Refugees and forced migrants often flee violent countries of origin only to find themselves facing additional political, social, and economic exclusion in their new host communities. States, which may be faced with political pressure to focus resources on citizens and not foreigners, are not always reliable providers of security in practice, even for legally-recognized refugees. As a result, governance networks that include NGOs, informal institutions, and members of the UN system have taken on an important, but sometimes controversial, role in filling this gap and fostering peace and security. This presentation draws on the speaker’s research with Colombian refugees in Ecuador, as well as on his nine years of experience leading a small nonprofit organization dedicated to conflict resolution education in Ecuador. Through case studies of partnerships involving coordination among UN, NGO, and state actors, the presentation will identify key lessons learned, and will examine the promise and limitations of governance networks. It will also propose recommendations for practitioners in all three sectors seeking to combine and coordinate the peacebuilding potential of state, non-state, and UN actors. The presenter gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Committee on Aid to Faculty Research (CAFR) grant which made this research possible.
PowerPoint presentation in PDF format of the visuals from the seminar