Just Wasting Our Time? An Open Letter to Peacebuilders
This is the title of another rather theoretical article on NGOs.
The authors Simon Fisher and Lada Zimina question critically actions and attitudes of NGOs in the field of peacebuilding, conflict transformation and development. They criticise some of the approaches NGOs have been using up to now and call for a redefinition of basic values of peace work. Have we become so technically perfect, so bureaucratically brilliant that we have forgotten what peace means? We, who we are supposed to be working for peace and brining sustainable positive change? Fisher and Zimina show their perspective on what the problems are and what a possible way for the future could be.
Here is an excerpt:
Many INGOs, including those working on development and humanitarian assistance, demonstrate confusion about their role in relation to peace, which infects their policymaking and often leads them to settle for an ineffective, minimalist approach. If they could resolve this uncertainty their work would, we believe, have a much greater and more lasting impact. So while this paper may bring some unsettling questions, we hope that it also has the potential to make their lives easier by providing a stimulus for this process and some signposts along the way…
For the full article and some of the academic responses: