Latest News

New Book and Course: "Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning"

3P Human Security is proud to announce the release of Director Lisa Shirch’s new book titled “Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning: A Strategic, Participatory, Systems-Based Handbook on Human Security.”  Readers will learn a simple conflict assessment framework to identify key concepts; practice designing rigorous research to conduct conflict assessment, and monitoring and evaluation based on collecting and prioritizing data that is valid, accurate and triangulated; identify key components of strategic planning - including conflict assessment, self-assessment, theories of change, and monitoring and evaluation; and prioritize information and make complex decisions to design a comprehensive peacebuilding strategy. For more information about the book, please click here.

"Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning" is also being offered as a 7-day training course at Eastern Mennonite University's Summer Peacebuilding Institute in Harrisonburg, VA from May 27, 2013 to June 4, 2013.  This course is geared toward planners and policy teams at peacebuilding organizations, government agencies, and regional and international organizations. For more information on this course, click here.  To apply for this course or other courses at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute, click here.  Shorter workshops, presentations, and tailored trainings on "Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning" are available upon request.  If interested, contact  Lisa Schirch.

Dr. Lisa Schirch is the founding director of 3P Human Security, a partnership for peacebuilding policy at the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP). AfP connects policymakers with global civil society networks, facilitates civil-military dialogue, and provides a conflict prevention and peacebuilding lens on current policy issues.
Schirch is also a Research Professor at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University and a liaison at the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict. She has worked as a consultant to facilitate national peace processes and write a peacebuilding strategy for the UN Development Program. She teaches local civil society capacity assessment and civil-military guidelines at the US Foreign Service Institute and many military academies.
A former Fulbright Fellow in East and West Africa, Schirch has worked in over 20 countries in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, most recently in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Lebanon.
Schirch has written six books and numerous articles on conflict prevention and strategic peacebuilding.
Schirch holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Waterloo, Canada and a MS and PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.

3P Presents at UNITAR's Seminar on the Prevention of Genocide

3P Program Manager John Filson presented at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research’s (UNITAR) Seminar on the Prevention of Genocide in New York City on January 23, 2013.  The seminar was a collaborative effort between UNITAR and the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect that aimed to give its participants a deeper understanding of the definitions of genocide as well as strategies for the prevention of genocide.  

John spoke about the comparative frameworks of 1) Genocide Prevention focused on Early Warning and preventing outbreaks of mass atrocities, and 2) Conflict Prevention focused on the long-term structural conditions that lead to violent conflict, including episodes of mass violence.

Genocide and mass atrocities do not happen in a vacuum, but always in the context of long-standing dynamics between groups in conflict such as political exclusion, economic exploitation, mutual mistrust and demonizing between groups, and historical grievances. As an analytical framework, Conflict Prevention provides additional tools that compliment Genocide Prevention and Early Warning mechanisms to prevent not only atrocities but also address the long-term conditions that cause them.

The practical benefits of linking Genocide Prevention and Conflict Prevention frameworks is an on-going area of work for the Alliance for Peacebuilding and 3P Human Security. 3P Director Dr. Lisa Schirch is currently conducting research on how these frameworks operate similarly or differently in practice, and how prevention scholars and practitioners can build better synergies between these two important approaches to increase the overall effectiveness of violence prevention in settings of conflict.  

New 3P Publications

3P Director Lisa Schirch recently published two new pieces of note:

The first is a Huffington Post piece titled "On Massacres, Masculinity, Human Rights and Gun Rights." The piece offers reflections on gun violence and its cultural and political roots in the U.S.  

The second piece is on the Local First blog and is titled "Training military forces in local capacity."  This piece explores how military actors interact with civil society in war zones like Afghanistan.  The key lessons identified for military forces are: (1) there are diverse types of civil society organizations in all communities; (2) all civil society organizations require independent space in order to best contribute to human security and peace; and, (3) military forces may have opportunities to support local efforts that contribute to stability.

A complete list of 3P publications can be found here.

Civil Society Leads Track II Diplomacy Efforts with North Korea

In July 2013, it will be 60 years since the Korean War Armistice was concluded, but there is still no peace in the Korean Peninsula.  In November, 3P Human Security and the Alliance for Peacebuilding hosted a roundtable discussion on civil society engagement with North Korea featuring Peter van Tuijl, Executive Director of the Global Secretariat of GPPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict) Secretariat.  Van Tuijl reported on a high-level Track II diplomacy effort in Pyongyang, Beijing, and the region undertaken by members of GPPAC’s North East Asia network over the last two years, including the most recent trip in October. GPPAC’s efforts are currently focused on promoting dialogue and building trust between Six Party countries in order to help create the conditions for moving the peace process forward even while political diplomacy is stalled at the Track I level.  Following the roundtable discussion, Van Tuijl headed to Capitol Hill where he lead a briefing on civil society diplomacy with North Korea with staff from several Congressional offices.

