Why Bottom –Up Approach In Peace Building

“Contrary to what most politicians and interveners preach, outside experts, national leaders and top – down approaches are not the only means to re – establishing peace. Bottom – up initiatives also make a difference and ordinary people have the capacity to address some of the deeper roots of their countries problems.”  Severine autesserre

The implementation of community or grassroot peace initiatives involves techniques like; local dialogues, coexistence programs and conflict resolution trainings. The aim of communities programs is strengthening social cohesion within members of a community and between communities and extending the same to the wider society. The involvement of the local communities in peace building creates a sense of responsibility so that even as the process develops to higher levels of society, it support base is strong.

Grassroot peace building is the pivot towards promotion of durable peace. People at the grassroot level are the most vulnerable to conflicts and inequalities thus an initiative that would reduce their vulnerability to conflict would be relevant and appreciated.

“The essential transformation that takes place through the peace building process is the creation of new political subjects, both individuals and groups, who are capable of breaking through the war conditionally to create their own vision of the future, their own social affiliations and attain social status of their own choice” (skrabalo 2003). If this is then implemented from the local level the conflict narrative would change.


Wairimu Ngandu