PeaceNexus Foundation

Christian Aid Ireland

May 3, 2018

Christian Aid Ireland (CAI) is an independent entity within the international Christian Aid (CA) federation. It works in over 20 countries, while the global CA network is present in more than 45 countries. The organisation is known for its focus on accountability and challenging power imbalances, combining a strong local partner orientation in implementing programmes in the field, with major international campaigns and appeals aiming to influence policies and mobilise funding.

CAI was selected by the PeaceNexus Board in March 2017, to support them in operationalising their new global lead role on violence prevention and peacebuilding work across the wider CA federation. This is the first time in CA’s history that a major thematic area is being coordinated outside of London and is part of a broader process of organisational change undertaken by CA.

The organisation’s long-term vision on their Violence to Peace work is ambitious: beyond improving the conflict sensitivity of its overall programming in conflict contexts, it also wants to build on its current experience to establish itself as a credible and recognised actor with a distinct contribution to peacebuilding both locally and at the global policy level.

With PN’s support, CAI is taking concrete steps to address challenges on two dimensions:

  • Organisational development: defining and acting upon the organisational implications of delivering on a new global leadership role
  • Conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding integration at the programmatic level

The organisation has identified consultants with specific expertise to support each area. Leadership and staff sitting in different places in the organisation are involved to make decisions and implement agreed actions on the two levels. On the OD side, dedicated meetings at the senior leadership level have taken place to review lessons learnt from CAI’s global lead experience and recommendations to further operationalise that mandate. The organisation is reviewing its systems and processes to develop a shared ownership and greater global capacity on violence prevention and peacebuilding work across the CA network, under the lead of CAI. On the programmatic side, a technical support plan is being implemented to provide tailored accompaniment to country programmes in line with their specific needs and ambitions, taking into account available resources and capacities, and to foster learning and exchanges on practice and policy questions across countries.