The Southern Institute of Peace-building and Development (SIPD) was founded in 2008 to fill the gap between academic analysis of civil society and practical work on the ground in Zimbabwe. The work of SIPD focuses on the following three thematic areas: local infrastructure for peace; social entrepreneurship for peace; and research for peace.
Main aims and activities
SIPD aims to carry out peace-building work in the communities while at the same time carrying out research to inform that work and advance knowledge and understanding the field in general.
SIPD activities include:
- Improving local infrastructure for peace: 10-15 volunteer peace builders, called the Community Peace and Development Hub (CPDH), are building capacity in communities in Zimbabwe and coordinating peacebuilding and development activities. In 2014, SIPD in partnership with the International Peace Project 2000, managed the Peace and the Constitution of Zimbabwe project, where they organised a training for youth on the constitution.
- Social enterprise for peace: This theme focuses on empowering communities, in particular youth; it aims to enable them to address their basic needs and thus focus on peacebuilding issues and to make them less at risk of participating in politically-motivated violence. In 2014, SIPD partnered with Untu Microfinance to provide micro-credits to over 100 beneficiaries. Currently, there are ongoing negotiations with ZB Bank on providing loans to members of the CPDH. SIPD have also started an internal savings and loan scheme to raise finances for personal and business expenses of their CPDH members in 2015.
- Research for peace: SIPD carries out research on peace and development issues in Southern Africa and publishes the scientific peer-reviewed Southern Peace Review Journal (SPRJ).
SIPD staff have also produced and presented papers at various events including at UNICEF Harare. In 2011, SIPD hosted the inaugural “International Symposium on Community-driven Peacebuilding and Development” in Harare.