Participatory Governance – The Power of Grassroots Peacebuilding in Mindanao


Location: C103 Hesburgh Center for International Studies

Orson Sargado

Orson Sargado

Orson Sargado

Head of Office of CRS-Philippines; Kroc Institute-CRS Fellow

The peace governance programming in Mindanao, the southern archipelago in the Philippines, has demonstrated the power of grassroots peacebuilding efforts in reducing violent conflict by improving government performance in local development planning, delivery of basic services, and conflict resolution while increasing civic participation in these areas.

The peace governance approach is hinged on two major theories of change: (1) for sustainable peace, individual-level transformation (personal and relational change) must be connected to institutional (structural) change, and (2) consistently and strategically broadened participation creates the enabling environment for peace efforts to thrive. 

Through 20 years of work at multiple levels of government and with the strategic engagement of diverse partners, Catholic Relief Services has seen the integration of peacebuilding approaches into local governance improving the processes of governance for marginalized groups and increasing measurable outcomes on which the government can continue to build