Today is: Sun, May 19, 2013
USAID works with local governments in Mindanao to improve various aspects of local administration such as local economic policy reform, management of public services and enterprises, real property tax administration, and business licensing, local planning and budgeting, and human resource management. USAID also supports civil society and business groups in their effort to engage local governments in a continuing dialogue to promote transparent and accountable governance. In conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, USAID helps its partners in strengthening community-based dispute resolution mechanisms, which extend justice services to the poor and prevent clan disputes from escalating into violent conflict.
Mitigating Localized Conflict in Mindanao and Sulu Through Rapid Response of Local Non-State Actors
One of the major challenges in addressing conflict in Mindanao is the constant threat of localized violence, and the lack of state and local capacity to intervene at the critical point of escalation. Violent conflict can erupt when there is an incident or unresolved dispute between local actors—clans, political leaders, military units, police, and insurgent groups—that cannot be resolved or mitigated through existing local mediation or state intervention. When armed conflict flares up between the military and major insurgent groups, it is usually between local units and is triggered by a local incident or grievance that may have little to do with the larger state-insurgency conflict.
The Mitigating Localized Conflict in Mindanao and Sulu through rapid Response of Local non-State Actors Project, implemented by the Asia Foundation (TAF), incorporates lessons learned from the Conflict Management Program in the Philippines Project to establish mechanisms for urgently responding to outbreaks of hostilities that may escalate into larger conflicts in conflict-affected regions of Mindanao. Through a network of civil society organizations and respected community-based leaders, the project utilizes several multi-pronged and context-specific approaches involving a collaborative process of assessment, capacity building, networking, actual conflict interventions, community reconciliation, and evaluation. Measurable results will include increased capacity among civil society actors to convene and facilitate a more coordinated and timely response to conflict situations, better relations between the ulama and local governments and increased participation of the ulama in development work, lesser incidents of human rights abuse in conflict-prone areas, lesser incidence of conflict escalation, and rapid de-escalation of localized conflicts.
The project involves two interrelated activities: strengthening the capacity of civil society actors and community-based leaders to manage crises and prevent escalation of localized conflict, and improving rapid response mechanisms and interventions for outbreaks of hostilities that may occur between armed combatants. The program uses international best practices including a focus on identifying trusted and respected community level intermediaries and utilizing existing local conflict resolution bodies and mechanisms to mitigate conflict.
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