Intercultural dialogue is essential for advancing inclusive peacebuilding goals, but its effectiveness will remain constrained until more is understood about the conditions under which it thrives. This was the message shared by UNESCO during a panel discussion on New Measures of Inclusive Peacebuilding, co-organised by UNESCO, the Institute of Economics and Peace, and Interpeace, as part of the Geneva Peace Week, on 9 November 2018 in the Palais des Nations.
Understanding the enabling environment for effective intercultural dialogue is the objective of an ambitious new initiative being undertaken by UNESCO, in partnership with the Institute of Economics and Peace. It aims to address the deficit of practice-relevant data on intercultural dialogue, identified by Member States in the 2017 UNESCO Member State Survey on Intercultural Dialogue, in doing so providing insights which can support efforts to enhance the effectiveness of dialogue processes on the ground.
Eight enabling domains have been preliminarily identified in a scoping study commissioned by UNESCO for this initiative, and these, along with the 26 indicators tentatively identified to measure them, will be examined for their applicability and comprehensiveness at an interdisciplinary expert meeting in early December 2018. As was stressed across the interventions during the panel discussion in Geneva, it is the types of insights gained from this data that can help policy-makers to shape spaces for dialogue to occur, as well as providing the knowledge for local-actors to zoom-in on what approaches work and under which conditions.
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