GPPAC’s delegation to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was hosted by the Korean National Peace Committee (KNPC) in Pyongyang.  The GPPAC delegation included members from Australia, China, Ghana, the Netherlands and Japan. A reflection on the visit was published in the China Daily, and can be found here.

Peter van Tuijl leads a Capitol Hill briefing on North Korea.
Peter van Tuijl is Executive Director of the Global Secretariat of GPPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict)in The Hague, a world-wide civil society network that works to promote conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In between 2000-2007, he lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, and worked as a  Civil Society expert with the UNDP-led Partnership for Governance Reform and as a Senior Technical Advisor for a project to combat corruption in the Indonesian National Police, under the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), United States Department of Justice. Earlier, Peter worked as a Senior Advisor with OxfamNovib, concentrating on NGO advocacy capacity building, and served as Executive Secretary to the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID). He has published a number of articles in Academic Journals and other media, on the role of NGOs, transnational civil society, human rights, NGO accountability as well as on social and political developments in Indonesia. He is co-editor with Lisa Jordan of “NGO Accountability, Politics, Principles and Innovations“ (Earthscan 2006).

What’s Next for Nepal: AfP Roundtable Discussion

Many challenges remain on Nepal’s path to peace and stability following the signing of the peace agreement in 2006, which is why 3P, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and the Asia Foundation hosted today’s roundtable discussion, “Continuing a Path toward Stability: What’s Next for Nepal.” Dr. Hari Bansh Jha attended the event as the featured presenter.  The meeting brought together cross-sector practitioners and policymakers involved in work in Nepal, and identified crucial areas that must be addressed for Nepal to move forward on a path toward sustainable peace. Some of the critical issues discussed included the political process, the rule of law and access to justice, and equitable economic development.

A "Collaboration Connections" event on stability and peace in Nepal.
Today’s roundtable was the latest in a series of “Collaboration Connections” events facilitated by the Alliance for Peacebuilding. The purpose is to push forward important dialogue about a region or issue from a peacebuilding lens, and draw upon the unique expertise across multiple sectors of stakeholders to identify opportunities to support peacebuilding goals and explore areas of potential collaboration.

Dr. Hari Bansh Jha (center) shares his thoughts on peace in Nepal.
Dr. Hari Bansh Jha is Professor of Economics and Executive Director of the research organization, Centre for Economic and Technical Studies (CETS) at Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal since 1989.  He was senior ICCR Fellow at Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi from 2011-2012.  He was also Visiting Scholar at The Institute of Asian Studies, German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg Germany in 2011.  Jha has a M.A. in Economics from Banaras Hindu University and Ph.D. from University of Bihar in India.  He taught economics in Nepal’s Tribhuvan University between 1976 and 1998.  He also worked as Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nepal in 1989-90.  In his academic life, Jha has to his credit 27 published books.  He worked on 55 research projects sponsored by different organizations, including the UNDP, UNICEF, UNCTAD, ILO, WHO, World Bank, USAID, the Asian Development Bank, etc.  His interests are wide ranging and include: spirituality, climate change and security, border studies, Nepal-India relations, peace and conflict, Nepal’s relations with Tibet/China, migration, and more.

3P in Mexico: Shaping a Regional Lens to Address Cross-Border Violence

In November 3P Program Manager John Filson took part in a national conference in Chiapas, Mexico organized by the Mexican network of GPPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict), made of local NGOs working in violence prevention and human rights at the community level throughout Mexico. Participants were peacebuilding practitioners from every region, working in the thick of violence and personal threats in Mexico’s general state of insecurity and impunity related to the Drug War, poor governance systems, and chronic poverty and inequality.
Mexican community leaders meet to share stories of violence and peacebuilding efforts throughout Mexico.

The conference was an opportunity for Mexican peacebuilders, activists, and human rights defenders to step back from the heat and pressure of their daily work to share stories of struggles and successes with counterparts from other parts of the country. It helped further strengthen relationships and collaborations among Mexican civil society organizations as part of an on-going robust citizen movement in Mexico that has stood up to demand an end to the violence, impunity, and abuses that have increased drastically in recent years, not only by organized criminal networks but also by government and paramilitary security forces.
Regional representatives discuss potential strategies for addressing systemic violence, corruption, and impunity in Mexico.
John also met with Mexican counterparts to discuss strategies for regional collaboration in response to these complex problems. What Mexico is experiencing today is often understood, especially outside of Mexico, as a power struggle between the Mexican government and the long-standing system of black markets and organized crime. But in reality, problems related to the trade in narcotics, arms and human trafficking, criminal gangs, and the culture of violence with impunity are directly and specifically linked across national borders. Guns made and sold in the U.S. supply drug cartels with the means to kill and extort. Drugs bolstering illegal markets in Mexico fuel gang violence and drug addiction in U.S. cities. Those same profits return to illicit economies in Mexico and continue the cycle. 

