Winter 2022/23 Newsletter

Welcome to your monthly roundup of 16+ news and views from the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. If you find this newsletter useful, please pass it on to others working on the SDG16+ targets for peace, justice and inclusion. Subscribe or unsubscribe here — and check out the website.


1. Pathfinders in 2023

We are in a critical year for the SDGs. Beyond a time to reflect, this halfway point to 2030 represents a pivotal opportunity to set higher ambitions amidst a proliferation of crises, to amplify solutions, and to focus on accelerating action and implementation on the SDGs and on SDG16+. In 2022, the Pathfinders continued to advance solutions to pressing issues of global violence, justice, inequality and exclusion by convening forward-looking and solutions-oriented multi-stakeholder dialogues, as well as with new research and analysis. As we look to HLPF and the SDG Summit, as well as the various milestones before them, we will work with our members and partners to make the most of these moments — to inject energy and new ideas into the SDG16+ space, to support commitments and their follow-through, to bring partners together and strengthen multi stakeholder engagement, and to work across communities and coalitions to deliver on SDG16+ and its interlinkages across the SDGs. The work ahead is urgent, and there is no space nor interest for empty rhetoric. With hard-headed optimism and in the spirit of solidarity, we look forward to working with all of you to rise to the real challenges before us as we approach the SDG Summit and this extremely important turning point for the SDGs — with an eye to the Summit of the Future.

2. The latest on SDG16+

The SDG16+ team will continue to work closely with Pathfinder member states and partners in the lead up to HLPF and the SDG Summit to support collective engagement, targeted advocacy, accelerated action, and tangible commitments to advance implementation of SDG16+ as a response to the interconnected crises and challenges facing our world and communities.

On 8 December 2022, the Pathfinders held an expert-level meeting hosted by the Mission of Costa Rica to discuss specific priorities for the upcoming SDG Summit. The meeting provided a space to share plans, think through shared ambitions for the numerous activities and meetings being planned, and strategize for delivery. Focus is decidedly on the SDG Summit and HLPF before it, as well as with an eye to the Summit of the Future in 2024.

This meeting laid the groundwork for the Pathfinders first PR/DPR meeting of the year, hosted by the Mission of South Africa on 1 March. Ambassador Mythen of Ireland spoke in his capacity as co-facilitator of the SDG Summit and its Political Declaration — its ambitions, structure, and preparations. Participants agreed that SDG Summit must inspire and serve as a space for all stakeholders to make and act on ambitious commitments, to deliver on promises of solidarity and showcase solutions, highlighting both the centrality of SDG16+ and the interconnectedness of the SDGs, including through the VNRs. While links to the Summit of the Future and the OCA are clear, the SDG Summit provides a fundamental opportunity to focus on, and “renew our vows” to, the SDGs and the promise of the 2030 Agenda.

Finally, the SDG16+ team continues to play a leading role in the Global SDG16+ Coalition to build energy and accelerate action on national and global delivery on peace, justice, and inclusion. Stay tuned for specific updates on how we plan to advance such work in the weeks and months ahead!

3. The latest on Halving Global Violence

GENSAC Dialogue

In November, the Gender Action Network for Small Arms Control (GENSAC) partnered with the Asociación para Políticas Públicas (APP) and the Latin American Human Security Network (SEHLAC) to sponsor the annual dialogue of Latin America and the Caribbean parliamentarians and experts in small arms in Uruguay. Participants shared information about their legislative proposals and mechanisms of parliamentary control of small arms informed by gender lens.

Peace in Our Cities (PiOC) member recognized in The Lancet

The city of Pelotas, Brazil was highlighted in The Lancet for their successful approach to reducing urban violence. The 2022 UCLG Peace Prize winner, Mayor Óscar Escobar of Palmira (Colombia), attended the roundtable organized by Peace and Security Funders Group and Peace in Our Cities on the ways to mobilize philanthropic investment in urban violence reduction.

GENSAC-Peace in Our Cities (PiOC) Report Launch Event

In December, GENSAC member Madga Coss launched a report titled “Gender responsive arms control in cities” at an event hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, with support from GENSAC and Pathfinders, in Mexico City. Participants discussed the report’s findings and recommendations and agreed on the importance of using a gender lens to reduce gun violence in cities.Mexico’s national television reported on the event.

