Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Sarah Lockhart, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Caley Johnson, Ph.D.


The 1990s marked an opportunity for change for three Central American countries facing the end of their civil wars: Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Efforts to contribute to democratization and the reconstruction of war-torn societies grew with the increasing presence of United Nations missions and international organizations and donors, but the primary organizations overlooked in these efforts were local civil society organizations (CSOs). Based on the role of CSOs in the post-conflict phases, I intend to answer the following question: How can the role and image of CSOs be enhanced in a post-conflict setting? Improving the role and image of CSOs in post-conflict settings relies on improving their presence and roles in three distinct arenas: at the negotiation table, how they work with UN missions, and how they work with international donors. Studying these three arenas in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala will reveal that improving their roles in each gives CSOs the ability to make more impactful and positive contributions necessary to transition their countries out of the reconstruction and redevelopment phase and into the final stage of lasting peace and development.