Hivos International


The peace-building field is full of examples of projects that have attempted to use technology, but failed to live up to expectations. Effective conflict early warning and prevention approaches depend on building and strengthening relationships. Research in South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda shows that, at best, ICTs can support relationship building, but that they are not a substitute for the human element that is essential to creating trust, dialogue and shared goals.

How I see the Uganda riots

‘My argument is very simple, by virtue of demographic dictates; any development discourse that leaves out the voices of young people is likely to backfire’. Ambrose Kibuuka, linked to the Pluralism Knowledge Programme through the Yogyakarta Summer School, argues for more serious engagement with Ugandan youth.

This paper is an introduction to available literature on local democratic governance in fragile settings with an emphasis on contexts marked by protracted violent conflict. In this paper the term ‘fragile settings’ is used as it covers fragile states as well as regions within countries that experience state fragility.

In many parts of the world, diversity is on the increase in religion, secularism, culture and ethnicity, often dividing "us" from "them". Diversity has always been a source of opportunity, but also a challenge to the peaceful coexistence of communities. Situations of polarization raise questions about the role of civil society, citizens and the state. How can pluralist societies constructively deal with diversity? How can coexistence be promoted? What roles can be played by state, civil society and citizens?

There is an apparent low profile war going on against progressive circles in Honduras, and this edition of Envio magazine demands that the international community take notice. It reports on an international expert meeting in which Hivos teamed up with CEJIL, ERIC and Jueces por la Democracia to talk about impunity, freedom of expression and Justice. The goal of the event, held in october 2011, was to support Honduran human rights activism with reflextions and lessons from neighbouring countries.

Monday the 28th of February, an important step was made in the fight against impunity in Guatemala: 30 years after the mass atrocities against indigenous people took place and 15 years after victim groups like AJR started preparing their case, the law suit against former de facto head of state Efraín Ríos Montt has finally started. He will be indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity. During Guatemala’s internal armed conflict, an estimated 200,000 people were killed, of which a UN-sponsored Commission on Historical Clarification estimated that 93% can be attributed to state security forces. Due to a declared amnesty in 1996 peace agreement and a grim political reality, until today, impunity reigns over the Central American country. The court’s determination to withstand all objections from the defense and move on with the case, on the basis of a thorough analysis of relevant recent international jurisprudence, is an act of courage, considering the enormous public pressure from right-wing media and the threats behind the scene. Grassroots organizations and lawyers from NGOs like the Centre for Legal Action and Human Rights – CALDH fighting to get the military command of those days to trial, have been supported by Hivos for many years. We congratulate them with this major step and will keep on monitoring the developments.

This paper explores how social movements construct citizenship and redefine the very notion of the political realm. Social movements have quickly become powerful actors within South Africa’s civil society.

This article contests the role of social actors within a democratic context by looking at post-apartheid social movements in general and the case study of the Treatment Action Campaign in particular. By illustrating the structure, activities, goals and accomplishments of the Treatment Action Campaign up until the end of 2006, this work will argue that it represents an innovation in social movements in South Africa via its unique strategies and networks that have transformed the issue of HIV/AIDS from a health and service delivery problem, to a political and economic struggle that affects all people.

Hivos' and Carnegie's Kawa Hassan Interviewed by MACLEANS

Abadi, however, is often described as well-intentioned but weak. “He is prime minister, but is not empowered to deliver on his political promises,” says Kawa Hassan, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a Middle East expert at Hivos, a Dutch NGO. Maliki, now vice-president, remains powerful, with allies in several government departments and ministries.

Hivos' and Carnegie's Kawa Hassan interviewed by Washington Post/Bloomberg on Kurdish Fragmentation and Unity

The international attention and support Kurds are getting as they fight Islamic State marks a rare opportunity for them to lay the foundations of a state either in Iraq or Syria, said Kawa Hassan, visiting scholar at Carnegie Middle East Center. “Kurds are in a paradoxical position: They are fragmented more than ever, but they are also emerging as strong players,” said Hassan, who is also Middle East expert at Hivos, a Dutch development organization.