The U.S. Institute of Peace supports programs and research that contribute to the mission of promoting enduring peace in South Asia. The institute provides analysis, capacity development and resources to individuals and institutions working to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict. In Pakistan, USIP awards funding in three categories, ranging from projects that test new, experimental ideas to supporting local and international organizations on policy relevant research.

USIP Funding Pakistan Charter for Compassion Project
Volunteers with Charter for Compassion, a Pakistani civic organization supported by USIP, paint murals at a school in Karachi, Pakistan, as part of an activity to claim public space for peaceful and compassionate messages

The three types of funding are:

  • The Peace Innovation Fund, designed to support new, experimental ideas that test creative approaches to peacebuilding.
  • The Peacebuilding Practitioners’ Fund, which supports established civil society institutions.
  • The Peace and Conflict Research Fund, which advances the work of local and international partners conducting policy-relevant research and writing.

See below for more details. Apply at: pakistanpeacefund.com.

Peace Innovation Fund

The Peace Innovation Fund (PIF) supports new, experimental ideas that test creative approaches to peacebuilding in Pakistan. This is a micro-award fund that seeds innovations that are cost effective and have the potential to be expanded, if successful, on a larger scale.

PIF especially focuses on support for social entrepreneurs and small organizations. Typical awardees are grassroots activists, reformers, and social enterprises whose work or ideas ultimately can be sustained through local funding and recognition.

Themes supported under PIF:

  • Reclaiming public space for peaceful expression
  • Increasing tolerance for diversity

The best PIF projects have the following characteristics:

  • Local support
  • Program can be sustained when USIP funding ends
  • Cost-effective and scalable
  • Experimental and innovative
  • Generates learning and builds capacity for the field of peacebuilding

Peacebuilding Practitioners’ Fund

The Peacebuilding Practitioners’ Fund (PPF) seeks to support established civil society institutions working to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict in Pakistan. The fund is designed to: a) promote tolerance of diversity among the country’s political, ethnic and religious communities; and b) build the capacity of state and civil society institutions to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict.

PPF works with both for-profit and non-profit organizations that are legally registered in Pakistan. Typical awardees under PPF are civil society organizations or educational institutions with prior experience in peacebuilding and/or conflict resolution. They have strong local networks and have capacity to manage international donor funding. Projects under the PPF must have robust design, including a plan for monitoring and evaluation, and a sustainability strategy. 

Themes supported under PPF:

  • Promoting messages for peace and against political, religious, ethnic, or criminal violence through media, art, and technology.
  • Supporting peace education initiatives in public and private schools, madrassas, and institutions of higher education.
  • Supporting locally relevant ideas for facilitating and mediating inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue.
  • Amplifying the voice and role of women in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
  • Developing guidelines and advocating for change that enhances the performance of the police and criminal justice system.

The best PPF projects have the following characteristics:

  • Likelihood of impact and an effective plan to measure results
  • Cost-effective and scalable
  • Program can be sustained when USIP funding ends
  • Generates learning and builds capacity for the field of peacebuilding

Peace and Conflict Research Fund

The Peace and Conflict Research Fund (PCRF) supports the work of local and international partners conducting policy-relevant research and writing on issues related to peace and conflict in Pakistan and the surrounding region. Studies carried out under the fund are intended to inform audiences in Washington, Islamabad, and around the world about the most critical factors contributing to violent conflict in Pakistan and the most important priorities to help mitigate or resolve those conflicts.

PCRF-supported studies are sometimes published through the auspices of the partner organization, or under one of three standard USIP publication formats - PeaceWorks (major 20,000-word studies of enduring relevance), Special Reports (standard 10,000-word issue studies), or PeaceBriefs (short 2,000-word policy memos). Book proposals are generally not supported at this time. To view recent USIP publications on Pakistan, please visit this link.

Typical awardees under the PCRF are practitioners or academics with an established record of concise, analytic writing for public policy audiences, but junior scholars and analysts are also encouraged to apply. Both desk-based research and field studies are supported by the PCRF.

