Andries Odendaal is a senior associate at the Centre for Mediation in Africa at the University of Pretoria and an independent conflict transformation specialist. Among his previous positions, he was a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace from 2009-10 and a senior trainer and program coordinator at the Centre for Conflict Resolution, University of Cape Town. He was a regional coordinator of the Western Cape Peace Committee in South Africa (1993-94) and has also served on the expert roster of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery of the UN Development Programme.
In places as diverse as South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Nepal, negotiators of national peace plans have for years sanctioned the creation of local peace committees (LPCs) to address community-level sources of grievance and thereby to build peace from the bottom up. In A Crucial Link: Local Peace Committees and National Peacebuilding, longtime practitioner Andries Odendaal engages in the first comparative study of LPCs and asks whether and where the committees have succeeded.