Since the grantmaking program was established in 1986, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has sought to seed and develop the international conflict resolution and peacebuilding fields. The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RfP) is to increase the overall understanding of reconciliation as an approach for peacebuilding through six research questions that pertain to timing, process design, local inclusion, support mechanisms, other peacebuilding approaches, and impact.
Reconciliation is a critical peacebuilding tool that can be used to prevent the re-occurrence of violent conflict. However, actualizing reconciliation efforts remains difficult as it is both a process and an outcome.1 Deeper understanding is required on how to contextualize what reconciliation means within various societies; how to apply it in different programmatic approaches; and how to maintain the political will to see it through. Recent efforts explore the core questions surrounding framing reconciliation goals, timing, and the impact on sustainable peace.2 USIP seeks research and innovative approaches that develop guiding principles to help answer critical questions that advance the reconciliation field and current practices.
Summary of Research Questions
- Timing of Reconciliation: What conditions and timing are most conducive to initiating reconciliation processes; how does the nature of reconciliation evolve over time; and what makes an end-state sustainable?
- Process Design and Linkages: What are the most effective approaches to create linkages between grassroots peacebuilding and reconciliation (e.g., community-based healing processes), national level efforts (truth and reconciliation commissions), and broader institutional reform efforts (e.g., justice and security)?
- Local Processes and Inclusion: What impact has exclusionary practices had on the sustainability of processes and what has enabled or limited the contribution of woman, youth, and/or other marginalized groups? How do local nonviolent movements affect reconciliation efforts?
- Support Mechanisms and International Engagement: What type of support do key actors need around launching reconciliation efforts and how can the international community provide effective support? How does the engagement of coalitions or broad peace constituencies affect reconciliation processes?
- Other Peacebuilding Approaches: How do practices of trust building, social cohesion, and trauma healing relate to reconciliation efforts?
- Impact and Transformation: What are the most effective approaches for assessing progress towards reconciliation and, specifically, what are the most effective strategies to measure changes in attitudes and behavior that reflect that progress?
Applicants should have demonstrated experience in research and strong scholarship related to reconciliation, conflict management, and peacebuilding. Applications will be selected based on their potential to advance the practice of reconciliation by directly addressing one or more of the listed research questions and on their potential to make original contributions to the field. In addition, successful applicants will demonstrate deep subject matter expertise on the topic of reconciliation. Applications should be limited to 3,500-5,000 words. Only academic institutions and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.
Registration and Due Dates
All applicants must register online by April 19, 2019, 5:00pm EDT. Please go to usip.fluxx.io to register for this competition. The deadline for applications is April 24, 2019 at 5:00pm EDT.
USIP will seek research grants with budgets between $150,000 and $300,000. Project implementation periods can range up to 24 months.
Please direct questions about this RfP or usage of USIP’s online grants management system to email@example.com.
1 Bloomfield, David, On Good Terms: Clarifying Reconciliation, Berghof Report No. 14., October 2006.
2 Kofi Annan Foundation, Challenging the Conventional: Making Post-Violence Reconciliation Succeed, 2018.; USAID/Social Impact, Evaluative Learning Review Synthesis Report: USAID/CMM’s People-to-People Reconciliation Fund, Annual Program Statement (APS), 2014.; McKone, Kelly, Reconciliation in Practice PeaceWorks, USIP, 2015.; and Salter, Mark, Connecting the Dots: Reconciliation in Peacebuilding, Conciliation Resources, 2016.