Resources for Peacebuilding

Resources for Peacebuilding

Building peace

SCI is based in Northern Ireland and has a particularly deep understanding of its peace process and the ongoing work required to ensure that peace endures.

We remain actively involved in programmes helping to move this divided society beyond conflict and towards a better future.

But we also have extensive experience of of supporting peacebuilding and sharing best practice from around the world.

Our global experience of philanthropy and the role it can play in peacebuilding also informs our approach.

Theatre, conflict & healing

For decades Hector Aristizabal has used theatre and the arts to explore trauma, healing and conflict transformation.

On a return visit to Northern Ireland, the native of Colombia reflected on the methods he uses and discusses the power of personal stories to bridge the deep divisions caused by violent conflict.

Lessons from Northern Ireland

The SCI Fellowship Programme supports activists from across Northern Ireland’s divided society to draw lessons from peacebuilding practice 

'Steps in Mediating Intra and Inter Community Tensions' is available in two formats here:

It is based on a Fellowship product produced by Frankie Quinn of the Éalú group.

Deeply divided societies around the world can draw on the lessons captured in this report compiled by SCI Fellows who have decades of experience in peacebuilding.

The publication Activism Across Division: Peacebuilding Strategies & Insights from Northern Ireland features the reflections of activists working within, and between, communities in Northern Ireland's divided society.

The Peacebuilding Practice Notes available here include four reports which focus on specific initiatives that helped to provide alternatives to violence and consolidate the peace process in Northern Ireland.

It is hoped the learning can be adapted to circumstances in other societies. The series looks Community Restorative Justice, Re-Integration of Ex-Combatants, the Challenge of Transforming Policing, and Criminal Justice & Peacebuilding.

Learn more about the experience of one of the Restorative Justice projects running in Northern Ireland.

Debbie Watters is a co-director and founder member of Northern Ireland Alternatives (NIA), a community based restorative justice organisation working within grassroots loyalist communities.

The Northern Ireland-based Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation is an international hub for conflict resolution and promoting sustainable peace.

The Glencree Journal of 2021, produced in collaboration with the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and Ulster University, focused on the legacy of violence in Northern Ireland. It features contributions from 19 academics and practitioners Hong Kong to the US, South Africa to Belfast.

Leanne Abernethy, based in Ulidia Centre in Ballymoney, has an article in this journal on the voice of Loyalist women in the North Antrim area. A participant on the SCI Leadership for Peacebuilding initiative, Leanne is currently involved in taking this work forward through an expanded range of interviews to assess interests, needs and aspirations of Unionist/Loyalist women in North Antrim. 

She hopes that this will be the basis of a new focus on women from this rural area and plans to co-design a series of training and support sessions to build confidence, raise awareness and provide a base for advocacy and networking in the future.

You can access the publication here.

Funding in Conflict-Affected Environments

With more than a billion people living in areas ravaged by conflict, the human misery caused by conflict cries out for action.

This guide highlights the positive contribution that independent grantmaking Trusts and Foundations can make to peacebuilding. Click here for a full report & summary in English, plus Spanish and Arabic editions.

Trust Funds in Conflict-affected States

The report available here was produced by SCI's Peacebuilding & Migration Executive Avila Kilmurray.

Prepared for the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) it draws a number of lessons from the experience of Trust Funds in Northern Ireland to inform the founding and functioning of funding mechanisms in other conflict-affected settings.

Philanthropy & Peacebuilding

What role can philanthropy play in peacebuilding?

The experience of Northern Ireland is that it can play a crucial role.

We held an event in Belfast with donors from around the world to discuss the lessons learned in the Northern Ireland peace process and how those can be applied in other societies.

Here SCI Director Martin O'Brien, our Peacebuilding Executive Avila Kilmurray, and Stephen Pittam former secretary of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust discuss some of the themes:

Countering Violent Conflict & Polarisation: How Can Donors Help?

We hosted an international conference, "Countering Violent Conflict & Polarisation: How Can Donors Help?" which brought together over 200 global delegates from philanthropy, government, and frontline practice. 

The event provided a crucial opportunity for reflection and discussion on the pressing challenges facing the world and how donors can contribute to addressing them.

Some great conference resources, including session recordings and a report with key takeaways, are now available here

You can also watch a recap video on the event: