Over the past several years, WORDE has been leading a comprehensive study through 35 cities and villages in Pakistan to explore the capacity of civil society for peacebuilding. We’ve identified over 100 local organizations that have implemented viable and innovative peacebuilding programs, ranging from inter-ethnic dialogues to fatwas against suicide bombings.
However, there are still major challenges that lie ahead. In Pakistan, Civil Society Organizations, or CSOs, who are engaged in peacebuilding and countering violent extremism (CVE) at the grassroots levels still remain underdeveloped. The vast majority must overcome numerous obstacles to transform their peacebuilding programs from localized case studies to sustainable programs that can be replicated across the country. In the US, there are a number of avenues through which we can develop a systematic interagency approach to empower Pakistan’s civil society as a bulwark against extremism.
WORDE developed two reports to address these issues. The first, “Empowering Pakistan’s Civil Society to Counter Global Violent Extremism,” came out of our 2014 working group at the Brookings US-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar co-convened by Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi – WORDE President, Waleed Ziad – Director of WORDE’s South and Central Asia Programs, Mehreen Farooq – a Senior Fellow at WORDE, and Dr. Robert Lamb.
[Read “Brookings – WORDE – Empowering Pakistans Civil Society for Counter Global Violent Extremism” published by Brooking]
The companion piece to this report is, “A Strategic Plan for Empowering Pakistan’s Civil Society to Counter Violent Extremism,” published by WORDE. This report is the culmination of key informant interviews with 20 of USG officials, 26 interviews with Pakistani activists and 13 interviews with policy experts and academics. It was developed as a “road map” to shape policy and practice in the next critical years.
[Read A Strategic Plan for Empowering Pakistan’s Civil Society to Counter Violent Extremism— published by WORDE]
Video of our launch at the Wilson Center: