Friday, March 31, 2017

Sierra Leone People's Planning Process

The Sierra Leone Delegation
In March 2017 a delegation from Sierra Leone including the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Maya Kai Kai, visited Belfast. The visit was the result of my visit to Sierra Leone in February 2016 on invitation of Catalyst for Peace (operational US Foundation) and Fambul Tok a local NGO. The trip focused on observing the work of Fambul Tok. Fambul Tok (meaning "family talk") is a community ritual process that takes place at bonfires in which reconciliation between victims and perpetrators of political violence takes place (see http://www.fambultok.org).  When the Ebola crisis hit, the same networks were used for post-war reconciliation were transformed into health prevention networks. Then in the last two years the networks have continued to develop, and have morphed into a local governance processes called the “People’s Planning Process”. Fambul Tok have run this new peace and development process in 3 regions. Through the trip I was invited to be an advisor to and Fambul Tok, as they set out to mainstream the process with government. As part of this process, funded and supported by Catalyst for Peace, Ulster University hosted a delegation from Sierra Leone including the Minister of Land and Rural Development, MPs, a major, local council members and various civil society representatives in Belfast in April 2017 to discuss the inclusive local governance and peacebuilding process unfolding in Sierra Leone.