Peace and Security Module
Tostan’s Peace and Security (P&S) module works to strengthen and support a grassroots strategy of community-led development to improve peace and security in the West Africa region. It focuses on building ways to overcome barriers that limit an individual’s ability to develop through collaboration at the local, regional and national level.
In 2013, in response to the expressed needs of hundreds of West African communities impacted by rising threats of terrorism and violent extremism, Tostan developed and implemented an extensive pilot. This pilot evolved into the P&S Module, which aims to strengthen regional resiliency by providing communities and their leaders with skills and tools to nurture peaceful processes that prevent violence and instability.
Within the P&S Module, local facilitators are trained to deliver 21 sessions, in local languages, taking the community (men, women and children), CMC members and religious leaders through carefully crafted session plans. Within these session plans, they review their current community vision, their understanding of human rights frameworks and social norms, while introducing the elements of peace and human security. Participants are guided through practical sessions that explore the importance of dialogue in conflict management, the essential role of women in conflict prevention and successful mediation techniques. Together participants develop an action plan for the promotion of peace and human security in their community.
To ensure a sustainable and systematic approach to conflict management, a dedicated community Peace Commission is established and embedded within each CMC to prevent, manage and mediate conflicts at the family, community and intercommunity level. Each Peace Commission develops action plans to ensure that conflict is managed and resolved and works to operationalize them.
When & Where
Once community members have finished their sessions, they conduct ‘social mobilization’ activities by reaching out to their own and neighboring communities. They share their new knowledge and motivate others to promote peace in their own areas. Today more than 362 communities in Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia have completed this program leading to the active resolution of more than 3,000 local conflicts.