Enhancing Regional Response Capacity for Conflict Prevention in West Africa
The project focuses on conflict early warning and early response capacities in West Africa and the collaboration between ECOWAS and local civil society organisation (CSOs). It aims to promote synergy amongst ECOWAS, national CSOs, the AU and the UN, and enable multiple actors to collectively act to prevent violent conflicts. In a period marked elections and political transitions, preventing conflicts at an early stage is crucial to regional stability.
The project is coordinated by the Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), a network of conflict prevention CSOs. The partner is GPPAC's Regional Secretariat for West Africa, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), which has a Memorandum of Understanding with ECOWAS under the regional Warning and Response Network, ECOWARN.
The project has two main components:
a) Processes and tools that can mobilise coordinated early response actions by multiple stakeholders, including ECOWAS, governments, CSOs, the AU and the UN. These will be tested in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, selected as pilot countries for an appropriate regional spread. Liberia and Sierra Leone are embarking on election periods in 2011-12, whereas Guinea is in a still fragile post-election period undergoing political transitions. Gender-sensitive approaches will be incorporated into these processes to support the implementation of the UNSCR 1325.
b) Enhancement and alignment of national, regional and continental early warning systems, notably by integrating the existing ECOWARN system and an emerging national Early Warning network, NEWS. This will firstly be implemented in Ghana and Nigeria, where the NEWS system is most developed to date.
Project outputs will include: 1) Preventive Action tools, tested in the field and refined; 2) A platform for an integrated regional/national-level early warning system; and 3) Systematic Conflict Assessment and early warning reports, periodically shared with continental and global actors.