Wherever there is violence and conflict in the world, there are local people working to resolve and prevent it.

Peace Insight was launched in 2007 to bring greater attention to their invaluable work. Published by Peace Direct, we are the world’s leading resource on local peacebuilding. We provide a vital network that connects peacebuilders with an international actors and organizations—and with each other.

Peace Insight maps and highlights the work of our unique network of journalists, activists, and peacebuilders who are proud to wear the title of Local Peacebuilding Expert (LPE). Together, these 9 LPEs provide in-depth knowledge of over forty conflicts around the world and the organisations working on the ground to resolve them.

Our LPEs identify local peacebuilding organizations to be featured in our interactive database, offer expert commentary and analysis on conflicts and security issues in their part of the world, and help us organize peacebuilding workshops and conferences around the globe. Their work is fundamental to this site, and to our mission to amplify the voices of local peacebuilders.

Peace Insight provides:

A vital resource

Our interactive database is the cornerstone of our work, providing a comprehensive resource on peacebuilding projects and activities. Peace Insight profiles the work of more than 1,500 peacebuilding organizations in 44 conflict-affected regions and catalogs external resources on the importance of local peacebuilding. Our extensive network also makes us uniquely suited to conduct specialized research projects across a wide range of topics.

Expert analysis

Our LPEs provide Peace Insight with invaluable first-hand reporting on peacebuilding initiatives around the world which we publish here, alongside articles and analysis from guest correspondents. We also serve as an international platform for local peacebuilders to share their views on the issues that affect them.

Community and outreach

Peace Insight helps organize and facilitate Peace Exchanges—conferences that bring together local groups and international actors—as well as innovative online consultations that connect diverse groups and local experts to explore security issues and ideas for conflict resolution around the world.

Up-to-date information

We’re committed to sharing the latest information, research developments, and fundraising and training opportunities. To stay in the loop, for one of our newsletters.

Support for the future

Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders are the global awards for local peacebuilding and offer vital support and greater opportunities for recipients. Peace Insight helps identify organizations worthy of recognition and connect them to an international network that can help them—and their impact—grow.

The Peace Insight team

Peace Insight is managed by Peace Direct staff based in London:

Head of Research and Engagement: Ruairi Nolan

Ruairi manages Peace Insight, including the Tomorrow’s Peacebuilder competition and leads on identifying new partners and supporting them in the early years of the partnership. He joined Peace Direct as Peace Insight Project Manager in 2009. He has an MSc in Latin American Studies and has worked in rural development in Central America, at Irish Aid and at the UNESCO Centre at the University of Ulster. Contact: ruairi.nolan@peacedirect.org.

Peacebuilding Technology Programmes Officer: Joel Gabri

Joel supports the web infrastructure and development of Peace Insight and Peace Direct websites. He also leads on our work looking at how technology can support local peacebuilders, including advanced approaches to mapping and incident reporting and monitoring. Joel has a degree in Peace & Conflict Studies and Politics, with his final year dissertation focusing on how the Internet can be used to promote and assist conflict resolution. Contact: joel.gabri@peacedirect.org.

Research and Advocacy Officer: Dimitri Kotsiras

Dimitri is responsible for supporting Peace Direct’s research projects, including Peace Insight and Local Voices for Peace, and runs Peace Direct’s advocacy activities in the UK. He has previously supported programme research and design at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), acted as a researcher and campaigner with Crisis Action and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), and spent a year at the United Nations reporting on the UN Security Council. He holds a BA in Political Science from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and an MA in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London, where his dissertation focused on the nexus between peacebuilding and natural resource governance in South Sudan. Contact: dimitri.kotsiras@peacedirect.org 

Communications Officer: Lena Elhibir

Lena is jointly responsible for Peace Direct’s digital marketing and communications. She manages the running of the Peace Direct website and all social media channels, and produces all print publications. She is jointly responsible for the blog content on the Peace Insight website. Lena holds a BA in International Relations from Queen Mary University of London, and spent a year studying Political Science at the University of Miami in the US. Before joining Peace Direct Lena worked as Senior Marketing Executive at Shard Financial Media, and had previously worked in Brand Communications for the De Beers Group of Companies, and other leading private sector firms. She has several years of experience in varied communications in different sectors. Contact: lena.elhibir@peacedirect.org

