Research and Practice

These Kujenga Amani essays explore the future of African peacebuilding research and practice.

Research and Practice | April 9, 2015

Are Female Peacekeepers Making a Difference, and If Not, Why Not?

“What is clear is that female peacekeepers suffer under a hypermasculine military culture because they are ‘othered’ on many levels that affect their performance. The literature suggests that where women do seem to have made a difference, they were deployed in all-female units and served in predominantly constabulary roles. Some criticize these units because they are gender segregated, but, ironically, they are the ones most often praised for their success.”

This picture was obtained via Flickr user UNAMID. Photo credit to Albert González Farran, UNAMID.  Taken on May 28, 2014. No changes were made. This photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Original photo:
A female UNAMID police officer interacts with children in Nyala, South Darfur.
Research and Practice | November 25, 2014

Rethinking Models of African Peacebuilding: Lessons from Nigeria

“As the case of Nigeria shows the endogenous ways of managing local conflict and building peace are organically linked to the history, tradition, and culture of the African people…Indeed, a situation in which modern and endogenous methods complement, rather than displace or supplant each other, should be encouraged.”

Photo credit to Flickr user UNAMID. Taken on December 8, 2012, in Al Fashir, Shamal Darfor, Sudan by Albert González Farran of UNAMID. This picture is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. No changes were made. Original photo:
Men from Houza tribe gather in the western area of El Fasher, North Darfur.
Research and Practice | September 26, 2014

Ushahidi Crowdsourcing Platform: A People-Centered Approach to Conflict Transformation in Kenya

“New media technologies have opened avenues for the African people to participate more directly, and more strategically, in public affairs. A closed door of morbid silence has suddenly been flung wide open, and different people-centered initiatives are emerging as the African general public utilizes these new technologies to address societal issues.”

Photo credit to Flickr user Erik (HASH) Hersman. Taken on October 4, 2008. No changes were made. This picture is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Original photo:
User displays the Ushahidi J2ME App for smartphones.
Research and Practice | August 22, 2014

Kenya’s Long-Term Security Should Be a “Discursive Project”

“Terrorism is a constructed ideology. For it to be defeated in Kenya and elsewhere, we need to construct a counter-ideology through an equally discursive process…Yet creating an effective counter-ideology, like the ‘We Are One’ campaign, requires a reconstruction of identity and an answer to the question, Who is really a Kenyan, and who is not?”

Photo from Flickr user Albany Associates. Photo credit to AU-UN IST PHOTO / TOBIN JONES. Taken on November 30, 2012. This photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo:
Members of the business community in Kismayo attend a meeting with foreign journalists.
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