The Joint Learning Initiative East Africa Hub on Peace building, Governance and Humanitarianism by Local Faith Actors was officially launched on 29th April 2022 in Nairobi. The hub will be a crucial platform to enhance collaboration on planning, production and dissemination of research in the region.
The launch brought together participants from Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya drawn from faith actors, civil society practitioners and academia. This came after a 6 months hub incubation period characterized with sessions of evidence mapping, contextual reflections and several country listening dialogues.
Speaking during the event, Professor Fredrick Ogenga from Rongo University, observed that, “The hub is an important forum to enable knowledge discovery and knowledge sharing to inform practice in the region.”
According to the Joint Learning Initiative (JLI) Regional Coordinator, Ms Sadia Kidwai, the hub is set to be a transdisciplinary collective learning space where researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and local faith actors would collaboratively address research gaps in the region, conduct original research, as well as share best practices and evidence from their experiences.
“JLI is renewing a process to confront asymmetries of power in its research, joint learning and partnerships. We aim to increase participation and shift more power towards local movements and local faith communities,” she said.
Establishment of the East Africa Learning Hub is part of JLI’s approach to create more fair and equitable research and learning partnerships. Building on its rich network of global research partnerships and learning communities, JLI continues to develop existing collaboration with development, humanitarian and peacebuilding actors from the global south, shifting more power and visibility to the stories and voices of local faith actors, and investing in context-driven learning communities at local, national, and regional levels.
In his presentation, the Hub’s co-chair Mr. John Okanga, revealed that initial listening dialogues held with civil society members in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, had uncovered some interesting issues that need urgent attention. Top among them was the need for proper documentation of local community voices on peace building, governance and humanitarianism. Participants were of the view that, despite local faith actors having been involved in numerous peacebuilding and governance activities with great significance, there exists very little documentation or evidence about their contributions. Furthermore, participants revealed that there is a minimal collaboration or coordination between faith actors, academia and civil society actors. Participants were therefore of the view that there is need for further evidence mapping to define these relations and existential gaps in research for informed policy making.
The launch of the East Africa Learning Hub therefore sets the stage for continued interaction in the region, which is currently characterized by frequent conflicts between communities and weakening governance systems.
If you wish to stay updated on the JLI East Africa Hub activities, sign up today by clicking on this link. www.Jliflc.com .