This paper analyzes how community dispute resolution interventions offer a promising alternative to typical donor statebuilding and peacebuilding interventions. Resolving local disputes in this manner is generally more accessible, legitimate, and cheaper than formal courts in many developing and conflict-affected countries. The paper provides a bird’s-eye view of the Foundation’s thinking and practice in community dispute resolution in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. In doing so, it looks at how a program may (or may not) contribute to three different objectives: access to justice, improving social relations, and conflict reduction. The paper uses the Foundation’s experience to reflect on what can be achieved, and what ways of working are most effective. It also offers critical reflections for practitioners. This is the ninth paper in the Working Politically in Practice paper series.
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