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Dear Common Effort Community members and friends,
We hope that you are all staying safe, well and healthy during these challenging times.
As an alternative to the previous planned two-day workshop and to ensure the continuity of our Sahel focus, the Common Effort Steering Group decided on hosting a webinar for the first time which proved to be a worthwhile exercise. Since great distances can easily be bridged through hybrid events our Common Effort Community can interact and attend more easily during future events.
The webinar focused on trust-building as an overarching topic and mapping as a first step towards community engagement. The aim of the webinar was to inspire the working groups to work on mapping in preparation of the workshop in the first week of March 2021 in Berlin. The broad representation of speakers and organizations during the webinar provided us with a theoretical background on trust-building and mapping as well as practical information and experience-based approaches. In the process of trust-building, mapping can be used to mobilize resources and could function as a starting point for working on collective solutions to obtain social cohesion and strengthen community resilience. Different experts from various organizations and institutions (Clingendael, EU Military Staff, EUCAP Sahel Mali, Mosecon, DCAF-ISSAT, IDLO, ELVA, Human Security Collective, Mercy Corps, IOM and GIZ) were given the floor to elaborate on their perspectives and experiences regarding trust-building in the G5 Sahel region. The theoretical background of trust-building was successfully addressed by a response to our call for papers, provided by OTH Regensburg, Max Bornefeld-Ettmann and EUCAP Sahel Mali. The presentations were alternated by two sets of Q&A’s. Around 100 people participated and numerous questions were raised, which provided us with fruitful interactions and discussions.
In the run-up to the Common Effort preparation workshop in March 2021 and Common Effort 2021, which will take place from 7 to 10 June in The Hague, the focal point will be the creation of and elaboration on comprehensive mapping.  The knowledge and insights gained during the webinar provide us with a solid base to build on during Common Effort 2021.  Further information on the exact dates and time of the preparation workshop will follow.
If there are any other ideas or questions related to the upcoming events, please do not hesitate to contact us.
For now, stay safe and healthy during the upcoming winter months! 

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