Civil Peace Service: Global programme

Project description

Title: Civil Peace Service (global programme)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global
Overall term: 1999 to 2023

Context

War and violence determine the lives of millions of people. Intrasocietal violent conflicts – in the form of civil wars, fights for resources or disputes as a result of failing states – cause particular physical and psychological suffering to people. This situation cannot be overcome with state funding alone. Civil society stakeholders make decisive contributions towards the non-violent transformation of conflicts, which cannot be provided by governments. 

Objective

State and civil society actors in the partner countries join together to promote non-violent conflict transformation and make a contribution towards managing social changes based on human rights. 

Approach

The Civil Peace Service (CPS) is a global programme for the prevention of violence and peacebuilding in crisis- and conflict-affected regions. It advocates a world in which conflicts are settled without violence. Nine German peace and development organisations run the CPS together with local partners. The CPS is funded by the German Government. 

The various CPS organisations have multiple approaches, experiences and access to partners in the countries of assignment. In conjunction with a mutual strategic procedure and common values and principles, this accounts for one of the crucial strengths of the CPS.

Experts from the CPS give long-term support to the local people in their efforts to promote dialogue, human rights and peace. They take no side wherever possible. As outsiders, they introduce a different point of view and new perspectives, which help to effectively initiate and assist with peace processes. Changing attitudes, behaviours and relationships, which are assumed to have an influence on structures and institutions as well as the conflict culture of a society, are at the heart of the CPS’ work.

About 350 international CPS experts currently work in 45 countries. GIZ participates in the CPS with more than 100 international and just as many local experts in 22 countries (Afghanistan, Benin, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nepal, Niger, Palestinian territories, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda, Ukraine, Timor-Leste).

Results

The CPS primarily develops the capacity of civil society actors, and some state actors, to engage in non-violent conflict transformation and peacebuilding. It promotes their articulation skills and ability to act, and supports dialogue, networking and cooperation with other actors. GIZ’s CPS acts as a bridge between the state and civil society by creating a dialogue and linking the various actors – after all, peace processes are only successful if they are sustained by the state and civil society. 

The CPS is also present outside of the major cities. This means it assists with developing early warning and response procedures, overcome the causes of conflict and violence and strengthening capacities and mechanisms for non-violent conflict transformation. The programme also supports the observation of human rights and helps to guarantee political participation as well as the negotiation of interests.

CPS experts support organisations in conflict mediation, and they advise and provide training on how to deal with traumatised victims of violence and develop peace-building strategies. They educate local actors in civil conflict transformation, and support partners in raising awareness of the circumstances of disadvantaged groups and breaking down prejudices and xenophobia.

Civil Peace Service (CPS). UN sculpture in New York. © GIZ