Lesley Connolly

Policy and Research Papers

Protecting Mali’s Peace: The Role of Civil Society

Malians voted last week to appoint 12,000 local officials. This seems to indicate progress in the conflict-afflicted country, considering that the polls have been postponed four times since 2014. Yet the effective establishment of interim authorities designated by government and the groups who signed Mali’s 2015 peace agreement continues to be delayed in northern regions. In light of this and renewed insecurity, some question the validity of going ahead with the elections, which might not deliver the necessary popular legitimacy and level of representation.

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Incorporating Gender into UN Senior Leadership Training

Comprehensive leadership training is necessary to ensure that peace operations are effective and that senior leaders are prepared for both the daily challenges and the inevitable crises of peacekeeping. A gender perspective is of central importance to such training. However, gender considerations—from gendered conflict analysis to recognition of who is in the room when decisions are made—remain poorly understood at a practical level, including among senior mission leaders.

This issue brief discusses what it means to apply a “gender perspective” and the importance of such a perspective for senior leaders to effectively implement mission mandates. It provides an overview of existing gender-related training and preparation techniques for senior leaders, including gaps. It concludes with a series of recommendations on how trainings and approaches to senior leadership training can better reflect these considerations:

  • The current status of gender training for senior leaders should be assessed.
  • Facilitators of trainings should ensure that their curricula address and respond to a peacekeeping workspace dominated by men.
  • Facilitators should be aware that leaders often think they do not need training.
  • Trainings for senior leaders should be designed to reflect the complexity of implementing women, peace, and security obligations in a mission.
  • Efforts to ensure gender parity in senior mission leadership should be strengthened.
  • Gender advisers should be included as formal members of a mission’s crisis management team and play an active role in decision-making bodies.
  • Facilitators should understand the gender dimensions of a given training scenario and be aware of the gender balance among participants.
  • The UN should develop resources for leaders, including key documents and guidance on understanding the gender dimensions of their mission.

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Other Documents

Peacebuilding, Prevention, and Sustaining Peace: Q&A with Susanna Campbell

In an interview with Lesley Connolly of the International Peace Institute, Susanna Campbell, an assistant professor at American University’s School of International Service, discusses how international peacebuilding organizations can learn from the experience of those in Burundi and implement and support more effective peacebuilding initiatives on the ground.

For full access to Peacebuilding, Prevention, and Sustaining Peace, kindly follow the link. 

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