About Insight on Conflict

Insight on Conflict is published by Peace Direct as a resource on local peacebuilding around the world.

Guide to peacebuilding organisations

Browse our listings of over 1,200 peacebuilding organisations across 31 different conflict-affected regions.

Commentary and ideas

Our blog is updated twice a week with articles on peacebuilding from our correspondents and guest contributors.

Peacebuilding resources

Our newsletters can keep you updated on the latest new research on peacebuilding, and we have background information on conflict issues with guides for further research.

About Peace Direct

We believe that local people have the power to find their own solutions to conflict. Our mission is to help them to make this happen.Peace Direct was born out of a passion to provide local peacebuilders, often risking their lives on the front line of conflict, with the resources they need to carry out their work. But Peace Direct’s own contribution will always be limited. In addition to what we can do on our own, we also need to shift the balance of power and resources in the wider world – towards those who have the deep local knowledge of a conflict and its causes, the moral authority to challenge people to change, and the long-term commitment to fight for peace.

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Support our work

Peace Direct is reliant on donations to support local peacebuilders. Please consider making a donation to support peacebuilders around the world.

Support Insight on Conflict

Peace Direct runs this website as a free resource for anyone interested in the work of civil society and peacebuilders in parts of the world affected by conflict. We want to keep this resource free, but do need to raise funds to cover the costs of hosting the site and having a network of Local Correspondents. If you have found Insight on Conflict to be useful. Please help us to keep the show on the road by making a donation.

Our team

Insight on Conflict is published by Peace Direct. We have three staff members working on Insight on Conflict, plus a team of Local Correspondents reporting on local peacebuilding from around the world.

Programme Manager: Ruairi Nolan

Ruairi Nolan oversees overall management of Insight on Conflict, including coordinating the Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders competition. Ruairi also manages relationships with Peace Direct’s partner organisations in Asia. He has an MSc in Latin American Studies and has worked in rural development in Central America, at Irish Aid and at the UNESCO Centre at the University of Ulster. Contact: ruairi@peacedirect.org

Website Editor: Joel Gabri

Joel handles the day-to-day running of both the Peace Direct site and Insight on Conflict. He has a degree in Peace & Conflict Studies and Politics, with his final year dissertation focusing on how the Internet can be used to promote and assist conflict resolution. Contact: joel@peacedirect.org

Project Manager: Kevin McCann

Kevin is responsible for research on Insight on Conflict – identifying and profiling local organisations working in conflict zones around the world. With experience in political media and of working in several different countries, he joined Peace Direct after completing an MA in International Security at Sussex University, where he focused on the security politics of the Sahel. Contact: kevin@peacedirect.org

Local Correspondents

In order to maintain accurate information on peacebuilding around the world, we have a team of Local Correspondents around the world. Our Local Correspondents provide expertise in the issues affecting their regions and also research and prepare the profiles on the organisations featured on this site. To contact any Local Correspondent, please email info@insightonconflict.org and let us know how we can help.

Afghanistan - Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies

Information on peacebuilding organisations in Afghanistan is provided by the Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies (DROPS). DROPS is a women-led research organisation in the Afghan capital, Kabul. It was established in 2012 by Mariam Safi (a researcher and analyst) and Naheed Farid (member of The National Assembly in Afghanistan). Its goal is to harness the efforts of women to bridge the research and policy nexus in Afghanistan.

Burkina Faso - Boris Somé

Boris Somé is Insight on Conflict's Burkina Faso Local Correspondent. He has been the National Coordinator of WANEP-Burkina Faso since September 2014, where he has also worked as the manager of its National Early Warning System. Boris trains local peacebuilders and has wide experience in advocacy and research, including publishing a book on peacebuilding in Burkina Faso. He holds a Master's in Ethics and Governance from the School of Political and Moral Sciences of West Africa, in Abidjan.

Central African Republic - Martine Kessy Ekomo-Soignet

Martine Kessy Ekomo-Soignet has over four years of experience in the political and development sectors. She has worked with the UNDP, UNESCO and the African Medical and Research Foundation. Her work in the Central African Republic focuses on civil society and youth organisations. Martine Kessy holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Social and Political studies and a master’s degree in Geopolitics, International Security and International Relations. She completed the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in 2014 and was one of 100 Fellows competitively selected to participate in an 8-week internship in the United States following the Mandela Washington Fellowship academic institute.

Chad - Bouyo Séverin

Bouyo is a Chadian peacebuilder and human rights activist. He is currently working with GIZ on a variety of conflict prevention and peacebuilding projects in Chad. His previous experience is in communications, monitoring and evaluation and project management, with a variety of organisations including the Chadian League for Human Rights, Management Systems International, Counterpart International and Care International. Bouyo has also worked at the UNDP and spent two years teaching international humanitarian law at the High Francophone Polytechnic Institute of N’Djamena. Bouyo has an MA in Human Rights and also studied at the UN Operations Training Institute.

Central America - Andrea López-Portillo

Andrea López-Portillo is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent in Central America. She holds an MA in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies from University for Peace and is currently based in Costa Rica. Andrea has wide experience in arts, communication and education programmes, working in particular in facilitation and outreach roles.

Colombia - Lina María Jaramillo

Lina María Jaramillo is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent for Colombia. Lina María is a political scientist with master degrees in International studies and International Development. For the past 8 years she has worked on projects related to peace, security and development issues and is currently with Oxfam as Knowledge Management Officer.

DR Congo - Maguy Libebele

Maguy Libebele is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent in DR Congo. A journalist with wide experience in the Great Lakes area, she is a correspondent for Syfia Grands Lacs, and reports in particular on women’s rights issues. She has worked on peacebuilding projects around the region with the UN, national and international NGOs.

Georgia - Tornike Zurabashvili

Tornike Zurabashvili is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent in Georgia. He has six years of research and academic experience on post-Soviet conflict, security and election issues.

Guinea-Bissau / Senegal - Tomas Serna

Tomas Serna is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent in Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. He has worked in the humanitarian and development sector for over 18 years, and has provided advisory services related to conflict, governance and organisational development for different international development agencies in West Africa. Tomas is currently working with the Guinea Bissau Defence and security sector, in partnership with a civil society provider of mediation services.

Haiti - Caleb Deshommes

Caleb Deshommes is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent in Haiti. A lawyer by training and professor at the State University of Haiti, Caleb has previously worked at the International Rescue Committee and is currently a PhD candidate at Aix-Marseille University’s Institut Louis Favoreu.

Iraq - Ala Ali

Ala Ali has over seventeen years of experience working in the field of civil society in Iraq, including in the Kurdistan Region. She has substantial experience managing and administering programs funded by UN agencies and other international donors. Ala is a specialist in organisational democracy, peace and conflict, and the logical framework approach. Ala holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and MBA and MA in Conflict Transformation.

Jordan - Baker al-Hiyari

Baker al-Hiyari is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent in Jordan. He has more than 20 years’ experience in politics, development, governance, civil society, religion and public affairs in the Middle East, West Asia and North Africa. He specialises in working with traditional, religious, youth and women’s groups to build peace and advance the resilience of local communities.

Kashmir - Ashima Kaul

Ashima Kaul is a founder-member of Yakjah Peace and Reconciliation Network, a network of Kashmiri professionals working on reconciliation and the empowerment of young people and women. A journalist by profession, she has participated in a number of national and international conferences and training programmes related to women’s leadership, peace and security, conflict resolution, intra-Kashmir dialogue and peacebuilding. She has an active interest in inter-faith dialogue. As a founder member of Control Arms Foundation India she also works on gun control and small arms and light weapons isseus in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kyrgyzstan - Inga Sikorskaya

Inga Sikorskaya is the Director of the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology, an NGO focused on peace research and media training in Kyrgyzstan. A professional journalist, she spent seven years as a senior editor at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting Central Asia, and previously worked in Kyrgyz TV and radio. She has wide international experience in media, conflict transformation and peace research training.

Lebanon - Sawssan Abou-Zahr

Sawssan Abou-Zahr is a senior journalist at the foreign desk of An-Nahar, a leading Lebanese newspaper. She covers issues related to the Arab Spring, women, Syrian and Palestinian refugees, radical Islamist movements, and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. She has written features on human rights issues and peace building efforts based on field research in Afghanistan and Libya, and has also worked on assignments in Switzerland, Bahrain, Oman, Poland, Algeria, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Kuwait and Turkey, covering high profile events and interviewing prominent political figures. She has contributed to some editions of the IREX report on media freedom in Lebanon.

