The U.S Institute of Peace’s Center for Applied Conflict Transformation (ACT) is built on the premise that there are common tools and approaches to peacebuilding that are adaptive, but applicable to peacebuilding globally. We serve as the hub of the Institute’s common resources for governments, organizations, and individuals seeking to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict worldwide. ACT prioritizes evaluation and learning from our programs to adapt and improve our work. As of 2017, ACT is actively engaged in more than 40 fragile and conflict-affected countries around the world.

The Center leads the Institute’s long-standing engagements on:

  • Justice, security, rule of law: ACT’s Justice and Security Dialogue (JSD) program, which brings together police and local communities to build trust and facilitate collective problem-solving, is currently being implemented in several countries across West Africa, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, and Tunisia. USIP also spearheads the International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL), a global online community of practice, comprised of over 3,000 rule-of-law practitioners from 120 countries.
  • Inclusive societies – particularly engagement with religious actors and youth: ACT currently focuses on mapping of religious actors at the intersection of peace and conflict in Libya, Pakistan, and South Sudan. Across Africa and the Middle East, and now in Colombia, the Center’s Generation Change Fellows Program works to equip young peacebuilders with the skills needed to manage conflict nonviolently.

ACT houses and convenes USIP’s experts on current challenges to peace, including: 

  • Preventing electoral violence: ACT has played a pioneering role in broadening the understanding of election violence. In 2017, USIP published Electing Peace, a seminal research volume that examines the effectiveness of common practices to prevent election violence—paving the way for further research in Liberia and Kenya and evidence-based prevention in Pakistan, Burma and other USIP priority countries.
  • Addressing violent extremism: ACT leverages and integrates the learning on violent extremism from research and projects across the Institute, including those of the RESOLVE Network, which launched its first local observatory on conflict and extremism in Bangladesh in 2017.
  • Assessing the implications of resource scarcity: ACT views resource scarcity and abundance as a significant challenge to fragile and conflict-affected communities worldwide.

ACT continues to identify, design, and pilot the next generation of peacebuilding approaches and tools for effective negotiation, mediation, and dialogue; nonviolent movements; reconciliation; and promoting inclusive peace processes.

The Center brings strategic coherence and consistency to USIP’s core capabilities – research, grant-making, fellowships, publishing, education and training, and field practice – to maximize our impact.

USIP’s Global Campus

The Global Campus, part of the Academy, leverages the latest modern communication technologies to extend online education and training opportunities to individuals across the world. Now, from almost anywhere, professionals can increase their knowledge and skills to prevent violent and transform violent conflict through accessible, engaging online training opportunities.

USIP’s Conflict Management Training for Peacekeepers

We are excited to announce that USIP’s Conflict Management Training for Peacekeepers (CMTP) program training-of-trainers application (version Française) has been extended until August 9, 2020!

Since 2008, USIP has provided training on conflict management skills to more than 7,000 peacekeepers from 21 troop contributing countries (TCCs) deploying to 8 United Nations and African Union peacekeeping missions. The CMTP program provides a five-day training that strengthens the capacity of peacekeepers to protect civilians through the nonviolent resolution of conflicts. This training provides peacekeepers with knowledge and skills in the areas of conflict analysis, communication, negotiation, and mediation through a protection of civilian lens in order to improve their interactions with local populations and mission actors and more effectively carry out their mandate.

Additionally, the training equips peacekeepers with a range of skills and knowledge to strengthen their capacity to think deeply about culture, human rights, and gender. The Protecting Civilians through Conflict Transformation curriculum is rooted in principles of adult learning and thus builds on peacekeepers’ existing experiences and knowledge.

Given a recent revision of the training curriculum, the CMTP program is expanding its existing cadre of civilian trainers and mentors to deliver the Protecting Civilians through Conflict Transformation training and to mentor and coach TCC instructor cadres to deliver the training. You can find more details about, and submit your application for the program, here. For questions about the application or the process, please email Peacekeepertraining@usip.org.

Current Projects

Religious Literacy and Peacebuilding

Religious Literacy and Peacebuilding

Peacebuilders and policymakers are engaged and involved with religious actors in almost every aspect of their work. Even where religion is not an explicit presence, it is a cultural undercurrent that is immutably present — and one that is often vastly underestimated by policymakers. As USIP’s three decades of experience working at the intersection of religion, peace and conflict has shown, the teachings of various religious traditions, the lived experience of those who practice them and the knowledge of how to engage with people of faith are all essential elements of effective peacebuilding.

Religion

Religious Women Negotiating on the Frontlines

Religious Women Negotiating on the Frontlines

In recent years, peace processes — such as the track 2 intra-Afghan negotiations — have shown that on both a moral and practical level, women’s inclusion is essential. Women’s involvement in peace processes increases their likelihood of success and longevity and can increase legitimacy. While more literature on women contributing to mediation and negotiation efforts is slowly being produced, little attention is currently being paid to the already existing work of women who employ their faith and mobilize religious resources for peacebuilding.

GenderReligion

Civic Mobilization in Civil Resistance Transitions Dataset

Civic Mobilization in Civil Resistance Transitions Dataset

Since January 2021, USIP has been collecting data on the frequency and characteristics of civic mobilization in 83 political transitions initiated through civil resistance from 1945 to the present to help understand when challenges to democratic progress have been successfully overcome and provide practical lessons learned for activists, policymakers and academics interested in nonviolent action and democratization.

Conflict Analysis & PreventionDemocracy & GovernanceNonviolent Action

Religion and Nonviolent Action

Religion and Nonviolent Action

Since 2020, USIP’s programs on religion and inclusive societies and nonviolent action have been conducting research to better understand the role of religion in nonviolent action campaigns. Many of the most prominent activists and nonviolent movements in history have drawn on religion as they worked to build peace and advance justice. Historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi often come to mind. But religious leaders, beliefs, symbols and practices have featured just as prominently in more recent nonviolent campaigns, including the Arab Uprisings, the Spring Revolution in Myanmar and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement.

Nonviolent ActionReligion

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Featured Publications

A Ripe Moment for Building Peace by Promoting International Religious Freedom

A Ripe Moment for Building Peace by Promoting International Religious Freedom

Monday, June 27, 2022

By: Peter Mandaville, Ph.D.;  Knox Thames

In late June and early July, two global convenings will highlight challenges to international religious freedom and the search for solutions: the IRF Summit for nongovernmental organizations and the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief. These timely gatherings will bring together government representatives, activists and faith leaders from different religious, regional and political backgrounds to discuss a common goal of ending persecution. Two keys for their success will be creating diverse coalitions to advance international religious freedom (IRF) in a nonpartisan manner and linking the issue to broader concerns about peace and stability. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human RightsReligion

Global Trends and Challenges to Protecting and Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief

Global Trends and Challenges to Protecting and Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

By: Jason Klocek, Ph.D.;  Scott Bledsoe

USIP collaborated with USAID’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on an initiative called Closing the Gap to study the relationship between religious freedom and regime type, political stability, and economic development. This report summarizes the study’s main findings and offers recommendations for policymakers and peace practitioners seeking to protect and promote the freedom of individuals to practice the religion of their choice, convert to another faith, or profess no faith at all.

Type: Special Report

Religion

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