The hybrid conference titled “10 Years of PATRIP Foundation – Networks for Peaceful Regions” was hosted by the PATRIP Foundation in Berlin on June 30th, 2022.
Close to 100 participants joined PATRIP Foundation’s 10 year anniversary conference in person, with an additional 100 tuning in to the hybrid event digitally. The conference took place on June 30th, 2022, at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin. Partners, donors, and experts associated with the PATRIP Foundation’s international network came together to discuss how to shape the Foundation’s future amidst current challenges and dynamics.
With contributions from the contexts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan (“PAT” region), as well as Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo and Côte d’Ivoire, the agenda was tightly packed with opportunities for exchange. The daytime event was complemented by a separately scheduled evening panel, which was opened by Dr. Philipp Ackermann, Director-General for Africa, Latin America, Near and Middle East, GFFO. The PATRIP Board of Directors – Mr. Alexander Bohr and Ms. Monika Tortschanoff – took on the role of presenters guiding the audience through the event.
“With its work in border areas, PATRIP clearly relates to the triple nexus focus on fostering peace.”Clemens Hach, Head of Crisis Prevention, Stabilisation and Peacebuilding Unit, GFFO
The chairman of PATRIP’s supervisory board, Mr. Clemens Hach, Head of the Crisis Prevention, Stabilisation and Peacebuilding Unit at the GFFO, as well as Dr. Christine Heimburger, Director Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq at the KfW Development Bank, delivered the opening remarks for the event, which subsequently began with a presentation by joyn-coop, a development consultant firm which – together with its Afghan partner company Barna Consulting – PATRIP had engaged in 2020 to analyse the impact and efficiency of the Foundation’s programmes. Since PATRIP and its donors emphasise the key aspect of “stabilisation” as the Foundation’s core goal, the guiding question hereby was: What exactly is PATRIP’s contribution to stabilisation? The joyn-coop evaluation focused on critically examining the underlying logic to PATRIP-fostered projects and presenting a validated theory of change.
The conference brought together PATRIP’s partners from all of its target countries for the first time. The network of the “PATRIP family”, comprised of NGOs, donors, think tanks and development consultants (Global Public Policy Institute, joyn-coop, Analysis Research Consulting), benefitted from the opportunity to meet after a long COVID-related break from previously regular PATRIP workshops. It was a chance for donors to listen to NGOs’ perspectives and to in turn expand on their strategic visions.
“We need to work around better alignment and partnership arrangements with local authorities. We cannot presume the role of the state.”Levinia Addae-Mensah, Programme Director / Deputy Executive Director, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding
The discussions, during which practitioners from the “PAT” region engaged with the West Africa region – and vice versa – yielded much food for thought for the Foundation and its donors in terms of how to develop the focus of the Foundation’s programmatic approach.
Particularly, this includes a clearly communicable theory of change, a more conscious rooting of PATRIP’s scope within the triple nexus, as well as a stronger definition of PATRIP’s relation to state borders. On the project level, the recommendations from present practitioners were vast, and included helpful perspectives on how to improve strategies of building local partnerships with key stakeholders, how to think about the responsibility of the target state vs. the international community while developing feasible exit strategies, as well as designing youth-focused interventions within a human centered security framework.
“There is a large need for coordination, which is more than information sharing: A need to develop a joint strategy, joint objectives.”Rolf Holmboe, Danish Ambassador to the Republic of Mali
The event’s motto was “Networks for Peaceful Regions”, and in this spirit the conference succeeded in creating an atmosphere of frank and critical exchange which contributed to mutual understanding between the different organisations, on both the political level of the funding ministries as well as on the NGO-level. The hybrid format of the conference moreover allowed to circumvent any travel and availability challenges.
PATRIP is committed to continue offering a platform for this type of exchange between practitioners and further develop its approaches to cross- and close-border interventions based on the suggestions and experiences of its implementing partners on the ground.