Capacity-Building & Advocacy Initiatives
Developing local skills to resolve and transform conflict.
We design and implement multi-year programs that amplify local voices, transform conflict, and build skills for a peaceful society. These programs:
- Integrate local practices
- Collaborative efforts
- Keep people at the center
MBBI members form multidisciplinary teams to jointly design and implement multiyear, trauma-informed projects alongside local partners. The goal is to strengthen civil society and governmental organizations through advocacy, training, facilitation, dialogue, mediation, and other peacebuilding processes. These efforts increase local abilities to heal from violence, reconcile communities, develop resilience against pressures to join armed conflicts, and manage conflict sustainably. Our advocacy work opens doors in political arenas to use mediation and negotiation to navigate disputes.
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. Our work has established mediation centers, helped reconcile ethnic communities, made judicial ADR more effective, and strengthened professional networks. Our projects have:
- Offered leadership development in Sierra Leone and increased conflict transformation skills among youth, women and traditional leaders
- Mentored Kenyan pastoralists wanting to stop deadly violence between tribes and with farming communities
- Worked with Colombian internally displaced persons returning home to establish restorative justice systems and addressing trauma
- Advocated at UN climate change talks for the use of mediation in climate change disputes worldwide
- Created learning partnerships between Israeli Jewish/Arab co-mediation services and U.S. mediation centers
- Enhanced Greek mediators’ skills to be able to convene dialogues on immigration conflicts
- Developed community reconciliation and trauma healing with former child soldiers and women in Liberia
In response to requests, MBBI goes through a careful and thorough process to determine our response. An assessment team conducts in-depth research into the political, cultural, and conflict contexts and seeks to maximize local partnerships and minimize services duplication or gaps.
Working closely with the local partner, we look for funding opportunities that are in alignment with our joint goals. We construct multidisciplinary teams with skills matched to the project’s needs, drawing from our 200-plus network of mediators, lawyers, conflict transformation professionals, trauma and mental health specialists, and academics in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, North America, Europe, 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. To learn more about these projects, click here.