Northeast Connection’s solutions-based approach uses a range of activities to address and prevent social conflicts in some of Nigeria’s most vulnerable communities.
Residents in Nigeria’s northeastern states face a host of challenges – from poverty to violent extremist organizations like Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa – that continuously block their path to peace, inclusion and economic prosperity.
With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and in close collaboration with grassroots organizations, the Northeast Connection program takes a preventative and holistic approach to addressing the causes of violent conflict in the region.
By targeting localities that are vulnerable to violent extremist infiltration and conflict, but not yet under their influence, the Northeast Connection program will strengthen community resilience by improving their ability to respond to emerging threats. This program aims to mitigate the grievances that may erode social cohesion within and across communities in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, and ultimately create a stronger foundation against violent extremist threats and other conflicts.
Northeast Connection’s solutions-based approach uses a range of activities, including the increased involvement of youth in their communities through inter-community exchanges, leadership roles and efforts to address their sense of marginalization, as well as promoting positive roles for them in the community. In the same vein, the program will actively engage internally displaced persons, persons with disabilities and cultural minorities, among others, to increase their social bonds.
Recognizing women as key interlocutors in building community resilience to violent extremist organizations’ influence and infiltration, Northeast Connection will design specific programs to equip women to become vocal, positive leaders for peace and advancement. In addition, the program seeks to help women to develop skills and obtain leadership roles to support survivors of violence and identify people at risk of recruitment into violent extremist organizations.
The project seeks to build effective working relationships between the Nigerian government at both the state and local levels and communities through a variety of activities, including forums and platforms that promote dialogue and access to government operations, such as providing input into governments’ development and social welfare activities or collaborating with state and national assembly representatives.
The Northeast Connection program will develop opportunities for engagement between communities and security providers that build constructive relationships and productive civilian roles in managing security, working collaboratively in peace and security, early warning and early response efforts.