Green String Network
The Green String Network (GSN) is a not-for-profit organization based in Kenya which brings together professionals and experts in the field of peacebuilding, trauma-informed healing and sustainable economic development. We have over 40 years of collective experience working in Africa. We are a network of likeminded individuals and organizations who work on conflict transformation, countering violent extremism and social healing. Our initiatives are driven by local partners who we support with technical expertise. At GSN, we believe there is a direct link between levels of trauma in vulnerable communities and the challenges faced with justice, reconciliation, security and overall social wellbeing. Over the past years, we have seen applications of trauma healing practices positively affect communities in some of the most fragile areas of this world. Violence begins with a thought, yet few interventions focus on the mental wellbeing of at-risk communities. GSN concentrates on trauma as a root cause of instability and we use trauma-informed approaches for peacebuilding and conflict transformation work. Currently GSN is working with youth and women volunteers on the Kenyan coast, the Kenyan police and with a local Somalia partner working with both disengaged combatants and Somali communities.
Peace Action Society Organization for Somalia (PASOS)
Peace Action Society Organization for Somalia (PASOS) is a professionally managed and committed national non-governmental and non-profit-making organization, founded by civil society groups on 1st January 1997 in Mogadishu, Somalia. Their work includes reintegrating Somali Youth returnees and IDPs, as well as working with host communities to promote livelihoods and reduce dependency on humanitarian assistance. PASOS also conducts peacebuilding workshops with youth and communities on trauma and conflict resolution.
Global Scribes – Youth Uniting Nations
Global Scribes Inc is a global youth driven non-profit education initiative with a truly monumental objective- to contribute to world peace. In the interest of making the world of tomorrow a safer place for the youth of today, Global Scribes facilitates healthy, culturally-enriching relationships within an environment free from politics, religion, and socio-demographic segregation. We focus on global journeys through the written word, visual & audio arts, dynamic interaction, and consistent interplay across multiple virtual platforms–Fun, Education, Focused Passion and Play Intertwined. For Youth, By Youth–working together to build a world of friendship where solid global foundations can thrive. Then, indeed 1) we might enjoy a more peaceful world and 2) with hands held, the harder issues of our world might be addressed. Our world needs more than a bandaid.
Making Cents International
Making Cents International is a woman-owned small business based in Washington, DC, working to advance the social and economic well-being of youth and adults around the world. Since 1999, we have implemented more than 130 projects in 60 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Making Cents promotes positive youth development by providing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their potential. Our USAID-funded YouthPower Learning project (2015-2020) supports the implementation of USAID’s Youth in Development Policy through research and evaluations of cross-sectoral positive youth development programming. As part of this effort, we manage a Youth in Peace and Security Community of Practice, which is expanding the evidence base to demonstrate the complementary nature of positive youth development and peacebuilding efforts and is disseminating actionable learning for implementers and policy makers to incorporate positive youth development into their programs targeting violence or conflict-affected youth populations.
Making Cents works in fragile and conflict-affected states to accelerate and sustain the economic recovery of individuals and communities affected by and vulnerable to conflict. We believe that understanding local context, tailoring programs, and building local capacity are critical to increasing community resilience in the wake of violent conflict. To that end, we work with a range of key local stakeholders – NGOs, community-based organizations, business service providers, youth and women groups, and government agencies – to build their capacity to design and deliver immediately relevant and inclusive initiatives that help reverse the negative economic and social consequences of conflict. We are currently supporting USAID’s efforts in Syria under the Syria Essential Services II project by building the organizational capacity of a local implementing partner working to assist emerging Syrian local governance structures in their rebuilding efforts.
For 25 years, Peace First has worked to help young people around the world change their communities through peacemaking. After two decades of school-based work, Peace First launched its digital platform in 2016: a global community of youth peacemakers where young people (ages 13-24) around the world can access project planning tools, adult mentors, and startup grants of up to $250 for community peacemaking projects. After a successful national campaign, the Peace First Challenge, which saw young people completed peacemaking projects that impacted tens of thousands of people in their communities, Peace First launched the newest version of their platform on September 21, International Day of Peace.
FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. FHI 360 serves more than 60 countries and all U.S. states and territories. In countries scarred by conflict, FHI 360 helps governments, local organizations, and leaders develop the skills, expertise, and resources they need to build peace and foster stability. Our peacebuilding activities prevent and reduce violent conflict through locally owned, effective, and sustainable solutions. These solutions leverage the inherent resiliency of communities and people and strengthen communities’ capacities for peace. Highlights of some relevant programs and approaches include:
Countering Violent Extremism: For the last eight years, FHI 360 has been working with civil society actors on the frontlines of efforts to better understand, prevent, and counter violent extremism (VE) in their countries and communities. The starting point of our approach has always been to engage young people and their communities, including civil society organizations, local officials, and citizens, to identify and create their own constructive measures to mitigate local VE drivers and strengthen resilience to the pull of VE.
- Through the USAID Countering Violent Extremism in the Middle East and North Africa (CoVE-MENA) project (2014–2019) FHI 360 supports the USAID Middle East Bureau’s ability to understand and address democracy and governance issues related to violent extremism by offering context-driven programmatic, research, knowledge generation, and training support. Through pilot activities in Tunisia and other countries in the Maghreb and Sahel regions, FHI 360 develops the capacity of civil society organizations implementing locally owned strategies to counter violent conflict and extremism.
Youth Development and Engagement: By helping youth reach their full potential, we lay a solid foundation for our future. FHI 360 uses many related approaches to create the conditions that enable young people to actively contribute to their communities. Our programs, which are often developed in collaboration with youth, equip young people with tools to help them become productive and empowered citizens. We combine the people, places, support, opportunities and services that engage youth in ways that will increase their likelihood of being happy, healthy and successful.
- FHI 360 implements USAID’s YouthPower Action project (2015-2020), supporting and advancing the implementation of USAID’s Youth in Development Policy through technical assistance in cross-sectoral, positive youth development programming to USAID Missions and units. Among many other activities, the project carried out research that identified the key soft skills needed to prevent violent behaviors.
Strengthening Civil Society: FHI 360 implements USAID’s Strengthening Civil Society Globally (SCS Global) Leader with Associates Award (2016-2021) for democracy, rights and governance (DRG), media and integrated programming across the globe. SCS Global offers USAID Missions and Operating Units a flexible, worldwide platform for designing and implementing projects to: galvanize citizen participation; foster a positive shift in government responsiveness to citizen demands; improve the freedom of information; and integrate principles of participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability into all development sectors.
Peace News Network
Peace News Network aims to present the other side of war reporting – stories from conflict zones we often don’t hear in mainstream media. Our stories are about people taking risks for peace, and they provide a balance to an often sensationally-driven international news. We bring you news from war zones that hopefully go some way towards building trust and reconciliation.
One of our core themes is Youth and Peacebuilding, where we focus on the incredible efforts young people are making in the field. From young artists changing the violent narrative of their Baghdad neighborhood, to young leaders pioneering initiatives in conflict zones, we have been fortunate enough to witness the inspirational power of youth-driven peacebuilding all over the world. Many of our journalists also are young media professionals in war zones who are committed to reporting positive news, and stories of hope, from their country.
Founded by Dr Babak Bahador, and launched in 2015, Peace News Network is a non-partisan, independent, news agency. We are based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Washington D.C., USA, and Kate Roff is the founding, and current, editor.
For more information, and stories about Youth and Peacebuilding, check out Peace News Network.
swisspeace is a practice-oriented peace research institute based in Bern, Switzerland, that aims to contribute to conflict prevention and conflict transformation. Swisspeace is structured into six thematic programs: Mediation, Dealing with the Past, Statehood, Business & Peace, Policy & Platform, and Analysis & Impact, with two transversal topics: gender and conflict sensitivity.
swisspeace’s extensive expertise on conflict sensitivity encompasses 15 years of conflict sensitivity tool development, application support, capacity building and policy discussions in diverse contexts. We conduct conflict sensitivity assessments and offer tailor-made strategy support for Swiss and international governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as business actors in numerous countries. Ongoing conflict sensitivity-related activities include:
– Conflict Sensitivity Resource Facility (CSRF) in South Sudan: in a Saferworld-led consortium, swisspeace together with CDA Collaborative Learning implements this project that provides advice, research, and training on conflict sensitivity for donor organisations in South Sudan. https://www.csrf-southsudan.org/
– Support to the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) cooperation offices in applying conflict-sensitive programme management in the West African and Great Lakes regions.
– Further developing e-learning solutions to capacity building, such as the online courses for the UN system and the conflict sensitivity e-learning course co-developed by swisspeace and a Swiss consortium of organisations.
– Support to the Inter-American Development Bank in applying a specific fragility lens to its water operations in Haiti.
– Active engagement in the establishment of the Conflict Sensitivity Community (CSC) Hub founded at the International Expert Retreat on Conflict Sensitivity (Sept/Oct 2014). Swisspeace hosted the hub initially as a co-leader, and later as leader until January 2017. As a collaborative product of the hub members, swisspeace published the Working Paper Conflict Sensitivity: Taking it to the Next Level in 2016.
– Advising SIDA and Swedish embassies on applying conflict sensitivity in their programmes in the framework of the Saferworld-led consortium implementing the “SIDA human security helpdesk”.
For more information on swisspeace and its work, please visit www.swisspeace.ch
House of Peace (HOPe)
House of Peace (HOPe) is a peace-building project that aims to enhance social peace within Syrian society. This is done by providing social peace building workshops to local and humanitarian (i.e. NGO) communities that allow participants to complete a context and conflict analysis, and for NGO participants, a conflict sensitivity analysis of their community. Participants are able to develop new understandings of their realities and are inspired to take actions towards positive changes and behaviors that foster social peace. HOPe also supports community based social peace initiatives that participants design and implement.
At the moment, the HOPe team works in Syria and Lebanon as it is one of the major hosting countries for Syrian refugees (around 1 million). In Syria the team works mainly with humanitarian NGOs that are attempting to implement projects in a conflict sensitive manner. On the other hand, Lebanon has not developed a system to integrate Syrian refugees, which is causing conflict between refugee and host communities. Thus the team enters into high conflict areas and provides social peace building workshops to both refugee and host communities, and local NGOs working with the Syrian crisis.
Finally, HOPe provides a platform for peace. This is done by collecting key issues from Syrians in the field concerning social peace and is presented in roundtables to come up with recommendations, possible actions, and note best practices. HOPe also publishes a research series, formally known as Syrian Voices paper, to raise Syrian perspectives on social peace issues.
Peaceful Change initiative (PCi)
The Peaceful Change initiative (PCi) works with communities in fragile and conflict-affected areas to prevent or resolve violent conflict. PCi aims to mitigate the effects of violence on people’s lives, while laying the foundations for long-term peace and stability. They do this by providing individuals and groups with the skills and space to strengthen their capacity to manage change and conflict through inclusion, dialogue and collaboration. By doing so, they support increased resilience, social cohesion, security, and sense of safety. PCi’s long-term goal is to help communities improve their capacity to manage conflict without resorting to violence.
Conflict sensitivity is at the heart of their work, and they are committed to incorporating it in all stages of programming, from project design and partnership building to conflict analysis and learning. In the areas in which they work, they seek to engage with the international community to improve understanding of how external assistance in fragile contexts can positively or negatively influence local conflict dynamics.
PCi’s Conflict Sensitive Assistance in Libya Forum is an example of such efforts: by bringing together representatives of diplomatic missions and international NGOs working in Libya, the Forum provides participants with updated conflict analysis and helps international actors constructively engage with local communities, with a view to improving international capacity to actively contribute to preventing or resolving conflict. Through a peer review process, participants examine the programmes of international organisations on issues such as migration and local governance, assessing them through a conflict sensitivity lens.
For more information on PCi and their work, please visit www.peacefulchange.org.
World Vision International
Conflict and violence affect an increasing number of the world’s most vulnerable children. As one of the world’s largest child-focused organisations, World Vision has a number of tools to help us better understand fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Context analysis helps anticipate the interaction between programming and the context dynamics, and work to ensure positive impact and actions while minimising negative impact, both on identified needs and with the community.
World Vision uses three principal context analysis tools to enable conflict-sensitive aid:
MSTC (Making Sense of Turbulent Contexts): MSTC provides a macro-level analysis of a national or sub-regional context and generates recommendations for aid actors, through a participatory 4-day workshop. MSTC workshops bring together a diverse range of local participants for this exercise to create a shared understanding of the context. It is used by international NGOs and engages national civil society groups.
GECARR (Good Enough Context Analysis for Rapid Response): GECARR provides a rapid snapshot through participatory macro–level analysis during or in anticipation of crisis. GECARR can be used flexibly by multiple aid organisations. GECARR is designed to generate immediately relevant operational recommendations.
IPACS (Integrating Peacebuilding & Conflict Sensitivity): IPACS provides a community-level analysis of a context, with a specific focus on how projects and programmes interact with local tensions. Based on ‘Do No Harm’ and integration of peacebuilding, IPACS is a local-level participatory process that generates recommendations for how a project can minimise negative and maximise positive impacts. A published IPACS variant – “Emergency Response” – allows aid workers to apply Do No Harm principles in humanitarian contexts.
To learn more about World Vision’s conflict sensitivity work please visit http://www.wvi.org/peacebuilding
Gender-based violence prevention and response are critical to the USAID mission of ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient societies, and it is required by the internal policy. Reducing GBV is one of the three overarching goals of the USAID Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy. In 2012, the United States Department of State and USAID released the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally. The USAID implementation plan of this Strategy emphasized the integration of GBV prevention and response efforts into all sectoral work.
This strategy was accompanied by an Executive Order on Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally that established, among other things, an Interagency Working Group to address GBV chaired by the Department of State and USAID. USAID has reinvigorated attention to gender equality, including GBV, through several policies. The strategy was updated in 2016, with results from an evaluation of how USAID implemented the changes from the last three years.
To learn more about USAID’s GBV work, please click here.
Plan International USA
Working under the premise that gender equality and female empowerment are core to development objectives, fundamental for the realization of human rights, and key to effective and sustainable development outcomes, Plan International USA strives to design programs with a gender lens that is based on the knowledge that adolescent girls and women play critical roles as effective peace advocates, community leaders, and champions of civil and human rights.
