In August, SIPRI and its local partner in Iraq, the Al-Tahreer Association for Development, facilitated the first round in a series of issue-based community dialogues in Nineveh Province, Iraq. The community dialogues—of which the second round will commence in late September—focus on issues of common concern and mutual interest to different communities. Topics include climate change and its impact on agriculture; climate change and environmental degradation; hate speech and intolerance; and governance and the provision of basic services.
The dialogues bring together community members and stakeholders from three of the principal localities of the province—Al-Hamdaniya, Tal Kaif and Bashiqa—to discuss the findings of research conducted there by SIPRI. The dialogues seek to empower and incentivize the participants to identify community-driven solutions to the pressing challenges facing their communities and to enhance citizens’ engagement and cooperation with the local authorities.
About the project
Last year, SIPRI and the Al-Tahreer Association for Development facilitated twenty dialogue sessions between June and November in these same localities. Issue-based community dialogues are part of SIPRI’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme’s research project ‘Developing Local Capacity Building for Peacebuilding in Nineveh’. The project aims to enhance social cohesion through research and dialogue between different communities as well as with relevant stakeholders and community leaders. The two-year project is funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
As part of its work in Iraq, SIPRI produced a short film on the role of cultural and religious practices in the post-conflict restoration of Nineveh. The film uses interviews with people from minority groups living in Nineveh: Iraq’s most ethnically and religiously diverse region.
Click here to watch the SIPRI Film ‘The Nineveh Plains of Iraq: How Culture is Helping to Restore Peace’.
Click here to listen to Shivan Fazil, SIPRI Researcher, talk about the institute’s work in Iraq.
About SIPRI’s Middle East and North Africa Programme
SIPRI’s work in MENA aims to provide in-depth analyses of the political, social, economic and environmental drivers of conflict and pathways to peace in the region with the purpose of informing actors involved in peacebuilding efforts. The programme conducts research at different levels, taking a holistic view of peacebuilding that considers the levels to be intricately connected and a mutual influence on each other.
Click here to read more about SIPRI’s MENA Programme.