Capacity building activities targeting marginalised groups require greater financial resources from donors.
Peacebuilding and capacity building activities are expensive to undertake. At present, much of the global budget for this endeavour is spent on ‘public sector policy and administrative management’ (31.7%), ‘legal and judicial development’ (16.1%), or ‘civilian peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution’ (12.3%) – in contrast just 1.2% is spent on women’s organisations, and a mere 0.2% is spent on children, specifically the prevention and demobilisation of child soldiers. Per above, marginalised groups are excluded from peacebuilding, which means that these groups are less likely to be included in the activities upon which the most financial resources are allocated; this also means that there is a large resource in the form of marginalised groups’ knowledge that is currently under-used in peacebuilding.
While peacebuilding and capacity building exercises are known to be expensive, they are considerably cheaper financially than their opportunity cost (conflict): ‘if countries currently in conflict increased or received levels of peacebuilding funding to appropriate levels … then for every dollar invested now, the cost of conflict would be reduced by $16 over the long run’.
At present, some groups are excluded from mainstream peacebuilding activities, and are allocated a very small percentage of resources specifically for them. Therefore, increased spending on activities for marginalised groups should be seen as a sound investment in the concept and practice of sustainable peace. Further, capacity building measures, which enable local people to do more for themselves, are intended to be long-term and ideally self-sustaining, meaning that in the longer-term they are more cost-effective than interventions that do not strengthen local capacities.
More financial resources should be specifically purposed to achieve the inclusion of marginalised groups. Marginalised groups should receive their own training whilst simultaneously being mainstreamed into ‘regular’ peacebuilding to allow them to increase confidence and capacity in a comfortable setting.