Members of GPPAC’s North America regional network focus on cross-border strategies to pursue change in U.S. and Mexican communities and at the policy level.

In 2013, 3P, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and partners in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada will work to support on-going change efforts both at the community and policy levels through strategies that recognize the cross-border nature of the problems of drug consumption, arms trade, and violence that impact vulnerable communities throughout North America. Watch for a bi-national civil society delegation in Washington in Spring, 2013 to help policymakers understand the direct cross-border links and recommendations for cross-border policy solutions.

3P Hosts Expert Panel on Conflict Analysis for Peacebuilding Impact

After safely weathering Hurricane Sandy, 3P hosted a panel discussion titled "From Conflict Analysis to Peacebuilding Impact: Lessons from the People’s Peacebuilding Perspectives Project" that featured experts from Saferworld and Conciliation Resources on October 31 at the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation.  The panel presented new research from the People's Peacemaking Perspectives project that illustrates the benefits, success criteria and challenges to taking a participatory approach to conflict analysis. Rigorous conflict analysis is essential for all actors operating in settings of violence and social conflict. Many different assessment frameworks are in use by various international non-governmental and governmental institutions working in development, peacebuilding, and governance sectors, including US agencies. But analysis tools and the manner in which assessments are conducted vary widely, with mixed results. 

The People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project was a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld. From October 2010 - May 2012, 18 studies were conducted across a range of conflict contexts. Three of the studies looked at Kenya, West Africa, and Liberia and Sierra Leone. The project provided analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people, and sought to reflect the perspectives of those most closely affected by conflict through participatory approaches. It was financed under the European Commission's Instrument for Stability.

Event Speakers:

Zahbia Yousuf, Peacebuilding Editor and Analyst, Conciliation Resources
Janet Mohammed, West Africa Programme Director, Conciliation Resources
Teresa Dumasy, Head of Policy and Learning, Conciliation Resources
James Ndung’U, Project Manager, Saferworld- Kenya
Robert Parker, Director of Policy and Communications, Saferworld

Peacebuilding Principles in Global Development Policies: South-North Civil Society Collaboration

The Civil Society "Core Group" of the IDPS (International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding) is a network of Southern and Northern civil society organizations that are collaborating to engage with governments on issues of development effectiveness in conflict-affected states. 3P and AfP met with other members of the Core Group in The Hague to discuss opportunities, goals, and strategies for promoting peacebuilding approaches to international engagement in conflict-affected countries.  The conference helped strengthen and enhance the impact of the Civil Society Core Group to further streamline civil society's collaboration across conflict-affected countries and Northern donor countries.

3P also works actively within the Core Group's "Political Strategy Working Group" (PSWG), chaired by Melanie Greenberg, President of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and Larry Attree, Conflict & Security Advisor for Saferworld. The working group's mandate is to develop and steer the Core Group's strategies for increasing political will among donor and host governments for making the concrete reforms needed in bilateral aid systems and country-level development processes for more sustainable peacebuilding and statebuilding outcomes in conflict-affected societies.

3P Hosts El-Hibri Foundation Peace Education Prize Winner Dr. Chaiwat Satha-Anand

3P and the Alliance for Peacebuilding hosted a roundtable luncheon in October in honor of the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation's 2012 Peace Education Prize recipient, Dr. Chaiwat Satha-Anand of Thailand.  The El-Hibri Charitable Foundation awarded the distinguished Peace Education Prize to Dr. Satha-Anand to recognize the contributions he has made toward reconciliation and nonviolence in Thailand and elsewhere. Peacebuilding scholars and practitioners gathered at the new Alliance for Peacebuilding office where Dr. Satha-Anand discussed his work and offered comments on current events, including the Arab Spring and broader intercultural and interfaith relationships. 3P was honored to host the El-Hibri Foundation and provide an opportunity for Alliance for Peacebuilding members to meet and engage with Professor Satha-Anand.

