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

  • Independent Expert Group to Syria
    This initiative supports the parties’ in developing ideas for pragmatic political steps, which can increase well-being and security of all Syrian citizens equally. more >
  • Lebanon: Intra-Sunni Dialogue and Strategy Development
    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 >
  • Supporting the Establishment of Safety Nets against Polarization of Sunni-Shia Relations in Lebanon
    This project aims to create forums and to establish safety nets which contribute to bridging divides and addressing mutual concerns and fears. more >

Completed Projects

  • Diaspora Emergency Action  Coordination (DEMAC)
    Together with the Danish Refugee Council and the African Foundation for Development we started the ‘Diaspora Emergency Action and Coordination’ initiative (DEMAC), following up our previous support activities for Syrian civil society and humanitarian initiatives in Germany. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Somalia: Building Federalism through Local Government Dialogue
    This project aims to assist the citizens of Hirshabelle to build or restore constructive relationships with each other. Our idea is to take the knowledge base and experience present in the communities and add practical skills in mediation and dialogue facilitation through training and joint learning with important stakeholders and chosen multipliers. more >

From Other Programmes

  • Civic and Nonviolent Education in Jordan more >

Selected Publications

  • Joshua Rogers: Local Governance in Yemen. Theory, Practice, and Future Options. 2019. PDF >
  • Oliver Wils and Sonja Neuweiler: Peace Process Support in Times of Crises. The National Dialogue Support Programme in Yemen 2014-16. A Project Report. PDF >
  • Stabilisation and mediation: the mediators >
  • Article on the work of our Yemen team (website of the German Foreign Office)
  •  Website on Resource Sharing in Yemen: yemenresources.weebly.com (in Arabic).