"This policy paper examines the prospective role of civil society organisations (CSOs) within the mechanisms and structures of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), which was created to address conflict challenges faced by states within the Great Lakes region. The ICGLR was established in 2003 to provide an inclusive platform for countries within the region to work effectively with international actors and CSOs for regional conflict prevention, management and resolution. Although the role of CSOs within the ICGLR initiatives is considered imperative to securing sustainable peace, there remain concerns that the involvement of CSOs is constrained. Through desk research and field surveys, this policy paper explores creative approaches for CSOs to make a valuable impact on the ICGLR initiative. The paper recommends improved and proactive synergy between the ICGLR and CSOs for effective peace and security in the region."