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On 19 September, CEWARN Director Mr. Richard Barno and team held a consultation with representatives of the Life and Peace Institute, the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) and InterAfrica Group on a partnership to conduct targeted policy research and advocacy on regional peace and security challenges.

 The consultative meeting followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding among these institutions earlier in 2014. The principal aim of the partnership is to contribute to regional policy formulation processes in the areas of peace and security through facilitating collaborative platforms among state, inter-state and non-state actors on selected themes that represent a ‘regional peace and security policy dilemma’.

The collaborative platforms will pursue targeted policy research and advocacy processes that are “participatory, informed by local perspectives and experiences as well as backed by solid evidence”. The initiative matches one of the key priorities of CEWARN’s strategic focus as articulated in the 2012-2019 Strategy Framework which is, the utilization of CEWARN’s early warning data and analysis to inform high-level decision-making and policy formulation processes. The CEWARN 2012-2019 strategy framework that informs the mechanism’s current operations entails a significant expansion of the mechanism’s operations beyond an earlier narrow focus on cross-border pastoral conflicts to a substantially wider scope of conflict typologies and geographic areas.

Accordingly, the strategy framework considers as key immediate aims, the strengthening of CEWARN’s region-wide capabilities in gathering credible and sufficient data, delivering high-quality early warning analysis as well as mapping and analysis of response initiatives. The significant expansion of CEWARN’s regional networks and partnership to realize its new mandate is another one of the mechanism current priorities.