Middle East & North Africa

Destructive cycles of exclusion, violence and war have created deep insecurity in the MENA region, exacerbating pressure on the social fabric and fragile political institutions. Extremist groups are exploiting internal divisions to gain ground.

Yet there are numerous voices calling for dialogue, inclusive institutions and locally-led approaches to address root causes of violent conflict and radicalisation.

Against this background, our projects aim at supporting these actors and institutions as well as efforts to overcome political and societal divisions through inclusive dialogue processes and consensus-building.

In 2017, our programme focuses on the following main thematic areas:

  • Supporting inclusive dialogue formats to strengthen peace and transition processes in the region through mediation and consensus-building support with political parties, armed groups and other conflict stakeholders

  • Working with local institutions, religious authorities, academics and youth to contribute to locally-led efforts to strengthen tolerance, pluralism and moderation based on legitimacy and credibility vis-à-vis the rise of extremist discourses

  • Supporting the establishment of inclusive governance structures at national and local level

Current Projects

  • Lebanon: Strengthening Strategy Development Against Radicalization
    Against the background of emerging threats related to increased social tensions and growing radicalization in Lebanon, the project seeks to contribute to overall stability and peace in Lebanon by working with key actors in the Sunni community to enhance intra-religious dialogue. more >

  • Yemen: Supporting Political Dialogue and Transition 
    The overall aim of this project is to support Yemeni and international efforts for a political solution not only to end the war but also to re-launch the political transition process in Yemen that started in 2012. more >
  • Jordan: Strengthening the Culture of Tolerance
    The aim of this project is to counteract extremist ideas among young students through awareness-raising and the development of preventive projects in a two-track approach. more >

Further Activities

Inclusive Political Dialogue in Jordan: The Berghof Foundation is currently involved in efforts to support and strengthen inclusive political dialogue processes in other Arab countries. In Jordan, we are supporting a small group of experts representing different political, social, regional, age- and gender groups to discuss options and prospects for an inclusive dialogue mechanism in the kingdom.

Syria: We strongly believe that the conflict in Syria can only be solved with a political process of negotiations and dialogue. We therefore provide capacity-building (workshops, seminars, trainings) and strategic advice to a range of Syrian stakeholders from the opposition, civil society and humanitarian groups.

The aim of these activities is to enhance their capacities to play a constructive and efficient role in the peaceful transformation of the Syrian political system and society both in Syria and internationally.

Completed Projects

  • Yemen: National Dialogue Process
    The National Dialogue Conference (NDC) and the implementation of its outcomes are the centrepieces of Yemen’s current political transition towards a hopefully stable, peaceful and democratic country. With this project, we aim to strengthen an inclusive and Yemeni-led National Dialogue with technical and process-related support and advice. more >

  • Lebanon: National Dialogue and Consensus Building
    The Berghof Foundation has been providing technical support to the National Dialogue in Lebanon since 2008. In the second half of 2009, the project helped establish the Common Space Initiative as a mechanism to support and complement the National Dialogue process by focusing on the root causes of the Lebanese conflict. more >

From Other Programmes

  • Civic and Nonviolent Education in Jordan more >

Selected Publications