Themes supported under PCRF:

  • Conflict drivers: Analysis focused on structural/political economy factors that can contribute to violent conflict in particular geographic regions or the country writ large.
  • Radicalization and violent extremism: Analysis focused specifically on understanding factors that drive individuals or groups to participate in violent conflict.
    • Specific issue priorities: Youth education and radicalization; sectarian conflict.
  • Regional conflict dynamics: Analysis focused on Pakistan’s political, security, economic, and environmental relations with its regional neighbors and international partners, and the impact on Pakistan’s internal and external security.
  • State security policy: Analysis focused specifically on the state response to internal and external security threats – how policy is made, assessing policies, and recommendations.
    • Specific issue priorities: counter-terrorism policy; policing, civil-military relations.
  • Governance and public policy: Analysis focused on Pakistan’s political dynamics and public policy issues, and how they impact conflict or external relations.
    • Specific issue priorities: Elections, political participation, and election violence; natural resources extraction, water- and energy service delivery, and associated conflict management practices.

The best PCRF projects have the following characteristics:

  • Rigorous analysis of factors contributing to peace or conflict in Pakistan
  • Lessons from field observation or practice (including comparative experience from other countries and contexts applied to Pakistan)
  • Clear and concise guidance for policymakers

Latest Publications

Colombian Civic Leader Offers a Grassroots Strategy for Peace

Colombian Civic Leader Offers a Grassroots Strategy for Peace

Friday, May 26, 2023

By: USIP Staff

Nine months into new efforts by Colombia’s administration to achieve “total peace” with remaining armed groups following decades of civil war, that process should make room for the nation’s thousands of grassroots and community organizations to strengthen peace locally when the fighting stops, says a prominent civic leader from one of the country’s most violent regions. Stabilizing Colombia, where migration toward the United States and other countries soared last year, will require steady support from U.S. and international partners, said Maria Eugenia Mosquera Riascos, who helps lead a Colombian network of 140 civic and community organizations working to end violence.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

GenderPeace Processes

Sudan’s Crisis Offers New Lessons for Building Peace in the Sahel

Sudan’s Crisis Offers New Lessons for Building Peace in the Sahel

Thursday, May 25, 2023

By: Joseph Sany, Ph.D.;  Susan Stigant

Sudan’s five-week war has killed or wounded over 5,000 people, uprooted a million more — and reignited understandable frustrations over how U.S. and international policies can better prevent or respond to such upheavals. Amid heated policy debates, we should step back briefly to pinpoint lessons from this crisis that can improve our responses in Sudan and across the Sahel’s web of coups, insurgencies and extremism. Indeed, that task is urgent — both to address the complex evolutions in the region’s crises and to build support for smarter, steadier engagement, rather than a self-defeating retreat from the Sahel by global partners seeking democracy and stability.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Civilian-Military RelationsDemocracy & Governance

At the G7 Summit, Leaders Talk Tough on China but Moderate Tone

At the G7 Summit, Leaders Talk Tough on China but Moderate Tone

Thursday, May 25, 2023

By: Mirna Galic

The major headline from this year’s G7 summit in Hiroshima was the appearance of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his push to end Russia’s war on his country. But another G7 concern, China, also featured prominently at the summit. While this year’s G7 leaders’ communique featured some more moderate language on China than last year’s, it also focused heavily on economic coercion, condemning a “disturbing rise” of the “weaponization of economic vulnerabilities” — a not too subtle jab at China’s economic statecraft. Still, even as U.S.-China relations remain tense, this year’s discussion of constructive engagement represents a shift more aligned with European and Japanese stances on how to deal with the challenges posed by China.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

China Looks to Fill a Void in Central Asia

China Looks to Fill a Void in Central Asia

Thursday, May 25, 2023

By: Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Gavin Helf, Ph.D.;  Alison McFarland

As the Group of Seven met at the end of last week in Hiroshima, Japan, China organized a summit with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, marking a new chapter in Beijing’s engagement with the region. Central Asian states are looking for a new partner to help ensure their own security against domestic rebellions, as Russia’s war in Ukraine has limited Moscow’s ability to fulfill a longstanding role as a guarantor of domestic stability in the region. While most of the summit’s public discussion focused on economic and trade issues, China noted that it would help Central Asia enhance it’s law enforcement and security capabilities, which aligns with Beijing’s intensifying campaign for “global security.”

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

The United States Should Lead the Push for Peace in Ukraine

The United States Should Lead the Push for Peace in Ukraine

Thursday, May 25, 2023

By: Mary Glantz, Ph.D.

Recent weeks have witnessed several calls for peace in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy just wrapped up appearances at the G7 Summit and the Arab League, urging support for his country’s peace plan. China recently followed up the release of its February 2023 peace plan by sending its top diplomat, Wang Yi, on a European tour and dispatched peace envoy Li Hiu last week to Ukraine, Poland, Germany, France and Russia. At no time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has there been so much momentum toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine. The United States should seize this opportunity to play a leading role.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

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