CRTP has been working on the Conflict Monitoring Tool (CMT) Project since June 2021 after reviewing the tools used for data collection in June 2020, to ensure that they were up to date. This research is took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. Each of these countries represent different kinds of conflict that are usually observed in Africa. First, DRC represents African states that have been experiencing protracted conflicts especially along with competition for natural resources, inter-ethnic conflicts, national boundaries, poor governance, and the multiplication of militia groups. Ethiopia represents countries that have experienced conflict due to government structures. Kenya represents other countries across Africa experiencing occasional conflicts (especially election related) and terror attacks. At the core of Kenya’s conflicts are issues concerning social fragmentation, negative ethnicity, political animosity, corruption, and impunity. Third, Finally, South Sudan represents other countries across the continent that have been plagued by protracted conflict.
In July data collection began in all the four countries. The data collection has been done using a survey questionnaire as well as conducting Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Discussion groups (FGDs) in all the four countries. Data collection was followed by data analysis which included computing the conflict level using a formula developed by CRTP researchers in 2019, while the second part of the data analysis included analyzing data on the types of conflict, drivers of conflict, the most prominent actors and factors impeding the resolution of the conflict. Once the data analysis was concluded CRTP embarked on validation meetings. Validation meetings were conducted in Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi, and Goma leading to the final CMT report.
Focus Group Discussion and Key Informant Interviews in Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, a Focus Group Discussion was held on 10th, July 2021.The purpose of the FGD in Addis was to articulate and understand conflict experienced in the last 5 years including a description of conflicts experienced, what or who are causing the conflicts, duration of the conflicts, key actors and the effect of conflict on economic activities in the country. The meeting ended with participants giving their opinions on what the government, faith and peace actors can do to steer up peace building and conflict resolution in the country.
Focus Group Discussion and Key Informant Interviews in the Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, CRTP focused on two regions; Goma and Bukavu. The aim and the purpose of the FGD was to gain deeper insight on conflict dynamics of Eastern DRC. In Bukavu, the FGD on the Conflict Monitoring Tool took place on 2nd of September, 2021. The discussion had a total of 15 participants including religious leaders, and government officials, community leaders’ civil society, women leaders, youth leaders, teachers and a health worker. In Goma, the FGD was conducted on 21st July, 2021 with a total of 15 participants. The participant’s profile included religious leaders, community leaders, individuals from civil society and international organizations and journalists.
The issues discussed in the FGD were geared towards understand conflicts that the country has had in the past 5 years. Participants mentioned that drivers of conflicts in Eastern DRC natural resources, negative ethnicity and poor governance. On further discussion, participants were able to map out actors in conflicts, the length of the conflicts, challenges affecting the resolution of conflict and factors that could lead to the conflict in the future if not addressed in the present. Towards the end of the meeting, participants were able to highlight how conflicts have affected the economic activities in the country and gave their opinions on what their government has done to ensure conflict resolution in the country/region.
Conflict Monitoring Tool Validation Meeting in Mombasa and Nairobi.
A validation exercise was conducted on the CMT 2021 in Mombasa on the 7th of October 2021 in order to gather feedback from key stakeholders and experts on peacebuilding and conflict issues. The participants for the validation exercise were drawn from various organizations including community leaders, peace champions and members from civil society working on issues of peacebuilding in the Coast region. Key themes that were highlighted by the participants of the validation exercise as major causes of conflicts in the Coast region include police violence, politicians and other prominent actors, gangs, poverty and negative cultural practices. While most of the participants did agree with the findings of the research, there were suggestions on expanding the scope of the CMT research so that the it is not limited to the online questionnaire but rather reaching out to individuals at the grassroots level either by conducting an interview or a focus group discussion so that the context of conflicts in the region are well expounded and presented. The participants also expressed their desire to interact with the tool further and apply it in their own contexts whenever they are engaged in peacebuilding activities.