“Boendoe” is the fictional name for an area in which a peacebuilding network have successfully reduced armed conflict. However, owing to the politically sensitive climate of the country in question, scholarship on the area employs the Boendoe pseudonym. The Network, formed of 18 civil society organisations, was established in 2013 and coordinates the actions of individuals across the country. It works at the provincial level or below due to the political context in which it operates, however it is at this level that it has had a significant impact. Its primary function is to collate reports from its citizen reporters, vetted individuals who are trusted to convey information about a conflict, atrocity, or human rights abuse.1 This data is aggregated and mapped, providing a vital insight into conflict in the society. The Network’s findings are then circulated to international actors. This system of early warning, it argues, facilitates early response, thereby resolving disputes before they escalate into armed conflict.2 When appropriate, the Network employs the expertise and resources of its members to undertake activities such as human rights monitoring or dialogue and cooperation projects, preventing or resolving many conflicts at the community level.3
Over a period of two years, 5,597 reports were filed by the Network’s citizen reporters and verified by its members. The reports have been hailed as highly valuable by international organisations, directly informing policy discussions in the European Parliament, for example. Another vital role that the Network fills is during the frequent media blackouts experienced in Boendoe. In one such blackout that was imposed during an election, the Network provided intelligence about a conflict that was escalating much more quickly than international observers expected, expediting a rapid response. During these periods, the Network also serves as a key source of information to the general public, who can be warned of nearby violence or informed of atrocities carried out in secret.4 Underlying all the work of the Network is the shared goal of building a more cohesive and peaceful society in a place with a recent history marred by division and armed conflict. By mobilising their resources and working together, members of the Network have maximised their impact and reduced armed conflict.