In case you missed it…:

Urban violence accounts for the overwhelming majority of global violence, affecting cities and population centers around the world. Despite the severity and prevalence of the problem, experience shows that it is not an insurmountable challenge. Read the recent Peace in Our Cities Report which identifies some of the most impactful success stories and outlines best practices for urban violence reduction: Guiding Principles and Inspiring Action: Operationalizing the Resolution to Reduce Urban Violence (report) and recording of the launch event. We are also pleased to share a recent report from both GENSAC and PiOC that outlines the crucial role that gender responsive small arms control in cities (en espanol) can play in violence reduction, launched in an event in Mexico City, co-hosted by the Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Coming up:

  • In April 2023, Peace in Our Cities (PiOC) will host a series of events with partners on the role of the private sector in addressing urban violence, gender-based violence, regional city diplomacy, and violent extremism on the sidelines of the first-ever Cities Summit of the Americas. PiOC will also sponsor the participation of mayors at the Summit.
  • PiOC will host a meeting of urban violence experts and PiOC members in Colombia in late June (Medellin and Palmira) to learn about their violence reduction efforts and check-in on members’ progress towards 50% violence reduction by 2030.
  • GENSAC anticipates hosting its second annual conference for members and partners in 2023.

4. The latest on Justice for All

Pictured: Shahid Korjie (Justice Sector Coordination Office, Sierra Leone), Eleanor Thompson (Namati), Atieno Odhiambo (Legal Empowerment Fund), Annette Mbogoh (ACE-AJ), Justice (Dr.) Joseph Sergon (The Judiciary of Kenya)

OGP Africa and Middle East Regional Meeting

Pathfinders’ Justice for All program hosted a panel discussion at the OGP Africa and the Middle East Regional Meeting on November 2nd 2022. Focusing on people-centered justice and role of community-based paralegals, the panel brought together representatives from Namati, the Legal Empowerment Fund, the African Center of Excellence for Access to Justice and the Government of Sierra Leone.

The Summit for Democracy

The Summit for Democracy Rule of Law and People-Centered Justice cohort was launched on December 16th, 2022. The cohort is led by the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Kosovo, together with civil society leads: Pathfinders, World Justice Project, ABA ROLI, and Transparency International.

Third Donor Dialogue

On December 13th 2022, the Justice for All program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands and ODI, hosted a roundtable discussion that brought together 17 participants from 10 donor agencies. The third roundtable, in a series of five, explored the role of customary and informal justice in advancing SDG16.3, common challenges donors face, and ways to overcome them.

Justice for Refugees

On February 1st, the Justice for All program and Humanitarian Crises program at CIC co-organized an event with UNHCR, UNDP, and HiiL, hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN and co-sponsored by the Missions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Colombia. The event convened leaders and policy-makers from the justice and humanitarian sectors, and shed light on the importance of collecting data on the justice needs of displaced populations, explored gaps and challenges in knowledge and practice, and identified ways to translate evidence into action.

In case you missed it…:

We recently published a SDG16+ Champions of Change interview, featuring Ann Skelton and Karabo Ozah, of South Africa’s Centre for Child Law and a guest blog, that summarizes lessons learned from an Impunity Watch and INOVAS report on meaningful reparations processes, their impact on survivors of human rights abuses, and obstacles in designing and implementing them.

Coming up:

  • In March, the Justice for All program together with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Legal Development Network (LDN) will host an event on victim-centered people-centered justice during an ongoing war. The event will bring together local and international actors to discuss justice needs facing Ukrainians, both in country and abroad. It will also look more closely at the international funding mechanisms, commissions, and oversight bodies focused on supporting Ukraine in an effort to identify how support for everyday justice needs can be integrated in these platforms’ agendas.
  • During the second Summit for Democracy, the Pathfinders together with its civil society co-leads will support the Rule of Law and People-Centered Justice Cohort in announcing a Joint Statement and a Call to Action on People-Centered Justice and Democracy.
  • A virtual senior level meeting of the Justice Action Coalition will be held on the sidelines of the Summit of the Democracy in late March, and will prepare for the ministerial meeting of the Coalition, to be held in July.
  • The Justice for All program and CIC’s Humanitarian Crises programs will organize an event on Colombia’s people-centered migration policy, and the challenges around securing adequate international support for this unprecedented effort. Stay tuned for more details!

5. The latest on Inequality & Exclusion

The inaugural meeting of the Alliance for Action on Inequality and Division (AAID) took place in October, 2022, on the sidelines of the IFI Annual Meetings in Washington, DC. Attendees included ministers and senior representatives from 7 countries as well as leaders of multilateral, international, and civil society organizations, who discussed the importance of a cross-country, multistakeholder platform to collectively address the emerging feedback loop between crisis and inequality, and tackle increased divisions both within and between nations. In 2023, the AAID will jointly advocate for urgent action to support countries’ efforts to tackle inequality at home and international reforms to ensure the multilateral system can more effectively respond to existing and future crises, including the rising cost of living, food insecurity, and climate change.

