Achieving peace amidst fragility - how violence, security and socio-economic development interact in Colombia
In 2016, the Colombian government and FARC (Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces) signed a peace agreement following five decades of armed conflict. The core assumption was that putting an end to the armed conflict was a prerequisite to moving forward with a peacebuilding agenda. While the agreement is nationwide, its results vary widely by region. While rates of violence have decreased at a macro level since 2016, murders of youth leaders and human rights defenders in some regions are increasing, as are rates of gender-based violence (GBV). This project aims to study where and why this is the case and what strategies are most effective to address the fluid and changing nature of GBV.
The entrenched legacy of the armed conflict, particularly in fragile contexts characterized by high poverty, recurrence of violence, and weak rule of law, has affected the implementation of the peace agreement and hindered trust in the peace process. Understanding how the agreement has affected vulnerable groups differently, particularly women and youth in fragile contexts, is key to improving policy design and implementation. Further, analyzing how this legacy of fragility affects the successful implementation of the agreement and captures lessons from existing resilience strategies in particular regions can improve current policies and practices.
This project is implemented in collaboration with Fundación Ideas para la Paz, a Colombia-based non-governmental research organization supporting the peace process. It will aim to address these questions through a participatory approach by engaging local organizations in two regions. One of these regions, called Catatumbo, borders Venezuela, so it has seen an increase in the influx of displaced populations. The project will also generate findings on how this migration interacts with security in this already fragile region and what can be done to address these challenges.