Podcast on PAR Peacebuilding in Colombia

In this episode of AR+ Yes/And podcast, ARJ Associate Editor Felix (Skip) Bivens interviews Laura Leiva and Leidy Munoz.

Listen here!

The conversation focused on their collaboration in a two-year youth-led participatory action research (PAR) peacebuilding project funded by the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP). Skip has been a member of the core project team from its initial design and continues to work directly with the program and other related youth peace and security (YPS) programs.

The context for the project is the continuing conflict and challenges facing Colombia after twenty years of civil war. Peace accords were signed in 2016, but the road to implementation has been long, complex and remains ongoing.

The conversation explores PAR as a set of tools to support dialogue within and across conflict-affected communities.

During the first year, the project participants developed participatory research skills by engaging in a coordinated research inquiry encompassing nine different departments/states in various regions of the country. Findings were shared in a co-authored report as well as through multiple finding-sharing events at local and national level. The second year will focus on the youth participants transitioning from researchers to research facilitators. Each will facilitate extended PAR inquires designed by youth in their home communities.

The final part of the podcast includes Laura and Leidy’s personal and professional reflections on the challenges and accomplishments mid-way through the project. Noting the co-generative aspects of facilitating PAR, Laura notes, “We let go – they came up with the [research] question and we led the process by supporting and guiding participants. it was challenging and gratifying.”

The video version of the podcast

More reading: background on PAR Peacebuilding Project Columbia

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