On August 1st, 2023, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) held a National Strategic Stakeholders Engagement Workshop in FCT Abuja, aimed at establishing an Effective Early Warning Early Response System in Nigeria.
The workshop, jointly organised by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), with the valuable support of USAID, Mercy Corps Nigeria, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Nigeria, and other esteemed partners, aimed at addressing the pressing need for a proactive approach to conflict resolution and peacebuilding in Nigeria.
During the workshop, participants identified key challenges in the current early warning early response system, which included gaps between early warning and early response, lack of coordination among security agencies, absence of national policies on early warning and response, inadequate training of personnel, insufficient funding, mistrust between certain communities and security agencies, lack of gender-sensitive indicators in early warning, and limited technology adoption in crises-prone rural communities.
To improve the system’s effectiveness, participants proposed several resolutions and action points, including establishing early response warning teams across the country, extending discussions to the sub-national level, promoting local ownership and community-based reporting, integrating tactical and strategic early warning approaches, and addressing structural violence factors.
In response to the workshop’s outcomes, the Director General of IPCR, Dr Joseph Ochogwu, inaugurated the National Conflict Early Warning Response Group (EWRG), which will play a pivotal role in coordinating and ensuring effective responses to early warning reports across Nigeria, with a specific focus on the PARTNER programme states.
The chairman of the event, Brigadier General Saleh Bala (Rtd), the coordinator of WANEP, Bridget Osakwe, and other participants expressed their commitment to implementing the proposed resolutions and action points and pledged to work collaboratively to strengthen Nigeria’s early warning early response system for sustainable peace and stability.
The PARTNER Consortium members extended their gratitude to all stakeholders, speakers, and participants for their active engagement and valuable contributions during the workshop, fostering optimism for building a safer and more peaceful Nigeria.
Other notable personalities at the workshop include the DG of the Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE), Chris Ngwodo, Executive Director of NEEM Foundation, Fatima Akilu, who delivered the keynote address, and many other dignitaries.