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Community-Based Dispute Resolution

Founder(s): DFID
Status: Completed

“CBDR is practiced by village and district actors, at times in conjunction and at times in opposition, and is a mélange of village custom, state and local understandings of Sharia law, state law and procedure, and what might be called ‘district custom.’”
AREU began researching community-based dispute resolution (CBDR) in Afghanistan in 2006, with the goal of increasing knowledge of local mechanisms, practices and principles to support contextually informed justice sector reform across the country.
Research was conducted in Nangarhar, Bamiyan, Balkh and Kabul Provinces. The case studies explore: who has power in CBDR and how they exercise it; the processes and relationships that link CBDR with state justice; the practices, principles and outcomes of CBDR and how these change depending on political, social and security contexts; and gender dynamics regarding CBDR. The research identified various mechanisms, differences among regional practices, resolution principles from the general to the highly specific, and differing relationships between formal and non-state dispute-resolution bodies. Prior to this work, relatively little has been written about how community-based dispute resolution processes operate, particularly in recent years, and little of this was based on in-depth data collection at the village or community level.

Publications from this research project:

Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in Kabul City

This is the Kabul Case Study from AREU’s community-based dispute resolution (CBDR) research. The goal of the research is increasing knowledge of local dispute-resolution mechanisms, practices and principles to support contextually informed justice sector reform across the country. The study’s Read More

Proceedings of a Roundtable Discussion on Community-Based Dispute Resolution

On 14 February 2011, AREU research consultant Rebecca Gang led a roundtable discussion on the findings of AREU’s research on community-based dispute resolution (CBDR) with a small group of fellow researchers, advocates and policymakers. The group focused initially on the Read More

Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in Balkh Province

This is the Balkh Case Study from AREU’s community-based dispute resolution research. The goal of the research is increasing knowledge of local dispute-resolution mechanisms, practices and principles to support contextually informed justice sector reform across the country.

Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in Nangarhar Province

This Nangarhar case study is part of a series from AREU’s in-depth research on community-based dispute resolution (CBDR) in Nangarhar, Bamiyan, Kabul and Balkh provinces. Each case study contains descriptions of the study villages and explores: who has power in Read More

Community-Based Dispute Resolution Processes in Bamiyan Province

This Bamiyan case study is part of a series from AREU’s in-depth research on community-based dispute resolution (CBDR) in Nangarhar, Bamiyan, Kabul and Balkh provinces. Each case study contains descriptions of the study villages and explores: who has power in Read More

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