Breaking Barriers: Amani na Maendeleo Mpakani

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Apr 2023

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For years, the Kenya–Ethiopia border has experienced conflicts and disputes between communities caused by various factors. At  HODI, we realised the need for cross-border integration to promote regional development, peace, and cooperation. This is why we launched a new project; Integrating Peacebuilding, Development and Humanitarian Efforts Across the Kenya-Ethiopia cross border (IPDHE) on 30th March 2023 in Moyale.

The project is funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation and is implemented in partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Centre for Development and Capacity Building (CDCB).

Community representative Rukia Gulam, HODI’s ED Noor Abdulqadir, VSO’s George Awallo, H.E. Solomon Gubo, VSO’s Catherine Mwangi, HODI’s Said Jillo, Acting CC David Saruni, peace committee representative Mohamednur Korme and CECM Armara Galwab at the Integrating Peacebuilding, Development and Humanitarian Efforts Across the Kenya-Ethiopia cross border (IPDHE) project launch.
Community representative Rukia Gulam, HODI’s ED Noor Abdulqadir, VSO’s George Awallo, H.E. Solomon Gubo, VSO’s Catherine Mwangi, HODI’s Said Jillo, Acting CC David Saruni, peace committee representative Mohamednur Korme and CECM Armara Galwab at the Integrating Peacebuilding, Development and Humanitarian Efforts Across the Kenya-Ethiopia cross border (IPDHE) project launch.

The project is funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation and is implemented in partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Centre for Development and Capacity Building (CDCB)

The launch was graced by the Deputy Governor of Marsabit County, H.E Solomon Gubo. Other leaders who attended the event are the Acting County Commissioner, David Saruni, HODI’s Board Vice Chairman, Mr. Said Jillo and VSO’s Country Lead, Catherine Mwangi.

A Dive into the Project

The IPDHE project is designed to promote peacebuilding, development, and resilience in cross-border communities in the Kenya-Ethiopia border region. Resource competition in this area has led to conflict, political tension, and ethnic divisions. Through cooperation and resource sharing, IPDHE seeks to reduce friction and bring greater prosperity to these communities. 

The project will be implemented in the Moyale and Miyo districts of Ethiopia and Sololo and Moyale sub counties of Kenya. The project employs a triple nexus approach: peacebuilding, development and humanitarian assistance. 

The cross border peace committee chairman speaking during the event.

How will we get this done?

Primary Actor-Led (PAL) interventions 

By involving primary actors in designing and implementing interventions, we can ensure that interventions are tailored to the specific needs and contexts of the communities involved.

Strengthening localization and sustainability through blended volunteering

Blended volunteering is a promising approach to promoting sustainable development and strengthening localization by leveraging the strengths and expertise of both local and international volunteers to address complex development challenges.

Local and national government engagement 

Local and national government engagement is critical for promoting effective governance, improving service delivery, and ensuring communities access essential services and infrastructure. By working together and building solid partnerships, local and national governments can achieve more together than they can alone.

Adaptive programming and crisis modification

Projects with adaptive features like regular monitoring and evaluation, participatory approaches, and iterative learning are better equipped to respond to crises and adapt to new challenges. A crisis modifier in the project will ensure that the project is equipped to respond to crises during the lifetime of the project.

The End Goal

Increased human capability and social resources to lessen vulnerabilities caused and brought on by conflict and a lack of social cohesion.

Investing in people’s abilities, community service, peacemaking, and social harmony can mitigate the risks and effects of conflict and weak social cohesion. To this end, diversity and inclusion analysis, empowering youth volunteers and community champions, and connecting to welfare systems are some actions that will be taken to reduce vulnerabilities driven and resulting from conflict and weak social cohesion.

A cross section of participants during the launch

Improved regional, national, and municipal government response to regional priorities on social inclusion, peace, and cohesion.

This would make decision-making processes more inclusive, address underlying causes of conflict and promote lasting peace and development. To do this, we will train governments in conflict responsiveness and disaster preparedness, support multi-stakeholder platforms, develop cross-border policies, and encourage policy dialogues and advocacy.

H.E. Solomon Gubo shares with the audience the peacebuilding possibilities this project brings to the community.

Enhanced institutional, social, and human capacity to lessen conflict-related vulnerabilities.

Empowering local organisations is key to addressing the vulnerabilities caused by conflict and weak social cohesion. To do this, we will enhance organisations’ capacity and authority, such as local institutions, peace and DRR committees, and local CSOs. These organisations must work together and identify the root causes of conflict, promoting sustainable peace and development. We will support community-led risk assessment action plans and collaboration between humanitarian, development, and peace-building systems.

The success of the IPDHE Project will require the commitment and collaboration of all stakeholders involved. Together, we can build a brighter future for border communities in Kenya and Ethiopia, fostering peace and prosperity.

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