The In Transformation Initiative works with political leaders, civil society organisations, NGOs, and governments around the world to advance the causes of peace, democracy, and social cohesion. Below are brief descriptions of our engagements and partnerships.
In Bahrain, ITI has worked in conjunction with Beyond Conflict (our partner since 2013) to open avenues of dialogue between opposition groups and the government. Our efforts have included engagement with a number of political societies to ensure that all relevant stakeholders can contribute towards the strengthening of democracy in Bahrain.
ITI also coordinated several significant exchanges for Bahraini business, political, and youth leaders. Key among these are visits to South Africa and Turkey to observe democratic institutions, and a strategic planning session in Scotland to explore opportunities for increased involvement of youth in Bahraini politics.
In 2014, ITI acted on a request from the Mayor of Medellín to help the city prepare for the potential impacts of a national peace settlement. If the peace process was successful, Medellín would receive a massive influx of displaced and returning people.
For Medellín and its new Chief Resilience Officer, a national triumph could cause local headaches. What would it mean at local levels to have peace settlement? How could it impact urban environments?
Through secure funding, ITI brought a high-level delegation of both national government as well as city officials and senior advisers to South Africa to examine South Africa’s transitional justice processes, national peacemaking process, and peace accord structures. This visit allowed national government departments and also Medellín’s leaders to explore ways to adapt the South African model to their own local-level issues.
A series of return visits from South Africans to Colombia have augmented this experience. During these visits, ITI has shared South Africa’s success with restorative justice rather than retributive; the constitutional legal process of setting up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and a further exploration of potential relationships/partnerships whereby the South African experience can be used to support peace-building in Colombia.
During the lead-up to the eventual re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, ITI was in position to deliver messages between and provide an independent channel of communication for key Cuban stakeholders, religious leaders, and the US government.
On request from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ITI was called upon to inject creative thinking into a peace process that has started and stalled for the past 40 years. ITI met with a full range of political leadership from Greek and Turkish Cyprus, and shared the South African peacemaking process with political actors and the chief peace negotiators.
Later, ITI hosted negotiators from both sides on joint trip to South Africa to introduce them to several of the lead negotiators who played key roles in the ending of apartheid and the creation of a democratic South Africa.
Democratic Republic of Congo
ITI works with leaders in eastern DRC to create dialogue between opposing factions and to find a way forward for a region that has experienced decades of conflict.
After elections in January 2014, and as part of the SADC roadmap for Madagascar, ITI was engaged to generate ideas for a process of national reconciliation to the newly elected president.
ITI delegations made several visits to Madagascar in collaboration with the South African Embassy, which is supporting efforts to assist a programme of national dialogue and reconciliation, led by the president. This included a proposal on a dialogue among all the former presidents of the country and the national convention of all civil society organisations to consider a process of national reconciliation.
In collaboration with UK-based Inter-Mediate, ITI made several visits to Myanmar to meet with military factions and ethnic minority groups, as well as with government and political parties, to discuss the commitment and promotion of a cease fire in the long-standing conflict.
ITI also brought a delegation of senior military generals to South Africa to learn from South Africans about the integration and reform actions that were conducted during South Africa’s transformation.
In Somalia, ITI works in collaboration with our Norwegian partner, the Nordic International Support Foundation (NIS), to advise the key ministers responsible for the constitution-making process. Through a series of ongoing engagements, ITI and NIS are advising on options of the possible creation of an all-inclusive structure that can assist the writing and finalization of a new constitution so that it is owned and accepted by all Somalis.
ITI remains committed to the advancement of peace and democracy in our home country. In South Africa, ITI supports national and local-level dialogue as a vehicle for solving conflicts.
In 2014 as well as 2015, ITI organised a convening of members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Land Reform, and commercial and emerging farmers to open channels of communication and enhance trust among all stakeholders.
ITI often works with South African academic institutions and NGOs to promote social cohesion and equality in an effort to reduce social strife.
In addition, ITI principals and partners continue to develop research papers and publish accounts of the evolution of the South African transition from our truly unique perspectives.
ITI’s directors have been involved in Sri Lanka’s transformation for nearly 15 years, working with various leaders to find a political solutions to the island nation’s ethnic conflict.
Over the years, ITI has hosted several delegations from Sri Lanka to visit South Africa and to learn directly from the individuals and organisations that were deeply involved in South Africa’s transformation process.
ITI’s focus in Sri Lanka has been on transitional justice, engagement with the Tamil diaspora, and promotion of dialogue between young political leaders in an effort to support a new generation of Sri Lankan politicians.
ITI has responded on requests from several Zimbabwean civil society and political formations to build awareness in South Africa of the political landscape in Zimbabwe. As an independent operator, ITI is able to open channels of communication and opportunities between and for the political, civil society, and business organisations on both sides of the border.