Community-level reconciliation, essential in conflict-affected contexts, involves efforts to promote intergroup relationships and to build trust. These processes are related to the development of social capital, which alongside the reduction of horizontal inequalities, is a key component of social cohesion. In Iraq and elsewhere, rural populations are often marginalised and have a much higher incidence of poverty. There is limited evidence, however, on effective ways to achieve social cohesion and peace in Iraq and elsewhere. This rapid review finds that there is an absence of readily available literature that identifies, discusses or evaluates projects that engage rural stakeholders in Iraq. Particular engagement with rural stakeholders in Iraq in the areas of peace, reconciliation and social cohesion appears to be minimal. Examples can be drawn from elsewhere in the world, however. As such, this report covers peace, reconciliation and social cohesion related-programmes and projects carried out in rural areas and with rural stakeholders in other country contexts. These examples demonstrate that rural actors, often marginalised and discriminated against, have the potential to effectively partake in programming that can have a local and national impact.
K4D helpdesk reports provide summaries of current research, evidence and lessons learned. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development.
Haider, H. (2019). Engaging rural stakeholders in social cohesion, reconciliation and peacebuilding projects. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.