Gulu University established the Centre for Conflict Management and Peace Studies (CCMPS) in 2003, which was elevated to the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS) in 2007. The Institute has become an efficient, effective and robust organisation in the promotion of an inter-disciplinary, action-oriented and community-centred approach to conflict prevention, management, resettlement, resolution, transformation and peacebuilding in the region. The vision of IPSS is to be a leading centre for academic and practical excellence in peace, legal and strategic studies.
The Institute responds to the challenge by establishing itself as a focal point for intellectual inquiry and action-oriented research and community outreach programming in the fields of peace, conflict and strategic studies, development and humanitarian interventions, and other relevant areas.
IPSS is a new instrument for civil society-based peacebuilding promotion within Gulu University's framework of community transformation. It is an innovative intervener in peace and reconciliation work, involving civil society and community initiatives. The Institute is a major agent of institutional change in the process of contributing towards improved community peace and sustainable livelihoods in a region that has been severely traumatised by decades of armed conflict.
With a commitment to and interest in international, regional and national partnerships and networking for peace work, IPSS is an open space and for training and developing new methods in peace work; creating and reinforcing new capacities in peacebuilders as genuine catalysts for change within their communities. IPSS conducts courses in conflict management for all Gulu University undergraduate students. The institute also runs an advanced conflict management course for postgraduate and masters students. Its Community Outreach Peace Projects (COPP) engage them in practical grassroots peacebuilding and cross-border reconciliation across northern and north eastern Uganda.