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Manuals | August 7, 2017

The Ties That Bind

Building Social Cohesion in Divided Communities


This guide was born from a need to share learning from our experience in Central African Republic (CAR) from 2013–2015. During this turbulent period, CAR experienced unprecedented violence and brutality between the Seleka (Alliance) and the Anti-Balaka (Anti-Machete) militias. At the invitation of Muslim and Christian religious leaders, CRS trained more than 1,000 government, civil society, and private sector leaders in social cohesion principles and techniques, and equipped them with tools they could use in their workplaces and communities. This guide innovatively combines the 4Ds of Appreciative Inquiry ("Discover, Dream, Design and Deliver") with CRS’ 3Bs peacebuilding methodology ("Binding, Bonding and Bridging"). The result is a powerful approach for use within a people-to-people peacebuilding framework. Donors, host countries, and implementing partners who want to strengthen vertical and horizontal social cohesion, especially in fragile states, will profit from this guide. Each module offers detailed guidance on objectives, timing, steps, tools and notes for the trainer.

Tool 0: Examples of ways to envision social cohesion from CAR (PowerPoint, 1 slide)

Tool 1: Sample of warm-up activities for participants (Word, 1 page)

Tool 2: "The Poor Man and the Gold" (Word, 1 page)

Tool 3: Quotes to help participants understand Appreciative Inquiry (Word, 1 page)

Tool 4: Experiences that illustrate Appreciative Inquiry (Word, 1 page)

Tool 5: Understanding CRS' 3B/4D Social Cohesion Approach (PowerPoint, 7 slides)

Tool 6: One-page handout about how CRS and USAID used the 3B approach to land conflict in Mindanao (Philippines)

Tool 7: Drawing showing the process from antagonism to cooperation (Word, 1 page)

Tool 8: Using a fire metaphor to explain the development of conflict (PowerPoint, 1 page)

Tool 9: Quiz to gauge participant understanding of conflict dynamics (Word, 1 page)

Tool 10: Making a Personal Commitment: Lessons from CAR 2014 Workshops (PowerPoint, 4 slides)

Tool 11: Attitudes toward conflict (PowerPoint, 2 slides)

Tool 12: Quiz on personal responsibility in social cohesion (Word, 1 page)

Tool 13: Examples illustrating the importance of the dream (Word, 1 page)

Tool 14: Social Cohesion Dream Exercise Guide (Word, 1 page)

Tool 15: The Notional Dynamics of Social Cohesion (PowerPoint, 5 slides)

Tool 16: Quiz to gauge understanding of social cohesion (Word, 1 page)

Tool 17: Social cohesion assessment grid (Word, 1 page)

Tool 18: Bar chart displaying results from a social cohesion assessment in CAR (PowerPoint, 5 slides)

Tool 19: Guidance of role playing to introduce responses to conflict (Word, 2 pages)

Tool 20: Spectrum of resopnses to conflict (PowerPoint, 1 slide)

Tool 21: Drawing of the mediator's portrait (PowerPoint, 1 slide)

Tool 22: Guidance on the circle of trust (Word, 1 page)

Tool 23: Instructions on using the "Philip 6x6 Method" (Word, 1 page)

Tool 24: Suggested frame for a planning exercise (Word, 1 page)

Tool 25: Sample evaluation grid for a workshop on social cohesion (Word, 1 page)

Tool 26: The journey of two friends -- A story (Word, 1 page) 

Tool 27: Guidance about the "Protecting the Eggs" game (Word, 1 page)

Tool 28: Appreciative Dialog Guide (Word, 1 page)

Tool 29: Weighted voting guide (Word, 1 page)

Tool 30: Guidance for playing the "Trust walk" game (Word, 1 page)

Tool 31: Required attributes for a trainer in adult education (PowerPoint, 5 slides)

Tool 32: Quiz to deepen the understanding of requirements for a trainer of adults (PowerPoint, 11 slides)

Tool 33: Quiz to gauge participant knowledge of 3B/4D approach (Word, 1 page)

Tool 34a, b, c: Survey (Excel, 3 sheets) 

Tool 35: Training stages in the form of a puzzle (Word, 2 pages)

Tool 36: Summary of the training steps (PowerPoint, 5 slides)

Tool 37: Overview of Ties that Bind manual (PowerPoint, 1 slide)

Tool 38: Draft andragogic methods format (Word, 1 page)

Tool 39: Sample of an agenda for the training of trainers (Word, 3 pages)

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Tool 62: Partnership life cycle (PowerPoint, 6 slides)

The guide is organized into four chapters and 16 interactive modules:
• Chapter 1: The first B — Binding. This chapter addresses change at the level of the individual. What goodness is within me? What can I do, and what changes can I make, to transform my neighborhood, workplace, province or nation into a more harmonious and functional environment?
• Chapter 2: The second B — Bonding. This chapter leads participants belonging to the same identity group to identify characteristics of their group that can be instrumental in avoiding crisis or leading the country out of crisis. “What is the dream for our group? What can we do together to make us a positive force for change?”
• Chapter 3: The third B — Bridging. This chapter introduces bridging as a means to bring two or more peer groups together to lay the foundations for intergroup collaboration. It asks: “What positive characteristics do we and other groups have in common? Do we share a common dream? What can we do together to improve the lives and livelihoods of our respective communities?” This chapter guides mixedidentity groups to jointly identify, design and implement connector projects.
• Chapter 4 covers alliance-building and exerting influence through powerholders, systems, and structures. It shows participants how to enlist decisionmakers — traditional authorities, elected officeholders, public officials , faith-based leaders, and businesspeople — to use their influence to bring about change. Consistent with CRS’s capacity-building model, each module contains a rationale, teaching aids, anticipated results, steps, estimated duration and notes for the facilitator. Attached to the guide is a CD-ROM containing 63 tools for use in the sessions. Although no two groups are the same, based on our experience in CAR with 35-40 participants we offer below approximate durations for each module.