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Peace-building from below: The role of locally employed INGO staff in contributing to sustainable peace in South Sudan
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

To build sustainable peace, all levels of society need to be involved, from the top governmental authorities (state actors) to the ground civilians (non-state actors). The grassroots level is getting more and more attention and is acknowledged as a crucial part in the peace-building process, despite that the official peace process commonly target the top level. Peace agreements signed by the elite will not be implemented thoroughly in society, unless the population living the conflict will have own agency.

This thesis uses South Sudan as a case study, with focus on locally employed INGO workers and their role and agency in moving towards sustainable peace. A literature review of well-known and recent research on the topic peace-building from below, along with interviews with the targeted group was used to establish if the theory can be reflected in practise in this specific context.

An inclusive approach with all levels of the society seems to be the best strategy for such a divided context as South Sudan, affected by present and past grievance and with weak governmental structures. The social infrastructures have been partially replaced with (I)NGOs, providing a vast amount of basic services across the country. Due to the high prevalence of humanitarian actors and consequently a high number of national staff, they could be a part of the bottom-up approach.

Though there is a consensus of an inclusive bottom-up approach in peace-building, the specific role of locally employed (I)NGO worker is not very well examined in the literature. National staff has clear benefits due to their role as (I)NGO workers such as respect and exposure in combination with their local expertise and network. This can contribute to a broader understanding of the situation - that wisdom should not be wasted and can contribute to them having possibility of having a voice and being a connector in the society. There is however not a clear result if this differs from the influence of other civilians and if it translates directly as a benefit in peace–building. More research is needed to determine the real agency of this group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 38
Keywords [en]
Peace-building from below, bottom-up, South Sudan, INGO, NGO, national staff, local staff, local agency, grassroots
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-354852OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-354852DiVA, id: diva2:1222849
Subject / course
International Humanitarian Action
Educational program
Master Programme in Humanitarian Action and Conflict
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-26 Created: 2018-06-23 Last updated: 2018-06-26Bibliographically approved

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