The Center is committed to promoting consensus decision-making at the policy and community level by encouraging and supporting the participation of citizens in the affairs affecting their lives. The goal of CRD is to empower Somali communities’ transition to peaceful change by proving them with a neutral venue to identify their issues and set priorities for response.
The Centre for Research & Dialogue (CRD) is an independent not-for-profit corporation aimed to promote the social, economic & political rebuilding of Somalia.
The Centre utilises Participatory Research as a means to facilitate processes of dialogue, consensus building, policy development and institutional capacity building at the national and local levels.
CRD is an affiliate of War-torn Societies Project International whose Somali program is designed to assist local and national actors as well as the international community in responding more affectively to the challenges of overcoming conflict, preventing its re-occurrence and building a lasting peace in Somalia. It does so by employing an approach that (1) embraces the value of democracy, peaceful change and consensus; (2) is participatory, research based, and flexible; and (3) aims at result that are macro-oriented, and consensus-built policy.
CRD/WSP program brings together actors form local and international institutions, civil society groups, private sector, community leaders, local and international NGOs, and external assistance partners in a consensus-based process for the identification and prioritisation of reconstruction and development need, action-oriented research and problem solving, and development of recommendations for improved policy and practices.
The CRD/WSP Center also provides a neutral forum for dialogue and to create opportunities to discuss and address development & reconstruction issues of common concern to the Somali Society.
· To provide a neutral forum for dialogue and to create the opportunity to discuss and address development & reconstruction issues of common concern to the Somali Society.
· To facilitate the process to collectively identify, set priorities and formulate policy options for the challenges of development, rehabilitation and rebuilding local communities and national institutions
· To assist key stakeholders including; Somali Government, International Community, Donor Agencies, and local actors to better respond to the challenges of re-building the nation by providing with relevant information on critical issues, seeking consensus on their intervention and facilitating their responses and efforts.
· To develop the capacity for independent analysis & research capability that can be utilized by organizations and institutions engaged in the post-conflict reconstruction & development of the Country.
· To provide direct consultancy on business investment, risk analysis, human resources management and strategic planning to assist organizations meet present challenges and help plan for the future.
· To organize seminars, conferences and specialized training on various topics to the Somali professionals and individuals to raise their awareness and understanding. Specific topics of relevance to the present Somali situation include; Human Rights, Governance & Democratic Development.
· To enhance the capacity of Somali Professionals by providing them with the necessary resources and facilities.
· To promote peace-building and social justice through strengthening the role of local authorities, civil society organization and traditional authorities in the Peace building
Center provides people with the skills they need to work through their own conflicts. Services offered include; reconciliation, facilitation of public dialogue, Inter-personal and group mediations, direct negotiation of political leaders.
CRD conducts periodic and informal mediation efforts at local levels. Through these engagements, new ideas and concepts emerge that are utilized in the national peace reconciliation efforts. In addition, the Center facilities a private dialogues and informal meetings between specific actors who can potentially escalate local and regional conflicts.
Center also seeks to bridge existing gaps between civil society members and political leaders in order to avoid misperceptions and a possible escalation of conflicts.
Following the collapse of National institutions along with the role of professionals, CRD/WSP has brought either highly qualified Somali intellectuals to lead the programs & activities of the Center or provide capacity-building trainings to potential candidates. Centre also utilized the expertise of the Somalis in the Diaspora by encouraging them to participate in the Somali Rebuilding Process.
Center had developed a close partnership with international and local organizations as well as higher education institutions. The centre has implemented number of research projects and programs in partnership with number of international Institutions including; World Bank, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UN Habitat, European Commissions, UNICEF, UNIFEM and others.
APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
CRD/WSP International employs a unique variant of Participatory Action research (PAR) methodology. Researchers and social actors join forces in collective research and analysis forming a true partnership. The social actors contribute their knowledge of the issues at stake and the researchers help systematize this knowledge, carry out targeted investigations to complete it, and lead the collective analysis exercise. Social actors, who traditionally are the objects of research, become - at the same time - the active subjects of research.
The methodology is designed to produce results in different domains simultaneously:
· Research and analysis: The Participatory Action Research methodology is the main approach in which dialogue and research are used together to help participants identify options for policy formulation and priority setting.
· Peace-building and conflict prevention: The research team promotes and mediates dialogue, building consensus among the main actors involved in post-conflict rebuilding through regular meetings in a neutral forum.
· Good governance: The bottom-up strategy encourages an inclusive approach to problem solving without directly challenging established power relations, ensuring the participation of a broad cross-section of society in the articulation of political, economic and social priorities and in subsequent discussions on related policy issues and local community levels.
· Review and coordination: International and national assistance organizations agencies are offered a window through which they could evaluate the impact and acceptance of their programmers and the extent to which their programs correspond to local priorities.
Managing Political Space
Societies in conflict, particularly, protagonists/opposing groups need desperately a space where they can communicate with each other. CRD by employing WSP International PAR Methodology has created such a desired space.
The center organizes public forums where important issues are raised and discussed freely. These forums support the process of managing political forces and the dynamics on the ground
CRD is an affiliate of WSP International, a Geneva based International organization. Working in close partnership with the United Nations, WSP International seeks to facilitate the active involvement of local, national, and international actors in ongoing collective dialogue and research that allows societies emerging from conflict to better respond to the challenges of social, economic and political rehabilitation.
With its secretariat in Geneva and supported by a number of bilateral and multilateral donors and aid agencies, WSP International works in the Horn of Africa, Guatemala, Macedonia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Somalia (Puntland, Somaliland and Mogadishu).