Trans-Border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Region

Project completed

Jointly with the Swedish Development Cooperation (SIDA) and the Division Human Security (DHS), SDC will support a program on trans-border dialogue for peace in the Great Lakes region run by Interpeace. Through a research and dialogue process, the program seeks to address the root causes behind the recurrent conflicts in the Great Lakes region and will propose and disseminate concrete consensus-based solutions to decision makers taking into account the concerns and recommendations of local populations.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
The Great Lakes Region
Conflict & fragility
Conflict prevention and transformation
Conflict prevention
Security system management and reform
01.09.2013 - 31.12.2016
CHF  1’930’000

The Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi and DRC) continues to be an endemic source of conflict and persistent instability. Especially the Eastern part of DRC with its two neighbouring Kivu-Provinces has been the theatre of complex conflicts continuously challenging peace and stability in the region. Eastern DRC continues to be the hub of numerous domestic and foreign militias and armed groups which cause immense suffering to the local civil population. The complexity of the situation with multiple actors pursuing various interests results in a great deal of distrust between the three neighbouring countries which in turn has generated prejudices and stereotypes.


Contributing to reinforce social cohesion and trust between the countries of the Great Lakes region through the proposition and dissemination of concrete consensus based solutions to decision makers taking into account the concerns and recommendations of local populations.

Target groups

The program directly targets so called “boundary partners”, who are the program’s direct target groups: 1. decision makers; 2. civil society organizations; 3. regional institutions and 4. community members. As outlined in chapter 4 “Overall goal and objectives”, the program envisages to directly change the behaviour of these actors. These actors will in turn influence wider circles of stakeholders, which are out of the program’s direct reach.

Medium-term outcomes

  • Decision-makers provide opportunities for and participate in debates /dialogues with other key social actors to discuss the needs, perspectives and expectations of local populations on the basis of research results that capture the needs and priorities of local populations.
  • Civil society organizations (CSOs) use advocacy and engagement skills to sensitize local populations on divisive factors as well as opportunities for social cohesion and ensure that the needs and opinions identified by local populations are reflected in their work and support local populations in expressing their own opinions and interests to be raised to decision-makers.
  • Community members use debate/dialogue processes to structure and harmonize their priorities and needs and express them through consultative mechanisms to local, national and regional authorities.
  • Regional organizations use participatory decision-making processes to integrate the concerns of local populations in the design of new policies and programs for peaceful conflict resolution and social cohesion in the Great Lakes Region.


Results from previous phases:  

The results of the preliminary preparatory works can be summarized as follows:

  • Strengthened institutional capacity of the local partner organizations in Rwanda, Burundi and South and North Kivu.
  • The divisive factor (stereotypes and identity-based manipulations) is selected and its implications and different facets are identified in each specific area.
  • Full program (action plans, results framework, budget, etc.) are jointly developed and agreed upon by Interpeace and its local partner organizations.
  • A coordination mechanism gathering relevant international actors working in peace-building is agreed upon and set up.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • SDC Field Office
  • Interpeace, regional office in Nairobi

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’930’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’552’313
Project phases Phase 3 01.09.2021 - 31.08.2026   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.01.2017 - 30.06.2021   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.09.2013 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)