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The dynamics of conflict systems are complex and continuously shifting, therefore, peacebuilding interventions must respond quickly to emerging opportunities to inject creativity, innovative solutions, and new relationships that contribute to lasting change. Identifying critical moments requires peacebuilders to invest in long-term accompaniment and relationships with people inside conflict systems.
Reflecting on lessons learned about our peacebuilding practice in recent years, the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) has identified the importance of having a set of core values to develop and sustain key partnerships, adapt and respond to changing dynamics, and strengthen strategic interventions to violent conflicts. CPCS has five core values that guide how we work with partners and each other. These values are:
Being grounded in development of mindful interventions into armed conflict, rooted in ongoing and evolved analysis.
Practicing excellence by staying committed to strategic, innovative conflict transformation.
Cultivating trust in relationships with our partners and each other are heartfelt and respectful, grounded in empathy and solidarity.
Courageous: CPCS is dynamic, accepts challenges, perseveres, and pushes boundaries. We are generous with our support and encourage each other.
Continually learning by critically reflecting and evaluating our approaches, sharing our learning and experiences, and incorporating this learning into our work.
Being explicit about these values and how they inform our interventions has helped build trust with partners. Bringing a clear set of values into our academic and learning spaces and encouraging people we work with to identify their set of core values, strengthens a clear vision for interventions. Shared values can help transcend interpersonal dynamics, address challenges and roadblocks, and provide clarity on how to keep moving forward in moments of uncertainty.
Showing up for partners and people affected by conflict demonstrates commitment, solidarity, and dependability. Pre-pandemic, “showing up” involved jumping on an airplane to physically show up, but recent years this has evolved to finding creative ways to be present together. This has evolved to using more informal methods of communication, responding quickly, and collaborating with our partners by assessing needs and opportunities. Practicing the values of grounded-ness and continued learning, including reflecting together and with partners on whether there is need to adapt, delay, or change altogether an intervention or approach that may no longer suit the changing dynamics.
The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) is a Cambodia based, regional organization that works to end violent conflict by investing in leadership and facilitation for lasting peace in Asia. CPCS is home to interconnected programs that focus on facilitation of conflict systems and peace processes, while investing in pragmatic and principled leadership for lasting peace. CPCS interventions are grounded in ongoing analysis involving diverse stakeholders, sharing and triangulating information, and connecting different information and perspectives. CPCS has accompanied peace processes across Asia, including Myanmar, the Korea peninsula, the Bangsamoro, and Sri Lanka, as well as hosting regional forums and conferences to build stronger partnerships and share learning with peace practitioners across the region.