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.

Currents Projects

Security Sector Governance and Reform

Security Sector Governance and Reform

USIP believes that peace is impossible without security. Our work offers a peacebuilding approach to security sector governance and reform. Providing citizens with human security is one of the most fundamental obligations of any state. But too often, those intended to provide security, such as military and police forces, instead trigger violence or exacerbate ongoing conflicts.

Civilian-Military Relations; Democracy & Governance; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Youth Country Liaison Initiative

Youth Country Liaison Initiative

USIP created the Youth Country Liaison initiative to improve linkages between USIP country teams and USIP Generation Change fellows. As part of the initiative, the liaisons provide consultation within USIP and provide a youth-focused lens for USIP regional teams as they design and implement programs and activities. The Youth Country Liaison is a volunteer position for a duration of one year.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Education & Training; Youth

Religious Actors in Official Peace Processes

Religious Actors in Official Peace Processes

Since 2018, USIP, InclusivePeace, and the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy have been conducting research that explores the roles that religious actors play in track 1 dialogues and official peace processes. While distinct cases demonstrate the impact—both real and potential—that religious actors and communities have on formal peace processes, little research or analysis exists to show whether, when, how, and to what extent religious actors should be engaged as part of these processes.

Peace Processes; Religion

Closing the Gap: Analyzing the Link Between Religious Freedom, Peace, and Development

Closing the Gap: Analyzing the Link Between Religious Freedom, Peace, and Development

Government restrictions on religion have risen steadily in recent years, raising questions about both their causes and consequences. In partnership with USAID’s Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives, USIP launched the Closing the Gap initiative earlier this year to more carefully examine these trends. The project, which will take place over the course of 2020, will explore the relationship between freedom of religion, peace, and development through statistical analysis and case studies. The findings will inform a more nuanced, strategic, and impactful policy and practice of advancing religious freedom.

Democracy & Governance; Human Rights; Religion

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Featured Publications

Can Civil Resistance Breakthroughs Advance Democracy?

Can Civil Resistance Breakthroughs Advance Democracy?

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

By: Jonathan Pinckney

We are in one of the largest waves of nonviolent resistance in history. Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop massive uprisings in Thailand, Belarus, Myanmar and elsewhere as ordinary citizens use nonviolent tactics to challenge entrenched authoritarians and demand reform. Yet, even as more and more people have hit the streets to push for change, the Varieties of Democracy project reports that global democracy has never been weaker and the long trend of growing autocracy has only accelerated. What can be done to turn this around?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action

Getting to the Source: The Importance of Field Research

Getting to the Source: The Importance of Field Research

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

By: Alastair Reed; Boglarka Bozsogi

Travel restrictions and social distancing practices put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have largely ground field research to a halt. Fieldwork plays an essential but often underappreciated role in both understanding violent extremism and developing policy responses to it. It is vital, therefore, that funders and policymakers support the return of such important work in a post-pandemic world.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Education & Training

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