In case you missed it…:

Learn about our partnership with the Sierra Leone Urban Research Center and IIED to promote inclusive urban development by tackling housing inequality in Sierra Leone. As COP27 took place, Senior Program Officer Roshni Menon asked, “Are we finally closing the climate finance gap?

Coming up:

[In-person] Monday March 6, 4:45pm — Join Morocco, UN ESCWA, and Pathfinders at the official CSW side event, “The Role of Care Economy in Tacking Obstacles to Women’s Economic Participation in the Arab Region in digital age.” The discussion will highlight the role of the care economy in advancing the economic participation of women and girls. The event will take place in the UN Headquarters, Conference Room B.

[“Solidarity in Action” Webinar Series: Countering Divisive Narratives] Inclusive narratives are key to countering increasingly popular discourses of division and prejudice that seek to divide and distract citizens, hindering progress on equality legislation such as higher taxes on the rich or greater investment in childcare. Join us for a series of conversations about how divisive narratives are hindering progress on the fight against inequality and exclusion, and how we can build narratives of solidarity that can advance inclusive and equitable societies. The series includes:

  • Solidarity in Action: Countering Anti-Feminist Movements Across the World,”- Monday March 13, 8:30am ET. The discussion will explore recent trends against gender equality, and the ways in which policymakers and civil society are successfully countering discourses of division and prejudice, to build solidarity and resist anti-feminist movements that threaten our path towards gender equality and social justice.
  • “Solidarity in Action: Recognizing Unity in the Achievement of Racial Justice” (Late March, date TBD)
  • “Solidarity in Action: Changing the Migration Narrative to Fight Prejudice and Division” (April, date TBD)

6. Welcoming new team members

We’re pleased to introduce two new additions to the Pathfinders team!

Daniel Friedman joins the Pathfinders as Program Director for Halving Global Violence.

Previously, Daniel worked on a range of violence prevention and international development efforts with the United States government. This experience included nearly a decade with the Department of State’s Bureau for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, where he helped manage US government efforts to promote peace, prevent conflict, and reduce violence in more than a dozen countries worldwide.

Most recently, Daniel served as Managing Director for External and Government Affairs at the Inter-American Foundation, an independent US government agency that advances grassroots development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Laura Ospina is the newest member of the Justice for All team.

Based mostly in Bogotá, she has supported a series of development projects (with USAID, UNDP, INL, SIDA, GIZ) as well policy design and implementation initiatives in Colombia, Rwanda, Guatemala, Ghana, and Moldova, focusing mainly on: strengthening locally-based formal, non-formal and community justice initiatives for vulnerable communities, capacity building of public sector officials to provide more effective, efficient, citizen and gender-oriented justice services, as well as supporting local capacities and empowerment of armed conflict victims.

Prior to joining Pathfinders, Laura worked with USAID’s Justice for a Sustainable Peace Program and Inclusive Justice Activity in Colombia, leading both Programs advocacy efforts to strengthen local justice initiatives (ie. Justice Houses) and the improvement and consolidation of ADR mechanisms in rural and dispersed municipalities.

What we’re reading

  1. Report: Reparations as a catalytic power to change victims’ and survivors’ lives: Perspectives and contributions from the grassroots level (Impunity Watch, INOVAS)
  2. Report: SDG 16 Data Initiative Report 2022 — Are we on track to meeting the 2030 agenda? (IDEA)
  3. Report: Justice Matters: A Status Report on Afghanistan Since the Taliban Takeover (ILAC)
  4. Research: Effects of the Pelotas (Brazil) Peace Pact on violence and crime: a synthetic control analysis (The Lancet)
  5. Research: Peacebuilding With Durable Solutions for Darfur’s Displaced At The Core: Insights From Eight Localities (UNHCR, UNDP, UN-Habitat, UNICEF, IOM, FAO)
  6. Report: Justice Needs and Satisfaction of IDPs and Host Communities in Burkina Faso (HiiL)
  7. Article: Reimagining justice: Accelerating justice for women and justice for all (UN Women)
  8. Article: Armies are re-learning how to fight in cities (The Economist)
  9. Report: Survival of the Richest: How we must tax the super-rich now to fight inequality (Oxfam)
  10. Podcast: Using Supervised Non-lawyers to Provide Limited-Scope Legal Assistance (LSC)