Grants

USIP grants increase the breadth and depth of the Institute’s work by supporting peacebuilding projects managed by non-profit organizations including educational institutions, research institutions, and civil society organizations.

In over twenty-five years of grantmaking, the Institute’s grant competitions have received almost 11,000 applications and awarded some 2,200 grants for research, training, education, Track II, media and other programs to prevent, manage, and resolve violent conflict and consolidate post-conflict peace, stability and development.  The Institute has provided funding to grantees located in 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and in 87 countries around the world.

Over the past 30 years, the peacebuilding field has matured and consolidated.  It now requires a new focused investment in its conceptual and practical development.  Accordingly, the Institute has restructured its grantmaking to fund and support targeted opportunities to advance peacebuilding research and practice. The Institute’s Annual Grant Competition (AGC) has been replaced by focused grantmaking to support institutions that test and advance models of peacebuilding practice, and build the capacity of partners in conflict countries to implement and assess the effectiveness of creative peacebuilding strategies. 

Teaching Peace in Pakistan’s Turbulent Mega-City

The subtropical seaport of Karachi is an exploding population bomb, the world’s fastest-growing mega-city. More than 1,000 migrants pile out of buses and trains each day, ratcheting up the population of 22 million. “They leave bombed-out villages in the tribal north or parched hamlets in South Punjab  to come settle at the edge of sewers in unplanned slums,” seeking survival as laborers, Karachi novelist Muhammad Hanif wrote this summer.

The migrants keep coming even though “Karachi is known for killing its residents,” Hanif wrote. Crime and battles among the city’s criminal gangs, rival ethnic militias and Pakistani Taliban pushed violent deaths to about 3,000 in each of the past three years.

James Rupert
Mon, 11/02/2015 - 17:03
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Israeli, Palestinian Kids4Peace: ‘Stubborn Optimism’ in Violent Days

To hear voices of peace challenged by a surge of violence, simply listen to a conference call held by Arab and Jewish parents in Jerusalem who are involved in the program Kids4Peace. The bonds formed over the years their children attended the group’s dialogues and camps are at once strained and sturdy, resolute and despairing and frayed by fear. For the program’s staff, one posted message reflects their defiance at this moment in the Arab-Israeli conflict: “We will not be defeated. Nothing is cancelled.”

Over 12 years, Kids4Peace, a U.S.-based nonprofit, has brought together more than 1,100 school-age youths—Jews, along with Muslim and Christian Arabs—in Jerusalem and at international summer camps to support them in “embodying a culture of peace and empowering a movement for change.”

Fred Strasser
Wed, 10/28/2015 - 16:51
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'Justice' During Conflict: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Governments and rebels alike are readily using – and often abusing – standard justice mechanisms like trials or amnesties during conflicts, even as part of their military strategy. And because they’re using the terminology of Western-style rule of law, the international community generally has failed to carefully examine these practices for their longer-term impact. New research, supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace, documents the trend and explores its potentially devastating effect on efforts to rebuild societies after war.

Hanne Dalmut

The research by Cyanne Loyle, a former assistant professor at West Virginia University and incoming faculty member at Indiana University, spanned 204 conflicts that occurred from 1946 to 2011 and catalogued 2,205 instances where antagonists have used traditional mechanisms of transitional justice during a conflict. In 76 percent of those conflicts, at least one process was used; in 65 percent, two or more mechanisms were identified.

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 16:34
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Iraqis Displaced by War: Rebuilding Trust for Reconciliation

More than 3 million Iraqis have been forced from their homes in the sweep of the “Islamic State” extremist movement across northern Iraq in the past 18 months. As the group systematically targets other Muslims and minority religions, the massive displacement creates not only a humanitarian disaster but also the prospect that Iraqis may never be able to reconcile and rebuild. The Baghdad Women’s Association (BWA), with a USIP grant, is working with Iraqis in the capital who fled Nineveh Province to help them cope with their trauma and build skills to avoid a dangerous cycle of violence.

Raya Barazanji

Scattered and traumatized, those who’ve been displaced struggle to meet basic needs such as food, housing and health care. Local and international organizations have expressed deep concern about the shortage of adequate shelter, security and social services for displaced populations.

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 13:27
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In Cambodia’s Schools, Breaking a Silence Over the 'Killing Fields'

A generation after the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia and exterminated an estimated 2 million of its people, that brutal history is largely hidden from young Cambodians. While the country remains heavily scarred by this legacy, the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s is still largely unacknowledged in the nation’s schools.

Cambodians who suffered in labor camps or witnessed the executions of loved ones still suffer high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. Many such victims and their families live alongside former Khmer Rouge cadres and their relatives.

USIP Staff
Wed, 04/08/2015 - 15:54
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Amid Tension in Israel, USIP Grantee Helps Improve Policing in a Divided Society

On the heels of last summer’s Israel-Gaza war, tensions between Jewish and Arab citizens within Israel have escalated significantly. In such a context of deep divisions, the extent to which police internalize fair and effective policing—and that citizens see that as a reality—are crucial factors in preventing a downward spiral of violence. Supported by a USIP grant, The Abraham Fund Initiatives (TAFI) has been tackling this issue through its Arab Society-Police Relations Initiative

Fatima Fettar

Intercommunal violence has spiked since last summer, in Jerusalem in particular, and deeply strained relations are evident throughout the country. Despite the heightened tension, TAFI has continued to pursue an intervention strategy it developed more than 10 years ago to build sustainable relationships based on mutual trust and respect between the predominantly Jewish police force and Arab citizens of the country.

