Peaceful societies are centred around relationships, better institutions and structures. As a trusted convenor, our programmes build connections between people, creating relationships centred around trust and understanding. They seek to foster a culture of open and inclusive dialogue, in place of violence, and give young people the skills to influence decision-makers and address issues and inequalities that support cohesion. Through supporting countries with education system reform, we are also helping to equip young people with the skills they need for a prosperous future. More effective and legitimate education institutions providing quality public education can also reduce violence, overcome social divisions and improve relations between citizen and state. Community-led cultural activities foster dialogue and connection to build trust and understanding for more peaceful societies.

Examples of British Council programmes which contribute to Goal 16:

Case study: Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN)

SDG 16 - Peace, contributing also to SDG 4 – Education, SDG 5 – Gender, SDG 10 – Equity and SDG 17 – Partnership.

The 21m EUR Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) project is funded by the EU. The project promotes the meaningful participation of women, youth and people with disability in peacebuilding, as well as addressing barriers to participation including the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The project works with civil society platforms to influence Federal and State level legislation.

MCN is implemented in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States, all of which have been seriously affected by the protracted insurgency in northeast Nigeria and other forms of extreme violence. The project promoted the participation of women and girls in all supported dialogue platforms, early warning platforms, peace forums and campaigns and policy dialogues. This resulted in an enhanced level of participation by women in peacebuilding initiatives, recording 21% female involvement in 141 platforms and community groups (a 12 percentage-point increase on the baseline).

Against the traditional norms of seclusion of women and girls, the project engaged with traditional authorities to approve training on alternative dispute resolution for female community and religious leaders and wives of community leaders who are also engaged in provision of dispute resolution services in communities.

In addition, 50% of research studies commissioned by MCN were focussed on themes around women, peace, and security.

Finally, the project trained and provided grants to 162 women’s associations to promote peacebuilding efforts in their communities. One of the peace initiatives resolved a longstanding polarisation of a community along religious lines.