Mali civil society and peacebuilding

Strengthening civil society contributions to peace, security and development in Mali
The lack of peace and security in Mali is a major obstacle to economic, social and human development, and any development cooperation strategy for Mali must take into account the interconnections between peace, security and development. A genuine and sustainable peace requires the involvement of local populations and, by extension, the full participation of civil society.

This project aims to strengthen the capacity of civil society in Mali and provide support and resources for civil society actors to generate increased knowledge and understanding of conflict dynamics and develop a joint strategy for their contributions to peace, security and development.
View over Mali landscape
Image: Niger River, central Mali,
by Jacob Zocherman.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) play an important role at every point in peacebuilding processes. Given their inherent closeness to and interactions with grassroots and local communities, civil society actors are best placed to gather and bring forward underlying issues causing conflict. Such knowledge constitutes a crucial input to comprehensive peacebuilding strategies. Civil society groups are also key actors in the implementation of peacebuilding activities, by raising awareness of the dynamics of specific conflicts, offering training on how to resolve conflicts non-violently, and contributing to social and human development through the operationalization of development initiatives and the delivery of services.   

The project is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

featured item

15 Sept. 2015: SIPRI's partner organisation in Mali launches strategic vision for civil society

In light of civil society's important role in peacebuilding, SIPRI has been supporting a process together with CONASICPAL, an umbrella organization for civil society organisations (CSOs), to develop a strategic vision for civil society contributions to peace and national unity in Mali. The two partner organisations launched this strategic vision at a seminar in Bamako on 15 September.

Read more about the event and download the strategy.

recent events

20 February 2014, Bamako, Mali

SIPRI holds consultative round table in Mali

SIPRI and its Malian partner organization, CONASCIPAL, held a consultative round table meeting with government representatives and civil society groups about the causes of the political and security situation in Mali, and the challenges involved in building peace in the country. 

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27 November 2013, Bamako, Mali

Seminar with Malian civil society organizations

This seminar constituted a formal launch of the project in Mali as well as a networking occasion for civil society organizations involved in the project. Presentations and a panel discussion focused on the history of the peace process in Mali and the way forward.  


28–29 November 2013, Bamako, Mali

Workshop for field researchers

This workshop, hosted by CONASCIPAL and held in collaboration with the SIPRI team, brought together field researchers participating in the project to prepare for the conduct of field research in Mali.



Building peace in Mali: the case for ‘track III’ interventions

Gaudence Nyirabikali
SIPRI Essay, June 2014

Most peacebuilding efforts seeking to address the current conflict in Mali concentrate on the Malian Government and the various rebel groups. However, the creation of sustained peace in Mali also depends on ‘track III’ interventions—initiatives carried out by civil society organizations and other non-state actors to support the emergence of a conducive environment for the settling of conflicts.

The importance of field research for civil society organizations’ peacebuilding strategies

Gaudence Nyirabikali
Paper, November 2013

Field research is an important component of SIPRI’s Mali Civil Society and Peacebuilding Project. This paper describes the purpose of the field research and the questions that will guide this research in Mali in December 2013.  

Télécharger la version en français.

The role of civil society in building peace in Mali

Elisabeth Sköns
SIPRI Essay, October 2013

While some level of security and government legitimacy has been achieved in Mali, much remains to be done. Civil society has an important role to play in restoring sustainable peace and security. SIPRI’s Mali Civil Society and Peacebuilding Project was developed to support civil society in fulfilling this role.

Télécharger la version en français


Dr Elisabeth Sköns, Senior Researcher, Head of Project, biography

Dr Gaudence Nyirabikali, Researcher, biography

Helen Palmgren, Project/Research Assistant

Fantu CheruAssociate Senior Fellow, biography


SIPRI's Mali Civil Society and Peacebuilding Project is implemented in partnership with the Coalition Nationale de la Société Civile pour la Paix et la Lutte contre la Prolifération des Armes Légères (National Coalition of Civil Society for Peace and the Fight Against the Proliferation of Light Weapons, Conascipal). 

Read more about Conascipal.