Professor Satha-Anand is a senior lecturer in Political Science at Thammasat University in Bangkok and a prominent scholar of alternative defense, religion and peace, Islam and nonviolence, militarism and modern political philosophy. As a Thai Muslim and one of the foremost voices for peace and nonviolence in Thailand, he has pioneered research into Islam and nonviolence, and worked as a peacebuilding practitioner in the long-standing conflict with the Thai Muslim minority in Southern Thailand. He has helped formalize institutions in the Thai government that support nonviolent approaches to political conflict, and is also a great advocate of reaching out to the military and the established security sector to bring conflict resolution and nonviolent options to the table.

3P Moves to the Alliance for Peacebuilding

We are delighted to announce that, as of July, 3P Human Security has moved from Eastern Mennonite University to become a program of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, in Washington DC.

3P Human Security grew out of initial responses to 9/11 at Eastern Mennonite University by faculty, staff and students around the world who wanted to bring the insights of conflict analysis and peacebuilding to the world of security policymaking.

As our program has grown, we have partnered with a wide range of think tanks and organizations in Washington, DC - and the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) has been our closest partner in reaching out to the U.S. government to offer a peacebuilding point of view on current security challenges.

We look forward to working closely with the AfP team to continue our research, educational programs, multi-stakeholder roundtable dialogues, and outreach efforts in Washington. This move enables 3P to work more organically with a larger community of peacebuilding organizations, and helps strengthen the bridges we are trying to build between civil society voices and the policy making process in Washington, and around the world. We look forward to building on our past work together, and to creating new, dynamic programs in the future! 

Warm Regards,
Lisa Schirch, 3P Human Security Director
Melanie Greenberg, Alliance for Peacebuilding President

Making Development more Effective in Conflict-Affected Countries

The New Deal:

3P and the Alliance for Peacebuilding are working with international coalitions to help ensure countries implement reforms in international development aid strategies based on the New Deal for Engagementin Fragile States. In the U.S., 3P and AfP helped form a new Subgroup on Conflict-Affected and Fragile States, part of InterAction's larger Aid Effectiveness Working Group operating since 2009. The Subgroup brings together U.S.-based civil society experts on the peacebuilding-development nexus to advise USAID as it seeks to implement changes in the way it approaches development in conflict-affected contexts, including one of the New Deal 'pilot projects' launched by Liberia, the U.S., and Sweden. 3P and AfP helped convene several meetings and dialogue for the Subgroup this summer to advance the development effectiveness agenda.

The role of global civil society:
Internationally, global civil society stakeholders on this issue organized themselves into a 'Core Group' of Southern and Northern peacebuilding practitioner and policy organizations to relate with the official inter-governmental body of donor and host nations implementing the New Deal, called the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS). 3P and AfP are active members of the civil society Core Group, working hard to make sure governments implement the peacebuilding approaches mandated by the New Deal in an inclusive way that empowers conflict-affected societies to chart their own course out of fragility.

The post-2015 development agenda:
We are also working to make peacebuilding principles part of the foundation of the new global development agenda that will replace the Millenium Development Goals when they expire in 2015. 3P and AfP are currently participating in the international Core Group's effort to draft position papers and plan outreach events aimed at increasing the political momentum for peacebuilding principles to be featured in the post-2015 framework.

3P Offers Workshop for Cote d'Ivoire Delegation

In August, 3P Program Manager John Filson welcomed a judge, an artist, a civil society activist, and a journalist from Cote d'Ivoire who were visiting the United States to learn more about U.S. perspectives on and approaches to conflict resolution and reconciliation, both in international affairs and also in grassroots communities in the U.S. The Institute of International Education through the State Department's International Visitors Leadership Program hosted the delegation.

John offered a seminar for the delegates about the theories of change that guide 3P's policy work in Washington bringing the voices and analyses of local civil society stakeholders in settings of conflict around the world into the U.S. policy-making system. John also discussed some of the ways the perspectives on peacebuilding and human security of U.S. non-governmental actors differ from the models and approaches to prevention and security used by U.S. government agencies. The delegates shared their own perspectives on the nature and methods of peacebuilding in Cote d'Ivoire and the West African region, and how they relate to Western paradigms. 

New Report Comparing Human Security Paradigms

Human Security Roundtable
In May, 2012, 3P co-sponsored a special roundtable meeting that brought together senior representatives from the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the US Department of State, USAID, Defense Department, NGOs, academics, and grantmakers to discuss the various ways these institutions are defining and operationalizing concepts like Human Security, Protection of Civilians, Citizen Security, and others.

3P Director Lisa Schirch compiled a new report based on the May meeting titled, “From Protection of Civilians to Human Security: Comparing and Contrasting Principles, Distinctions, and Institutionalization.” The report summarizes how key institutions and experts are defining and operationalizing these concepts to identify important distinctions in how they are understood and used. Interpretations and expectations of roles these various institutions play are in conflict in some cases. By describing and mapping institutional approaches and definitions, the report aims to provide information that will enable enable problemsolving and further dialogue to clarify and
reduce tensions between approaches.