Communications Officer: Sarah Phillips

Sarah is jointly responsible for Peace Direct’s digital marketing and communications. She manages the running of the Peace Direct website and all social media channels, and produces all print publications. She is jointly responsible for the blog content on the Peace Insight website. Sarah previously worked in Mexico with the British Council, and before joining Peace Direct was working for an international social justice charity as Communications and Projects Assistant. She has over three years experience writing and editing for online communications. Sarah holds a BA in French and Spanish from Newcastle University and an MA in International Relations from the Central European University. Contact: sarah.phillips@peacedirect.org

 

 

Peace Insight staff work with a team of Local Peacebuilding Experts from around the world

Kashmir - Ashima Kaul

Ashima Kaul is a founding member of the Yakjah Peace and Reconciliation Network, a network of Kashmiri professionals working on reconciliation and the empowerment of youth and women. A journalist by profession, she has participated in a number of national and international conferences, as well as training programmes related to women’s leadership, peace and security, conflict resolution, intra-Kashmir dialogue and peacebuilding. She has an active interest in inter-faith dialogue. As a founding member of Control Arms Foundation India, she also works on gun control and small arms and light weapons issues in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mali - Boubacar Thera

Boubacar Thera is Peace Direct’s Local Peacebuilding Expert in Mali. Boubacar is the National Coordinator for the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding in Mali, and an Assistant Professor at the Université des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques de Bamako. Prior to this he worked for a variety of NGOs and other organisations, and as an interpreter.

Pakistan - Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed

Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Deakin University in Australia. He received his PhD from the University of New England (UNE) in Australia. He has an MA in Peace Education from the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, and an MA in Sociology from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad in Pakistan. He has taught peace and conflict studies at universities in Australia and Pakistan. Since 2003, he has been working with local and international development agencies in South Asia, in particular in Pakistan, on various peacebuilding and development projects. He has published and presented papers on a wide range of issues, such as Islam, human rights, peace & conflict, regionalism, and regional security.

Colombia - Lina María Jaramillo

Lina María Jaramillo is our Local Peacebuilding Expert for Colombia. Lina María is a political scientist with Master's degrees in International Studies and International Development. For the past 8 years, she has worked on projects related to peace, security and development issues, and is currently with acting as a Knowledge Management Officer at Oxfam.

Central African Republic - Martine Kessy Ekomo-Soignet

Martine Kessy Ekomo-Soignet is our Local Peacebuilding Expert in Central African Republic (CAR). She has over four years of experience in the political and development sectors. She has worked with UNDP, UNESCO and the African Medical and Research Foundation. Her work in CAR focuses on civil society and youth organisations. Martine Kessy holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Social and Political studies and a master’s degree in Geopolitics, International Security and International Relations. She completed the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in 2014, and was one of 100 Fellows competitively selected to participate in an 8-week internship in the United States following the Mandela Washington Fellowship academic institute.

Nigeria - Michael Olufemi Sodipo, Ph.D

Michael Olufemi Sodipo works as a Project Coordinator for the Peace Initiative Network (PIN), a Nigerian peacebuilding organisation that since 2004 has been conducting a range of peace education, advocacy, and training activities in schools and through extracurricular programmes in several northern Nigerian states. He has spoken widely on the role of civil society organisations in promoting peace among diverse youth populations, including at conferences in Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Jordan, and the United States. Michael has also travelled with graduates of PIN programmes, including to a youth parliamentary debate in the UK House of Commons.

Ukraine - Olga Dolinina

Olga Dolinina is Peace Insight’s Local Peacebuilding Expert in Ukraine. A trained journalist, in 2014 she began working for Save the Children in Dnipropetrovsk. Using her experience in professional sports marketing and management, she also founded and manages Break The Ice, a hockey-based NGO supporting children displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.

Afghanistan - Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies

Peace Insight's information on peacebuilding organisations based in Afghanistan is provided by the Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies (DROPS). DROPS is a women-led research organisation in the Afghan capital, Kabul. It was established in 2012 by Mariam Safi (a researcher and analyst) and Naheed Farid (member of The National Assembly in Afghanistan). Its goal is to harness the efforts of women to bridge the research and policy nexus in Afghanistan.

Lebanon - Sawssan Abou-Zahr

Sawssan Abou-Zahr is a Lebanese journalist, editor and consultant. She covers issues related to the Arab Spring, women, Syrian and Palestinian refugees, radical Islamist movements, and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. She has written features on human rights issues and peacebuilding based on field research in Afghanistan and Libya, and has also worked on assignments in Switzerland, Bahrain, Oman, Poland, Algeria, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Kuwait and Turkey, covering high profile events and interviewing prominent political figures. She has contributed to editions of the IREX report on media freedom in Lebanon.