Researchers have been dispatched to conduct a Strategic Conflict Assessment (SCA) of the length and breadth of Nigeria, to enhance peace building, and prevention and containment of violent conflicts.
This initiative is a collaborative effort of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP).
The SCA will cover the 36 States of the federation, grouped into the 6 geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory.
Already, the Institute held pre-engagement meetings with the consultants, and briefed researchers of the Institute traveling to the States for the exercise. The decision to conduct the SCA was to understand the present dynamics that account for the widespread violent conflicts and inter-communal clashes across the country.
In May 2002, IPCR, supported by DFID, the World Bank, USAID and UNDP, conducted the first national SCA in Nigeria. This was applauded by the United Nations, which recommended SCA as component of development plan for countries in the world.
Ever since the 2002 assessment, updates of the SCA had been done in 2007 and 2012/2013, through the support of the UNDP. The outcomes of these assessments resulted in the conception and formulation of the draft National Peace Policy in Nigeria, and the first of its kind in Africa.
Nigeria’s attempts to deal with the root causes of violent conflicts have taken several dimensions, one of which is the conduct of the SCA as technique designed to systematically examine the nature, dimensions, scope, causes and actors of violent conflicts, and proffer appropriate recommendations and strategies for resolving them.
It also identifies violent conflict processes and options for conflict management or resolution. Overall, it provides basic, but analytical information, which is essential to planning a constructive response to violent conflict.
The justification for the updating of the conflict map of Nigeria is the need to develop policy options and implementation strategies for dealing with dysfunctional conflicts in Nigeria. The update of the SCA will reveal available domestic capacities and frameworks for effective resolution of civil, socio-economic and political differences, capable of resulting into violent conflicts.
The exercise will strengthen Government’s efforts in understanding (or conduct further research into) the root causes of violent conflicts and adapt sustainable, interconnected/multifaceted, but home-grown solutions to the myriads of violent conflicts plaguing the country.
The study will also boost stakeholders’ efforts to establish national, State and community-based peace infrastructure, strengthen conflict prevention and management capacities for dialogue in conflict-prone areas, and reinforce institutions’ ability to build capacities in mediation and dialogue, as well as help key stakeholders to constructively engage in these violent conflicts, through advocacy and adoption of conflict sensitive approach to nation building, thereby preventing violent conflicts.
It will also recommend appropriate support to victims of violent conflicts, help reintegrate them back into the society and local economy, as well as support policy makers, Government agencies, humanitarian organizations, CSOs, NGOs and communities, in identifying causes, actors and dynamics of conflicts across the country, and to plan their development interventions in a conflict sensitive manner.