Research this month

Peace Direct report: Local voices for peace in Northern Nigeria

There is no substitute for the reach and engagement that local groups can have. The only people with the credibility and connections to do this work properly in Northern Nigeria are those in and from the region itself.

Local voices for peace in Northern Nigeria, from Peace Direct, brings together the analysis and recommendations of 17 peacebuilding organisations in Northern Nigeria on conflicts in the region. The report advocates for a shift to a locally-led approach, directly engaging and supporting civil society groups in order to reduce the devastation caused by conflict in Northern Nigeria.

Women building peace after forced migration: the case of the Myanmar diaspora in Norway

The increased recognition of the peacebuilding roles of women and refugee diaspora groups reflects a shift in perspectives on people affected by violence; that they are not only passive victims of their circumstances, but also agents capable of changing those circumstances.

Women building peace after forced migration, from PRIO, looks at the role diaspora groups can have in promoting peace in their country of origin. The report looks at the example of the Myanmar diaspora in Norway to show how diaspora groups can have a significant positive impact.

‘They treat us all like jihadis’ - Looking beyond violent extremism to building peace in Mali

It is essential to invest in local peace in order to mobilise effective deterrence programmes to prevent the appeal of extremist armed groups and criminal networks, as well as discourage the use of violence as a way of achieving one’s aspirations.

Looking beyond violent extremism to building peace in Mali, from International Alert, examines the drivers of violent extremism in Mali, and how peace can be strengthened. The report recommends investing in better mapping of conflict dynamics, and approaches to peacebuilding that work at all levels.

How can peacekeepers strengthen their engagement with local communities? Opportunities and challenges in the field

The UN already has a range of tools and practices at its disposal – but, for community engagement to be more systematic, these need to be harnessed into a coherent strategy, with operational guidelines that are relevant for bottom–up and top–down processes.

How can peacekeepers strengthen their engagement with local communities, from NUPI, explores how the UN can better engage with local people in peacekeeping operations. The report calls for the systematic involvement of local communities in decision-making and offers specific recommendations on how this can be achieved.

Women in nonviolent movements

The tendency to underestimate women’s political potency can function as a shield for nonviolent direct action, allowing women to evade government officials and security forces, which typically target men, in order to document abuses, raise awareness, and engage in acts of defiance without receiving as much scrutiny.

Women in nonviolent movements, from USIP, examines the role women can have in non-violent movements, particularly how gender dynamics create unique opportunities for women's participation. The research draws on examples from an number of countries to highlight the importance of women's inclusion in peace processes and non-violent movements. 

Disarmament of the heart: Reconciliation in the Central African Republic

The areas and communities in which [Local Peace Cells] operate have witnessed reduced frequency of conflicts, early detection of potential violence, and synergies in peacebuilding efforts among state and non-state

Disarmament of the heart, from Conciliation Resources, uses the organisation's experience supporting reconciliation projects in the Central African Republic to suggest areas where attention should be focused in order to promote peace in the country. Among the recommendations are to support local reconciliation efforts and better include local communities in national reconciliation processes.

Mapping EU peace projects

The EU's Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) funds projects working to prevent and respond to actual or emerging crises in 74 countries. In partnership with the IcSP, Peace Direct has developed an online interactive map where you can explore the many projects the IcSP supports across the world. Explore the map »

Funding opportunities

International Bremen Peace Award

The International Bremen Peace Award honours people and organisations that set an example through their work contributing to reconciliation, human rights, overcoming of racism, social justice, sustainable handling of nature and environment as well as to intercultural and interreligious understanding. Deadline: 31 January 2017. Find out more

HumanityX Cross-Over Fund

The HumanityX Cross-Over Fund gives digital innovators the opportunity to improve a process, product or service within the peace, justice or humanitarian sector. Grants of up to €50,000 are available. Deadline: 17 February 2017. Find out more

Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order

The Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, is open for applications and seeks ideas on issues of world importance and presented viewpoints that could lead to a more just and peaceful world. The award is accompanied by a prize of $100,000. Deadline: 31 January 2017. Find out more

Mind & Life Institute PEACE Awards

The PEACE Awards support research on novel interdisciplinary approaches for investigating and nurturing wholesome mental qualities related to Prosociality, Empathy, Altruism, Compassion, and Ethics (PEACE). Two levels of funding are available through this program: up to $25,000 and up to $100,000. Deadline: 14 April 2017. Find out more

Next Generation Women Leaders Award

McKinsey & Company is currently inviting female students and experienced professionals across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to apply for the Next Generation Women Leaders Award 2017. The award includes €2,000 and individual mentorship from McKinsey consultants. Deadline: 06 March 2017. Find out more

National Endowment for Democracy

The National Endowment for Democracy invites civic organizations, associations, independent media, and other similar non-government organizations around the world to apply for its grant funding. Grant amounts vary depending on the size and scope of the projects, but the average grant lasts 12 months and is around $50,000. Deadline: 20 January 2017. Find out more

The Middle East Partnership Initiative Program

The Office of Assistance Coordination’s Middle East Partnership Initiative Program is seeking proposals for its Local Grants Program. The program supports partnerships between citizens, organizations, and governments in the MENA region to resolve shared challenges and promote shared interests in the areas of participatory governance, economic reform and educational advancement. Grants of between $50,000 and $150,000 are available. Deadline: 22 March 2017. Find out more 

From the blog

EurActiv: Jobs and skills to cement democracy in post-Arab Spring Tunisia.

Opportunity is the bedrock of a stable democracy. EU support for innovation and education in Tunisia will benefit the whole of North Africa, as well as the EU itself, write Imed Hammami and Pier Antonio Panzeri. Read the full article on EurActiv »

Hope amidst the horror in Northern Nigeria

By Ruairi Nolan: Peace Direct releases the first in a series of reports on the views and strategies of local peacebuilders in conflict zones. The first focuses on Northern Nigeria. Read more »

Outbreak of violence in the Central African Republic: how can local peacebuilders put an end to this?

By Martine Kessy Ekomo-Soignet: Kessy Ekomo-Soignet calls on those with a real desire to end the conflict in the Central African Republic to support local peacebuilders. Read more »

'We are free now in The Gambia - or maybe not'

By Tomas Serna: Gambian President Yahya Jammeh surprised many when he announced his intention to step down recently, after 22 years of rule. But he has since performed a U-turn, saying the result of the election which saw him defeated was not credible. Tomas Serna reflects on Gambian life. Read more »

Ivory Coast: political tensions and the peacebuilding process

By Daniel Ozoukou: Political tensions associated with President Ouattara’s regime are putting efforts to build peace and security in the Ivory Coast at risk, says Daniel Ozoukou. Read more »

Aleppo is falling. What next?

By Ruairi Nolan: The battle for Aleppo is nearly over. Thousands have been killed. Ruairi Nolan highlights the latest events from Syria. Read more »

Using puppets to foster peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Alizée Gau: Prejudice among schoolchildren in Bosnia and Herzegovina may be even greater now than before the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Alizée Gau reports. Read more »