This issue of ONTRAC convenes views from four local/national civil society organisations on how they operate in complex and politically charged contexts, and how they would want external actors to support them.

After an overview and reflections from Charles Buxton, INTRAC’s Central Asia Regional Representative, Khlood Alhaj from the Social Fund for Development looks in detail at the prospects and challenges for local NGOs in Yemen in a context of conflict.

Jean Marie Habwintahe and Rene-Claude Niyonkuru, from the Association for Peace and Human Rights in Burundi, reflect on the significance of locally-based initiatives, networking and collaboration to overcome a disruptive political context.

Ameer Zreik from Baladna – the Palestinian Association for Arab Youth – outlines the importance of critical discussion of history and culture to promote identity and peace, as well as some of the challenges in securing funding in a complex context.

Andries Odendaal, Senior Associate at the Centre for Mediation in Africa, emphasises how good analysis of local dynamics and  effective and sustainable linkages between civil society and external actors are key elements when developing and implementing a successful strategy or initiative.



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