This micro-course provides an overview of the strategic process of building peace when long-term violence has burdened a conflict-affected community. It describes the seven necessary components that should be considered to make peacebuilding more effective.

The Ninawa discussions in Iraq. Photo courtesy of USIP
The Ninawa discussions in Iraq. Photo courtesy of USIP

Course Overview & Key Objectives

“Strategic peacebuilding” means utilizing a holistic approach to violent conflict that builds and maintains top-down and bottom-up connections between people as well as between groups at all levels. It means creating a plan with a method in mind for how to execute it over time, realizing that we may have to revamp it as new challenges emerge in the field, and combining the efforts of insiders and outsiders committed to peace and a new path of social change. To end situations of large-scale violence, hatred or injustice, professional peacebuilders must combine their knowledge of the central concepts, theories and findings of modern peace research with what we know of the best practices of experts engaged in peacebuilding and related issues, and with careful, in-depth, reflection on how insiders and outsiders to a violent conflict can build stable peace in their particular situation.

By the end of this micro-course, participants will be able to achieve the following objectives:

  • Describe the role of strategic peacebuilding when preparing for peace and why it's important; and
  • Identify the seven considerations to take into account in the peacebuilding process.

Overview Video

Click on the video below for an overview of the course.

If you cannot play the video, click here to download it.


Section 1 - Introduction

Introduces the role of strategic peacebuilding in preparing for peacebuilding and why it is important.

Section 2 - Conflict and Conflict Transformation

Introduces the curve of conflict and discusses the move toward conflict transformation.

Section 3 - Components of Strategic Peacebuilding

Identifies two considerations to take into account when preparing for peacebuilding.

Section 4 - Components of Strategic Peacebuilding Continued

Discusses several considerations seen in strategic peacebuilding and how it applies to preparing for peacebuilding.

Section 5 - Burdens of Long-Term Violence

Explains the impact long-term violence has on peacebuilding.

Section 6 - Quiz

Checks your understanding and retention of key terms, concepts, and ideas presented in this course.

Section 7 - Reflections

Allows you to share what you have learned and read what others have learned from this course and how these skills and knowledge will impact the work we do.

Instructors and Guest Experts


  • George Lopez, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

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