Plan’s commitment to the full participation of males and females in their societies involves integrating gender equality and female empowerment into all of our programs, advocacy campaigns, and institutional policies and practices. Our gender lens makes our programming more effective.
Through programs such as the USAID-funded Protecting Human Rights program, Plan has tackled some of the root causes of violence, worked towards creating non-violent environments, and increases access to legal protection for survivors of gender-based violence. Plan’s Because I Am A Girl programs help ensure girls have equal access to safe learning environments. These programs and many others will lead to Plan’s vision of a world in which all children realize their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignity.
Learn more about the Bangladesh Protecting Human Rights Program here.
Women Influencing Health, Education and Rule of Law (WI-HER)
WI-HER, LLC is a certified woman-owned small business and international consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. area. WI-HER partners with donors, governments, private sector, and NGOs to identify and implement creative solutions to complex health and social challenges to achieve better, healthier lives for women, men, girls, and boys. They work in the following areas:
- Gender Integration
- Technical Assistance and Training
- Counter-Human Trafficking and Workplace Harassment Prevention
- Systems Strengthening and Policy Reform
- Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research
- Improved Service Delivery and Utilization
- Community Mobilization and Individual Behavior Change
- Knowledge Management and Learning
Promundo works to promote gender equality and prevent violence by engaging men and boys in partnership with women and girls. Their programs, campaigns, and advocacy efforts are based on rigorous research, including the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES), and are designed to improve the lives of people around the world. Their work focuses on the following themes:
- Fatherhood and Caregiving
- Conflict and Security
- Economic Justice
- Preventing Violence
- Youth and Equality
- Research for Action
Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GWNP)
GNWP aims to bridge the gap between policy discussions and implementation and action on the ground on women and peace and security issues. To achieve this aim, GNWP engages in four programmatic areas: Capacity Building, Advocacy, Research and Institutional Strengthening. This programmatic focus includes various initiatives such as Civil Society Monitoring of the implementation of UNSCR 1325; Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820; Education and Advocacy on the CEDAW General Recommendation on Women in Conflict Prevention, Conflict and Post-conflict Situations; 1325 Media Outreach; Multi-stakeholders Financing Mechanism for the implementation of the WPS resolutions; Engagement with the Security Sector and Support to national action planning processes. Learn more about two of their initiatives below.
Localization of UNSCR 1325
GNWP’s Localization Program is a strategy that guarantees effective implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its supporting resolutions. It is a bottom-up approach to policy-making that aligns local, national, regional and international policies and community-driven strategies to ensure local ownership, participation and links among communities, civil society organizations and government. The Localization Program allows for direct engagement of local authorities including governors, mayors, councilors, community leaders, paramount chiefs, indigenous leaders, religious leaders, local police and military officers who join forces with the national government. The formulation of local policies and legislation by local actors allows for ownership, integration of women, peace and security commitments into local development plans and budgets and more sustainable means of implementation. The localization program has been implemented in Burundi, Kenya, Colombia, Liberia, Nepal, Philippines, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For more information on the impact of the localization program, click here.
Girl Ambassadors for Peace
The Girl Ambassadors for Peace Program enhances the capacities of women and girls, promotes and protects their rights. It uses UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1325 and 1820 as tools to hold officials and decision-makers accountable and to find peaceful solutions to conflicts. The program is currently being implemented in DRC and South Sudan, two countries in the midst of violent conflict that has placed the lives of women and children at risk. Young literate women and girls in conflict-affected areas become Girl Ambassadors for Peace by undergoing a training series on how to conduct literacy education, leadership, and the principles of resolutions 1325 and 1820. The Girl Ambassadors for Peace then travel to rural communities where they teach illiterate girls and women to read and write, along with basic numeracy. The young women also raise awareness about the importance of women’s rights and participation in decision-making and in peacebuilding by using popular theater and community dialogues. The program is currently being implemented in DRC and South Sudan, two countries in the midst of violent conflict that has placed the lives of women and children at risk. To learn more about some of the girls, click here.
Saferworld has recently released a new toolkit titled, Gender Analysis of Conflict. This toolkit is intended to help national and international non-governmental organisations and other peacebuilding practitioners to integrate gender perspectives into conflict analysis, providing a foundation for more gender-sensitive peacebuilding programmes. It focuses on understanding how gender norms – the ways in which societies pressure their male and female members to behave – can either drive conflict and insecurity or be resources for peace.
You can access the resource by clicking here.
United States Institute of Peace
USIP currently has a 60 day campaign, “Youth Leading for Peace and Equality” where they highlight the connections among youth, peace and gender equality. They celebrate the stories of young women and men working for peace, and exchange crucial skills and approaches for building more inclusive societies. Visit their campaign page.