Using "Peace Rings" to curb conflict and improve livelihoods

 Crisis Prevention and Recovery
Dennis Obote (left) sharing his peace building and conflict management experiences with NUERP Peace Facilitator, Acak Paul, at his home, Bar Lwala village, Arwotngo parish Okwang sub-county, Otuke District, during a monitoring visit in December 2011. Photo: UNDP-Uganda

Dennis Obote may not have gone to law school but he considers himself a peace advocate. In the last year alone, Dennis has overseen the successful resolution of over 20 disputes relating to domestic violence, land wrangles among others in Otuke district, in the North of Uganda.

He is one of several young “peace ring” members, trained in peace-building and conflict resolution under the Northern Uganda Early Recovery Project. The scheme is implemented by UNDP, the World health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) with USD 3.8 million from the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, 90 percent of it from the Government of Japan.

Key Highlights

  • The project was implemented by UNDP, the World health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) with USD 3.8 million from the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, 90 percent of it from the Government of Japan.
  • Between 2009 and 2012, the programme resolved 2,288 community conflicts through a 1,090-strong network of peace ring leaders.
  • Through supporting village savings associations, the programme also helped 3,335 people start small businesses.
  • 12,578 farmers, half of them women, were trained on improved farming techniques and practices as well as given access to seeds and fertilizers.

The programme aims to facilitate resettlement and recovery in Lango, a sub-region affected by the presence of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). With the end of the LRA’s insurgency in that area in 2006, many families returned home, facing disputes over land and property.

Between 2009 and 2012, the programme resolved 2,288 community conflicts through a 1,090-strong network of peace ring leaders. By supporting village savings associations, the programme also helped 3,335 people start small businesses, increase their farming acreage, take care of medical emergencies or pay school fees.

A total of 12,578 farmers, half of them women, were trained on improved farming techniques and practices as well as given access to seeds and fertilizers. The project enabled the beneficiary households to increase their farm size and produce sufficient food to eat, sell, or store for replanting.


Many women in Northern Uganda have joined Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) which have helped them start small businesses, and enabled them to live quality lives and take better care of their families.Members of a Peace Ring in Oyam district, in Northern Uganda, one of the alternative justice mechanisms that are helping to resolve conflicts in communities in Northern Uganda.Residents of Tetugu village in Gulu district, in Northern Uganda, at a Baraza (community meeting). UNDP works has been supporting the Justice Law Society to educate communities about their rights, enabling them to resolve conflicts and to demand for better service delivery.A community dialogue meeting in one of the villages in Lango, in Northern Uganda.A group of farmers from the Amido Farmers Group clean the weeds on a NERICA rice field in Odoko.Photo: FAO/Walter AstradaPeace Ring members a wait for a meeting at Iceme Sub county in Lango sub-county, in Northern Uganda.