The report is structured as follows:
1. Summary Points of Agreement and Difference
2. Description of Key Principles
3. Comparing Institutional Principles
4. Institutional Responses to “Protection of Civilians”–UN, US agencies, NGOs
5. Institutional Responses to “Civilian Security” – US State Department
6. Institutional Responses to “Citizen Security” – World Bank
7. Institutional Responses to “Human Security” – UN, European Union, GPPAC
8. Participants in the Human Security Roundtable and Speaker bios
To read the full report, please click here

3P plans to continue facilitating this important dialogue and widen the circle of stakeholders. Participants may convene for a second roundtable later in the Fall to follow-up on issues raised and deepen the discussion.

CSO Delegation to DC: Pakistani Peacebuilding Approaches

 Pakistani Delegation: 
Culturally-Based Approaches to Peacebuilding
Pakistani civil society is developing a range of innovative approaches to address extremism and conflict in their country to better foster peace. Drawing on local cultural and religious traditions, civil society finds positive ways of building support for peace and human rights. US policy can learn from these indigenous interventions to be more effective at supporting peace in the region.

3P invited and hosted a Pakistani delegation to share their culturally-based approaches to peacebuilding in Pakistan.  Ali Gohar, a former Fulbright fellow at Eastern Mennonite University, shared from his article, linked here, on how jirga processes are evolving in Afghanistan and Pakistan, highlighting their role in restorative justice and conflict transformation.

Filmmaker, anthropologist and human rights advocate Samar Minallah shared how she uses films portraying positive leadership and elements of tribal culture that support women's and girls' empowerment. Click here to watch her video Allaho, widely watched throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan's tribal areas on mobile phones to highlight the value of girls and girl education.

3P published two policy briefs to coincide with the Pakistani delegation visits:
Culturally-based Approaches to Peacebuilding in Pakistan
Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Drone Strikes

Event: Aid Effectiveness in Fragile States

May 10, 2012

Development Effectiveness in Conflict-Affected Countries – 
A Look at the New Deal and the Future of the Millennium Development Goals

Last year in Busan, Republic of Korea, 35 major donor and host country governments, including the United States, endorsed the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States in order to make development aid more effective in “Conflict-Affected and Fragile States” (CAFS). It elevates local priorities in international aid systems and calls for more inclusive relations between country governments and civil society so local people can chart their own course out of violence and poverty. It also adds an important conflict lens to the future framework that will eventually replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015, as most “fragile states” have yet to reach a single MDG.  

The New Deal calls upon donor and host nations to change the way they manage bilateral and multi-lateral aid and development strategies in a way that builds greater mutual trust, allows genuine country ownership and leadership, and is built on "legitimate" inclusive politics and government-civil society relations in the host country that emphasizes the security of citizens and access to justice so societies can chart their own path out of conflict and fragility.
(From Left to Right): John Filson, 3P Human Security Program Manager; Neil Levine, Director of USAID Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation; Dayna Brown, Director of the Listening Project at CDA Collaborative Learning Projects; Andrew Tomlinson, Director and Representative at the Quaker U.N. Office in New York.

Such principles are not new. What is new about the New Deal is the level of political will behind the calls for reform that give these ideals much more traction than in in the past. They have already resulted in tangible changes underway in donor and host country aid systems. Another novel development is the degree of collaboration and coordination among g7+ (fragile state) governments, who have joined together as a major collective force to make the New Deal a reality. 

More than 70 Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) members participated in this panel discussion as part of AfP's Annual Conference.

Neil Levine, the Director of USAID's Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation and one of the leaders of U.S. efforts to implement New Deal principles, spoke about concrete changes the United States has made since Busan, including the April 21st announcement of a strategic partnership with Liberia and Sweden as a pilot project to implement New Deal principles. Dayna Brown, the Director of the Listening Project at CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, discussed the significance of the New Deal from a civil society point of view, noting important changes the peacebuilding and development communities have been advocating for for a long time. Finally, Andrew Tomlinson, the Director and Representative at the Quaker United Nations Office of New York placed the New Deal in the context of international conventions on development and the post-2015 framework that will come after the Millennium Development Goals, and pointed to key concerns that will need to be addressed by the international community if the New Deal is to play a truly pivotal role in the long-term. 3P's Program Manager John Filson Moderated the discussion.

Peacebuilding practitioners and scholars, members of the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) at the 2012 AfP Annual Conference May 10 - 12 in Washington, DC
Neil Levine, Director of the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation at USAID