Civil society peacebuilding and conflict transformation (CT) approach is the forte of EPF Armenia and one of the methodological pillars on which a major part of its work in based. For many years EPF has built and continues building its expertise in these areas, and its portfolio of working across open and closed borders and conflict divides contains several undertakings. Roughly fifty percent of EPF’s work is related to these issues.
Apart from programmatic activities that you can visit via this link, EPF also runs a Conflict Transformation School for a variety of actors, from civil society representatives to media to youth to international organizations personnel to state employees, both Armenia-based as well as international. The School offers different foci, based on the needs of the applicants. Civil society and media folks, for instance, may need a focus on critical thinking, which is indispensable in the current era of so-called ‘post-truth’. International personnel may need knowledge and skills in conflict sensitivity and emergency planning, i.e. knowledge and understanding of conflict dynamics as they may affect development work. Those actors who plan dialogues with the ‘other side’ may need facilitation skills. Those who want to acquire a ‘bird’s eye’ view on the situation and find solutions to problems which seem insurmountable may ask EPF with its partners and networks to help them via organizing a Creative Game. See an example of a module of one of the CTS here.
In today’s world working in conflict and for its transformation becomes a skill which is useful to everybody rather than only to those who are directly engaged in dialogue and negotiations with the ‘other side’ of a large-scale violent conflict. While EPF does not specifically train on other types of CT, such as interpersonal or organizational, its CSO DePo school contains modules on these issues and can address them as well. EPF’s success in helping CSOs, medias and other actors in strategic planning and organizational development, particularly via its DePo project and Creative Games, is based on the understanding that correct and constructive orientation and capacity to act in conflict situations so that there is a positive impact is a sine qua none for any strategic endeavor and its protagonists, whom we call The Strategic Who. It is EPF’s position that any development strategy—and particularly in the regions where we work—benefits from adopting a CT approach and using CT skills.
EPF learns CT and peacebuilding alongside with its beneficiaries. We have developed large reading and viewing lists, as well as series of on-line presentations, which may help deeper engage in some of the aspects of peace and conflict, such as the language of peace and conflict, etc. EPF’s peace work is also intrinsically linked to its other areas of work. Its link with civil society development was mentioned above. Its link and relationship with Human Rights is visible from the fact that we expressly address the CT approaches in the methods of our Human Rights work, as well as periodically renewing the mutual understanding of the actors who work on peace and those who work on Human Rights, on their relationships, complementarity and tensions.
You can also visit a selection of the opinions of participants in our CTS. If you would like to contact EPF for further discussions re possible CTS tailored to your or your target groups’ needs, or any other relevant type of work of EPF, such as, e.g., setting up consortia across the conflict divide, etc., please go here.