Colombia Negotiation Initiative and Peace Process Open Library

The Peace Process Open Library (Biblioteca Abierta del Proceso de Paz)

The Peace Process Open Library (BAPP according to its Spanish initials) is an initiative promoted by Fundación Compaz[1], that contributes to a better understanding of the peace talks between the Colombian Government and the FARC (2012-2016) for both a national and international audience. The BAPP presents a digital platform that facilitates the availability, access and use of information related to the talks, providing an understanding of the most important, novel elements and events in the Colombian peace process.

This project emerges from the premise that the issues and practices addressed during the peace talks—their lessons and results—should be made available to the public through new digital tools. The legacy of the peace talks should be handed down to a world in need of ever more models for the negotiation and construction of peace, to those leaders and fields that commit themselves to political negotiation.

  • With support from the Kingdom of Norway, the Peace Process Open Library (BAPP according to its Spanish initials) is currently in its first development phase, which will end in March 2021. Its public launch is planned for 2021.

  • During this first phase, we have been able to make important advances in the different areas of our project, including: the systematization of more than nine-thousand historical documents related to the peace talks; the design and creation of infographics, texts and videos that help to explain the process and its lessons; the construction of the virtual platform, where users from around the world can access the archives and the contents we have created; and the strengthening of alliances between strategic actors, like universities, think tanks and public libraries in Colombia. For this first phase, BAPP will have its own English version which will include newly translated content (texts, infographics and some videos) as well as an automated translation of the basic information related to the archival documents.

  • The BAPP will include the following sections as part of the platform:
    • Online Catalog: the primary tool for this section (the search engine) allows users to run simple and advanced searches for documents contained within the peace process archive.
    • When? The Peace Process in Time: this section contains texts, videos, infographics and historical documents related to the different phases of the Colombian peace process, highlighting the major milestones in each phase and incorporating a timeline to visualize the lasting effects of these milestones.
    • What? Topics of the Peace Process: this section contains texts, videos, infographics and historical documents regarding the six topics on the peace talk agenda (rural development, political participation, the end of the conflict, illicit drugs, victim’s rights and ratification, verification and implementation), as well as some subjects that cut across the whole process (vision, rules, mechanisms, differentiated perspectives, etc.).
    • How? Characteristics of the Peace Process: this section, which is especially intended for international or unspecialized audiences, will contain texts, videos, infographics and historical documents under categories that help explain the main innovative characteristics and elements of the peace process in Colombia. Some of these categories include: institutionalizing peace, pedagogy for peace, communications in a peace process, steps for constructing peace, DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration), international participation and support. Among others.
    • Who? Roles in the Peace Process: this section provides a map of the primary roles that directly or indirectly affected the Colombian peace process, as well as the actors who filled those roles (negotiators, guarantors, supporters, consultants, experts, facilitators, etc.)
    • The Peace Agreement: this section contains the text of the Final Peace Agreement in a searchable html format, facilitating searches under the different section headings of the agreement and linking parts of the text with content created specifically for the library (i.e. the videos, infographics, etc.).
    • New Publications: this section provides an easy way to introduce new content to the platform on a weekly basis, whether produced by the BAPP team, allies of the initiative or other third parties.
    • Building Peace: this section will be developed in Phase 2 of the BAPP and will initially include: (i) other pedagogical tools created for specific audiences (professors, students, social leaders, etc.); (ii) documents from external sources that are currently in charge of verifying and supporting the implementation of the Agreement, as well as other kinds of documents related to this process; and (iii) the documentation of certain initiatives for building peace at a regional level that are advanced by the Foundation, BAPP allies or other third parties.

The following is a preliminary view of BAPP:

[1] Fundacion Compaz was created on October 2, 2017, by the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, with the purpose of advancing his efforts to build a stable and lasting peace and prevent conflicts in Colombia and around the world.