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Supporting Local Ownership

Local ownership of peace processes after conflict is detrimental to their success. Communities are more likely to support initiatives that they themselves are involved in, lending legitimacy to both formal and informal transitional justice mechanisms. In addition, empowering communities means that root causes of violence are more likely to be addressed, leading to longer-term stability and peace. For this reason, GIJTR has supported over 460 grassroots projects that strengthen truth and reconciliation efforts in communities around the world.



Supporting Grassroots Organizations through Small Grants

Central to GIJTR’s work is building capacities and laying the groundwork for community-wide participation in both formal and community-based transitional justice processes. This publication highlights the work of local organizations and activists who have received small grants to design and implement community-based interventions. Sub-grants provide a vital means for local partners to put into practice skills and knowledge gained through GIJTR programming while also providing a foundation to develop longer-term projects related to truth-telling, reconciliation, memorialization, forensics analysis, and victims’ advocacy.

A Guide for Practitioners

Strengthening Participation in Local-Level and National Transitional Justice Processes

GIJTR developed this toolkit in response to a dearth of resources examining the interaction between local-level and national transitional justice processes and the ability of local-level transitional justice processes, in particular, to foster victim and community participation. The publication provides available typologies, frameworks, and lessons learned in relation to participation in both local-level and nationwide processes. In doing so, it looks in-depth at how local-level processes may enhance victims’ participation and interact with national, state-led initiatives.

Samples of GIJTR's Sub-Grants in Action

A participant from GIJTR's Media and Transitional Justice Academy in Sudan produced “TRACE,” a documentary that shares the stories of enforced disappearances of demonstrators following the October 25, 2021 coup. GIJTR has been working on the ground in Sudan since January 2020 to strengthen local efforts to document human rights violations there.
Nana-Jo Ndow, Founder of ANEKED, a Gambian victims' organization, memorializes her father Saul Ndow, who was forcibly disappeared by the Jammeh regime. Working with GIJTR, ANEKED created the groundbreaking public exhibit shown here to center survivors' stories, expose the truth, and rebuild trust in the community. Photo credit: Jason Florio
GIJTR trained and equipped representatives from local organizations across rural Colombia to produce a community-led podcast series that ensures the stories of marginalized victims and survivors of the armed conflict are heard.
GIJTR supported Fantanka, a local civil society organization in The Gambia, to document the stories of forcibly displaced individuals, helping to center migrants' voices, which are so often marginalized, in the country's transitional justice process.
GIJTR partnered with Act for the Disappeared, a Site of Conscience in Lebanon, to explore how civil society organizations and communities in Lebanon commemorate the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). This case study was developed under GIJTR’s Mapping Commemorative Cultures project, which compares official narratives with more informal commemorative practices embraced by communities.
GIJTR supported CONAREG, a local civil society organization in Guinea, to develop a music video that talks about the struggle of people in Guinea to achieve justice and reconciliation. This was one sub-grant project among many designed to inform communities about transitional justice, and advocate for truth and justice in the country more generally.

Through the small grant project, we developed a trusting relationship with communities and victims. We were therefore able to use the same methodology to consult victims on what forms of reparations and reconciliation mechanisms will work for them and get suggestions and recommendations on how to promote social cohesion and healing. This allowed us to conduct these follow-up projects and gather new information from communities adopting a community-led approach.

GIJTR Local Partner

The Gambia

Local Ownership Yields Lasting Change

Executive Director Elizabeth Silkes shares GIJTR's transformative approach to survivors, storytelling, and sustainability.

The Path to Sustainability

For more information, or to get involved, please contact GIJTR's Senior Program Director Ereshnee Naidu at