Background: Nigeria is infamous for violent conflict which has retarded it growth and development. Deep socio-political divisions and sharp differences have been blamed for the insecurity. Gaining democratic governance in 1999, a new commitment was forged to promote peace and development. The Olusegun Obasanjo administration established the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) in 2000 with the mandate to carry out research into the causes of violent conflict and to promote peacebuilding and conflict prevention. From its outcomes, it is expected to offer the government with relevant policy and practice options.
Objectives: To uncover the kinds of conflict IPCR was designed and implemented for, and understand its programme impact.
To explore opportunities and emerging best practices in peacebuilding and draw out lessons for other African nations.
Methods:The study conducted desktop reviews of literature, programme records and reports, past evaluations and surveys were conducted. A mixed method of qualitative and quantitative research was adopted to gather, analyse and report interview and survey data.
Results: IPCR had demonstrated institutional strength in programme planning and management.
Corruption, impunity, human rights abuses, indiscipline and intolerance are driving cycles of violence in Nigeria
There was strong evidence to suggest IPCR’s contribution to peace was in a short-term. 80% of respondents was of the view that IPCR has to scale up its programmes and be supported to make impact in a long-term.
Need to trickle down peacebuilding gains and integrate community networks.
Theories of change should be implicitly drawn into its programme logic models.
African countries should institutionalise peace building to countering violent extremism of any form.
Conclusions: Taking the evidence into account, IPCR has contributed to the promotion of peace building in Nigeria. However, to offer relevant policy recommendations and effectively reduce the spate of conflict in Nigeria, IPCR must deepen and expand its intervention to include the community stakeholders and be transformed into a Peace Commission.