Author: International Alert
Publication Date: December 2020
Description: This background paper explores some of the ways in which the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has disrupted one of the foundation principles of peacebuilding practice: the basic need to bring people together face-to-face. It takes a step back to look at the overall impact on peacebuilding practice when intergroup contact is limited, encouraging an examination of the principles that underpin practice. The paper shines a spotlight on how trust and the creation of safe spaces is inherently challenged by a shift online, where sensitive issues and information are at greater risk. The transition of peace dialogue and mediation to the virtual sphere is an example of the inadequacies of online engagement. Ordinarily, peacebuilding is a process underpinned by long-term trust building through face-to-face engagement, and previous progress risks unravelling unless physical spaces are reinforced alongside digital ones.
This paper will be accompanied by a forthcoming report, Peace as a key priority in post-COVID recovery, which offers institutionally focused recommendations for continued meaningful investment in peacebuilding.
To access this resource, please click here “Can We Build Peace from a Distance? The Impact of COVID-19 on the Peacebuilding Sector.“