Soapbox: The challenge to keep the peace process flowing forward

Peter Osborne is chair of the Community Relations Council and a member of the Peace Monitoring Report advisory group. He can be followed on Twitter at @OsborneTweets. The latest Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report [PDF] speaks into a space that hasn’t been as uncertain in a generation. While there were two steps forward and only one step back, a sense of confidence, hope and ambition defined the process; and confidence empowered progress no matter how slow at times. In recent … Read more

Is time the only consistent factor in post-conflict reconciliation?

In the course of a recent conversation, the statement was made that while international studies can point to many policies and initiatives that failed to lead to increased levels of reconciliation, few if any studies cite examples of practices or policies that can be shown to have successfully accelerated reconciliation. Whether on the back of a family dispute, a church split, or communities driven apart through forty years of conflict (and hundreds of years of debated history before that), the … Read more

NI Peace Monitoring Report – continuing gaps in educational achievement, life expectancy & the cost of NI’s stuttering peace process

The third annual Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report was released this morning. Part statistical almanac, part annual report card, it has been compiled for the last three years by Dr Paul Nolan. At times the report acts like a common man’s conscience, calling out where the naked emperors are hiding under the policy carpet in Northern Ireland. The advantage of a longitudinal study over simple snapshots is that it can show sustained trends – or continually fluctuating metrics – allowing … Read more

Peaceniks should be enhancing diversity not trying to make it disappear…

Interesting piece from Brian Feeney in yesterday’s Irish News on the Community Relations Council’s Peace Monitoring report (see Alan’s post here, and Chris’s follow up here). Let’s just say, he’s not impressed: Look there isn’t going to be cohesion or integration. If there were, then we wouldn’t be talking about a politico-ethnic conflict. What the executive needs to be doing is addressing sectarianism and that doesn’t mean abolishing diversity as the Alliance party wants or trying to wish away the … Read more

Poverty, deprivation, identity and voting, a desire for integration, and who funds peace building?

As posted earlier, the Community Relations Council’s first Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report was published today. It includes a handy reminder of the main moments since 1974 when ‘the hand of history’ has been on the peace process as well as an overview of the demography of Northern Ireland and a profile of its workforce. Amongst population figures, communal identity breakdown charts and graphs of productivity and living standards, one table explains that compared to the UK as a whole, … Read more

Painting a picture of the peace process by numbers – CRC’s NI Peace Monitoring Report

Almost £100m a year has been granted for peace-building in Northern Ireland and the six border counties of the Republic since 1987. The number of incidents of paramilitary violence decreased between 2010 and 2011. The PSNI clearance rate for crimes such as paramilitary assaults/punishment beatings in 2011 was only 4%. Northern Ireland has the highest percentage of adults of working age in the UK with no educational qualifications: 20%, compared with 10% of the UK as a whole. The overwhelming … Read more