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 13:17
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Citizens Mobilize to Improve Services in Iraqi Province

In the summer of 2012, tensions rose between citizens and local authorities in Al-Muthanna Province, a largely tribal and conservative governorate in southwest Iraq. Frequent disputes over poor public services and funding for development projects, as well as corruption allegations, had stalled important initiatives such as a water-and-sewer upgrade and an effort to clear roads of trash. Similar frustrations had led to clashes, deaths and burning of government buildings in neighboring Wasit and Basra provinces.

Raya Barazanji

Similarly, in Al-Muthanna Province, officials lacked an effective method to address citizens’ grievances, and exasperated residents began threatening elected provincial and appointed district council members with violence. So a local non-governmental organization (NGO) sought to prevent the tensions from escalating into violence, and intervened to mediate the conflict.

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 12:32
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USIP Grant Enables Peace Education Programs in Somalia

If the youth are the seeds of our future, then education is the light which helps them grow – and in this case, the United States Institute of Peace's (USIP) grantees are the greenhouse, ensuring that the roots of peace begin to develop early and deeply in the communities that need it the most. Right now, USIP's grant program is supporting youth peace education in Uganda, Sudan and Somalia. 

A USIP grantee in Somalia is introducing the first widely available peace education program in the country's history. This civil society organization is bringing together education experts and specialists from Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland to revise the social studies curriculum for elementary, middle and high school students. These experts are combing through textbooks, classroom materials and lesson plans to remove cultural and ethnic bias.

Jack Froude
Fri, 05/30/2014 - 13:32
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USIP Grant Strengthens Training Program for Humanitarian Aid Responders

When Indian River State College identified a lack of adequate training among humanitarian aid and peace operations practitioners, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) offered grant funding to a project that develops sustainable simulation platforms to conduct peace and humanitarian operations training.  

Horia M. Dijmarescu

Indian River State College made a compelling case that the humanitarian aid community as a whole lacked sufficient capacity to train field managers who can operate effectively in crisis situations, and that the demand for leaders of humanitarian operations is increasing as environmental change, as well as political instability, creates the need for more relief, reconstruction and stabilization efforts by governmental agencies and NGOs.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 14:23
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Dialoguing for Reconciliation in Yemen

The National Dialogue is an important milestone in Yemen’s transition. Following the broad grassroots revolution in Yemen that began in January 2011 and continued throughout that year, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) facilitated the transition of President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power. As part of the agreement brokered by GCC, an inclusive "National Dialogue" was held to discuss constitutional reform, key political roadblocks such as the question of southern independence and adoption of legal and administrative reforms to improve governance and rights protection, among other issues. Backed by the United Nations and the international community, the process began in March 2013 and concluded in January 2014, and resulted in nearly 1800 recommendations on many difficult and diverse issues. 

While some argue that the National Dialogue did not go far enough on many of the mandated issues, most Yemenis who participated in the process considered it to be a successful exercise. At a minimum, it succeeded in bringing together different political parties, social groups, women and youth group representatives, many of whom had been excluded in previous political processes and were highly skeptical the government’s ability to achieve consensus through dialogue.

Raya Barazanji
Mon, 06/16/2014 - 13:14
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Grants Highlights

The subtropical seaport of Karachi is an exploding population bomb, the world’s fastest-growing mega-city. More than 1,000 migrants pile out of buses and trains each day, ratcheting up the population of 22 million. “They leave bombed-out villages in the tribal north or parched hamlets in South Punjab  to come settle at the edge of sewers in unplanned slums,” seeking survival as laborers, Karachi novelist Muhammad Hanif wrote this summer.

To hear voices of peace challenged by a surge of violence, simply listen to a conference call held by Arab and Jewish parents in Jerusalem who are involved in the program Kids4Peace. The bonds formed over the years their children attended the group’s dialogues and camps are at once strained and sturdy, resolute and despairing and frayed by fear. For the program’s staff, one posted message reflects their defiance at this moment in the Arab-Israeli conflict: “We will not be defeated. Nothing is cancelled.”

Governments and rebels alike are readily using – and often abusing – standard justice mechanisms like trials or amnesties during conflicts, even as part of their military strategy. And because they’re using the terminology of Western-style rule of law, the international community generally has failed to carefully examine these practices for their longer-term impact. New research, supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace, documents the trend and explores its potentially devastating effect on efforts to rebuild societies after war.

More than 3 million Iraqis have been forced from their homes in the sweep of the “Islamic State” extremist movement across northern Iraq in the past 18 months. As the group systematically targets other Muslims and minority religions, the massive displacement creates not only a humanitarian disaster but also the prospect that Iraqis may never be able to reconcile and rebuild. The Baghdad Women’s Association (BWA), with a USIP grant, is working with Iraqis in the capital who fled Nineveh Province to help them cope with their trauma and build skills to avoid a dangerous cycle of violence.