Peace and Conflict Risk Assessment as a Mechanism for Effective Peace Governance in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area, Benue State, Nigeria
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Peace and Conflict Risk Assessment (PCRA) has gained prominence in development planning. Today, one would hardly contest the fact that the negative interaction of conflict elements may predispose the environment to conflict. Using the Multi-causal theoretical role model and the Country Indicators for Foreign Policy (CIFP) risk model, the paper examines how knowledge of the interaction of negative conflict energies can aid government and development partners in the design and implementation of relevant peace governance architecture in Katsina-Ala local government area of Benue State, Nigeria, which has been threatened by history of conflicts. Although, existing studies have focused on peacebuilding as important mechanism for peace governance in fragile contexts, the relevance of peace and conflict risk assessment to effective peace governance has received little attention. The thesis sponsored by this paper revolves around the evidence that without a good understanding of the interaction of conflict elements within a context, it would be difficult to design and implement context-specific peace governance architecture. Through, a triangulated method of data collection (focus group discussion, key informant interview and semi-structured questionnaire), ten variables were content analyzed to determine their risk severity ratings on the context. These included history of inter-communal conflicts, history of intra-communal conflicts, circulation of arms, environmental stress, ethnic/tribal consciousness, social amenities, siting of projects, women and youth’s involvement in governance, People with Disabilities (PWDs) and Local Government. The study revealed that the interaction of these variables have predisposed Katsina-Ala to intermittent conflicts. The paper suggests that evidence-based peace governance architecture is central to the mitigation of the negative interaction of conflict energies in Katsina-Ala local government area.
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