The Co-inspira program in Colombia focuses on public participation in building peace in conflict-affected territories. It unites local communities, government actors, and social leaders to work together to develop and implement peacebuilding initiatives tailored to the area’s needs. The program is focused on collaborative efforts for sustainable peacebuilding initiatives in Cauca.

Location: Colombia, South America

The Cauca region in Colombia has been held in a complex and protracted history of armed conflict involving armed guerilla groups, paramilitary and criminal groups, and government forces. This conflict has been kept alive by disputes over land access, persistent inequalities between groups, and the illegal drug trade, leading to prolonged violence, displacement, targeted assassinations and human rights violations. Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities have often been disproportionately impacted by this legacy of conflict, and struggle to protect their lands, rights, and cultural heritage. Emerging from the ongoing conflict in Cauca, Colombia, the Co-inspira peacebuilding initiative is a direct response to the multifaceted difficulties faced by the region’s local communities.


  • Colombia Co-Inspira
  • + 350 life stories collected from people in 12 municipalities in the department of Cauca, Colombia 
  • Eight action research groups formed with theories of change and action plans derived from the analysis of these life stories, 
  • 24 locally-led peacebuilding actions to advance women’s leadership, youth empowerment, protection of water and environmental resources, strengthening of civil society organisations, and local entrepreneurship
  • Scaling up of these initiatives for institutional change via social mobilisation and political advocacy
  • Ongoing processes to document outcomes from these peacebuilding initiatives using photovoice and outcome harvesting methodology


The Co-inspira program aims to build peace through a collaborative, grassroots-driven approach. Employing a systemic action research framework, the program seeks to comprehend complex problems through a systemic lens. This approach has been divided into seven phases:

  1. Identification of peacebuilders
  2. Collection of life stories
  3. Systemic analysis
  4. Development of theories of change and action plans
  5. Facilitation and action research training
  6. Action research cycles focused on peacebuilding intervention
  7. Socio networking to scale impact and transform power

The program is currently at phase six of this life cycle and further results on phase seven will be reported on within the next year (2024).