Developing local skills to prevent, resolve, and transform violent conflict.
We design and implement multi-year programs that amplify local voices, transform conflict, and build skills for a peaceful society.
After an intensive review to attain approval, MBBI undertakes capacity-building projects and advocacy projects:
Multidisciplinary volunteer teams jointly design and implement multiyear, trauma-informed projects alongside local partners. Most often, we strengthen civil society, which carries forward the practices into communities through culturally relevant methods. These increase local abilities to heal from severe conflict, reconcile communities, develop resilience against pressures to join armed conflicts, and manage disputes sustainably. MBBI has been active in Colombia, Ecuador, Israel, Greece, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nepal, and the U.S.
What We Do
Projects come by invitation—an e-mail from a Ghanaian refugee camp, a conversation with Pittsburgh community leaders, or an appeal by a Rwandan senator. They come from civil society, government, academia, or student groups. MBBI has initiated 15 projects since its founding and new projects are continuously under consideration.
Projects are as diverse as the spectrum of conflict we encounter. Projects may establish mediation centers, help reconcile ethnic communities, make judicial ADR more effective, or strengthen professional networks. Our projects have encompassed the following:
- In Sierra Leone, leadership development for women political aspirants, and increased conflict transformation skills among youth, women and traditional leaders
- Mentoring Kenyan pastoralists wanting to stop deadly violence between tribes and with farming communities
- With Colombian internally displaced persons returning home, establishing restorative justice systems and addressing trauma
- Advocating at UN climate change talks for the use of mediation in climate change disputes worldwide
- Creating learning partnerships between Israeli Jewish/Arab co-mediation services and US mediation centers
- Enhancing Greek mediators’ skills to be able to convene dialogues on immigration conflicts
- Community reconciliation and trauma healing with former child soldiers and women in Liberia
Staffing and Oversight
selection involves a careful and thorough process resulting in a well-designed and sustainable response to the needs of troubled communities. An assessment team conducts in-depth research into the political, cultural, and conflict context, and seeks to maximize local partnerships and minimize services duplication or gaps.
We construct multidisciplinary teams with skills matched to the project’s needs, drawing from our 200-plus volunteer network of mediators, lawyers, conflict transformation professionals, trauma and mental health specialists, and academics in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. Teams use the elicitive method to jointly design and implement projects alongside local and international partners, typically for three to five years so that we build trust, make adjustments in response to evaluation findings, and provide mentoring sufficient for communities to use new skills and systems confidently and independently.
MBBI has worked with hundreds of people to launch and complete peace-enabling projects in countries across the globe. Since MBBI’s earliest days, these projects have been regionally focused for maximum impact. As the overviews here convey, each project has produced positive outcomes through the teamwork, talent, resources, courage, and commitment of the many volunteers who participated. To learn more about these projects, click here.