1st Edition

Civil Society and Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone Donors, Government, and Human Security

By Vandy Kanyako Copyright 2024
    284 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the important role of local actors in Sierra Leone in helping to foster peace and provide for the needs of vulnerable populations following the end of the civil war.

    Despite severe economic, political, and in some cases security challenges, local civil society organizations in Sierra Leone have expanded rapidly over the last 20 years, incorporating their local knowledge and traditions into their work to cater to the needs of war- affected populations. However, the preference of international development donors for funneling resources and technical assistance through civil society groups at the expense of central government has also created some resentment and backlash. This book examines this intersection between civil society, donors, and government in Sierra Leone, considering both the relevance of civil society activities, and their limitations, and what this means ultimately for human security in the country.

    Highlighting the importance of African civil society actors as proactive agents of change, this book will be of interest to researchers and stakeholders across the fields of African peacebuilding, development, and conflict resolution.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables



    List of Acronyms

    Glossary of Commonly Used Terms and Phrases




    Chapter 1: Introduction: Civil Society and Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone

    Chapter 2: Civil society: A Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

    Chapter 3: Historiography: The Growth and Evolution of Sierra Leone Civil Society 

    Chapter 4: The Civil War and Civil Society

    Chapter 5: Civil Society and Donors        

    Chapter 6: Government Policies and Civil Society Operation

    Chapter 7: Civil Society, Donors and State Interactions: Implications for Conflict and Security in Africa

    Chapter 8: Civil Society and Human Security: Implications for The Field of Conflict Resolution

    Addendum: List of select organizations studied or interviewed for this project


    Vandy Kanyako is Director of the Conflict Resolution Program at Portland State University where he teaches various courses in conflict resolution, including human rights, civil society, peacemaking and peacebuilding, transitional justice, and post-war reconstruction. From 2004 to 2005 he was the Coordinator of the United Nations-NGO Conflict Prevention Working Group in New York, an initiative that explored the role of global civil society in conflict prevention. He has written widely on civil society and the political economy of conflict. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Masters in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA; and a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, USA.