustainability of institutions
- Long term funding is provided to support to local actors working on peace and reform processes
PROMOTING INFORMED THINKING
Through research, advocacy, and publications Justice Africa is working to provide insights into multiple realities in South Sudan, help understand how systems, frameworks and relations function through empirical evidence, legitimately represent views of citizens, and promote informed decision-making.
Through non-comparative and non-judgmental research, Justice Africa is providing internal views and understandings of issues affecting South Sudanese. The information gathered through Justice Africa’s research projects is developed into detailed and accessible publications that highlight nuances around issues on which Justice Africa has experience and knowledge, provide alternatives and thinking on issues and share the multiple views of South Sudanese. Rolling research is being conducted on social resilience and coping mechanisms for conflict in South Sudan and conflict resolution, peace building, reconciliation and justice mechanisms in South Sudan.