Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) focused on poverty alleviation play a central role in responding to conflict situations and initiating peacebuilding activities. Following the 1994-1995 conflict in Northern Ghana, development NGOs coordinated a largely effective grassroots peacebuilding effort. However, insights gained from peacebuilding activities have not informed ongoing development efforts, which continue to propose 'top-down' strategies. By examining the strengths and limitations of the peace process in Ghana, this article suggests development NGOs apply the grassroots strategies they used for peacebuilding to their ongoing development activities. This analysis is based on data drawn from archival research as well as field interviews with 21 representatives of the state and NGOs, and community and religious leaders.