One of the key objectives of RAN is to identify and support the development of innovative solutions that will strengthen the resilience of communities affected by natural and man-made stresses. RAN is working through four resilience Innovation Labs (RI Labs) established across Africa to meet its objectives. The Eastern Africa RI Lab is focusing on addressing challenges of chronic conflict, climate change and their effects on livelihoods. Given the complexity of issues surrounding chronic conflict, RAN planned and held an Intervention Strategy Workshop (ISW) guided by the objective; to determine where best RAN can intervene and identify innovative solutions that have the potential to strengthen the resilience of communities affected by chronic conflict in East African region.
The Intervention Strategy Workshop was also a critical stage in the resilience intervention process where participants took what they knew about a resilience gap and translated it into intervention pathways and viable projects with the highest transformational potential for resilience building in target communities. It was therefore a critical bridging step between understanding resilience and resilience interventions. In addition, the workshop involved team-based dialogue among practitioners in the field of conflict and other disciplines to ascertain the best path of action given limited resources at hand. Participants were introduced to and worked with a set of high value tools that were developed to guide the team to this course of action.
The three days’ workshop (August 12-14, 2015) was held at the Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Innovation Lab office premises on Plot 30, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda and discussions were guided by the Theme “Strengthening Community Resilience to the Effects of Acute & Chronic Conflict” manifesting as Gender Based Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Refugee influx – from DRC into Rwanda, and the slow pace of recovery after the war in Northern Uganda. The workshop brought together a team of 18 experts in conflict, community development, business and innovation drawn from the four RAN Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab Partner countries (Uganda, Rwanda, DRC and Tanzania).
Outcomes from the Intervention Strategy Workshop will inform the Request for Applications Challenge calling for potentially transformative projects that can be nurtured to respond to the effects of acute and chronic conflict. Stay tuned at http://grants.ranlab.org/ and www.ranlab.org for updates and details.