Liberia - Nat Walker

Nat B. Walker is Insight on Conflict's Local Correspondent in Liberia. He is a peacebuilding and development consultant in Liberia, and serves as an advisory board member and local champion of the Local First approach to development. Nat is currently leading on the development of a conflict early warning and response system in Liberia, while helping the Liberia Peace Building Office with policy advice on the national reconciliation process. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Kofi Annan Institute of Conflict Transformation at the University of Liberia.

Mali, Ivory Coast - Daniel Ozoukou

Daniel Ozoukou is a political analyst. He holds a MA degree in Languages and Humanities and a post graduate degree in political science, and International Human Rights. He has published many articles on governance, democracy and peace issues, and appeared on TV and Radio; including the Sahar International TV (Iran) VOA (USA), and Radio Côte d'Ivoire.

Nepal - Ambika Pokhrel

Ambika Pokhrel is our Local Correspondent in Nepal. She has significant experience working in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, as well as conflict transformation, women's peace and security, and collaborative leadership and dialogue.

Niger - Oumarou Gado

Oumarou Gado has ten years’ experience as a professional journalist in Niger, including radio, television and print work. He works for the radio and television group Saraounia à Niame and is the founder and editor of a weekly newspaper La Flamme (The Flame), which publishes opinion and analysis pieces. Working in this field has given Gado an excellent overview of social and political issues in Niger. He has also started an initiative to introduce journalism to local representatives of rural communities.

Nigeria - Michael Olufemi Sodipo

Michael Olufemi Sodipo works as Project Coordinator for the Peace Initiative Network, a Nigerian peacebuilding organisation which since 2004 has been conducting a range of peace education, advocacy, and training activities in schools and through extracurricular programmes in several northern Nigerian states. He has spoken widely on the role of civil society organisations in promoting peace among diverse youth populations, including at conferences in Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Jordan, and the United States. Michael has also travelled with graduates of the Peace Initiative Network programmes, including to a youth parliamentary debate in the UK House of Commons.

Pakistan - Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed

Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed received his PhD from the University of New England (UNE) in Australia and has MA degrees in Peace Education and Sociology. Currently, he is an academic teaching international relations and conflict resolution in Islamabad, Pakistan. Previously, he has taught Asian Studies at the University of New England and Charles Sturt University in Australia. Since 2003, he has worked with local and international development agencies in South Asia, in particular in Pakistan, on peacebuilding and development projects.

Philippines - Rey Ty

Dr Rey Ty is Insight on Conflict's Philippines correspondent. A social critic and political observer, he has wide experience in academia and practical approaches to peacebuilding, human rights, gender and social justice issues, with a focus on training peace activists. As the training coordinator of the International Training Office of Northern Illinois University from 2004 to 2014, he was involved in training hundreds of Muslims, indigenous peoples, and Christians in interfaith dialogue, conflict resolution, civic engagement, leadership, strategic planning, programme planning, and community development. Rey has a doctorate in education with cognate in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.

Rwanda - Jean de Dieu Basabose

Jean de Dieu Basabose has more than 10 years' experience in peacebuilding work and has facilitated numerous training and workshops revolving around his work. Jean co-founded and co-directs a peace education organisation called Shalom Educating for Peace. Jean holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies.

South Sudan - Khamis Cosmas

Khamis Cosmas Lokudu is a co-founder of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), a South Sudanese peacebuilding organisation. He works as a Programme Officer there, having previously been a Peace and Conflict Mitigation officer. Khamis holds a Diploma in Communication and Public Relations and is pursuing a BA in Mass Communication at the Cavendish University of Uganda.

Sierra Leone - Abdul Brima

Abdul Brima is Insight on Conflict's Local Correspondent in Sierra Leone. A radio producer and presenter on BBC Media Action Sierra Leone, he has worked with rural communities on conflict and development issues in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Somalia / Somaliland - Jama Egal

Jama Egal is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent for Somalia. He currently works for Finn Church Aid as Program Manager working on peacebuilding and governance projects in different parts of Somalia. Through Finn Church Aid Jama has facilitated more than 60 reconciliation and conflict resolution meetings which resulted in peace agreements ranging from sub-clan conflicts to formation of federal state.

Sri Lanka - Nilanjana Premaratna

Nilanjana Premaratna has worked and volunteered for several years in the country as a practitioner and researcher. Nilanjana has a Master's degree in International Studies from the University of Queensland. and is currently studying for a PhD. Her work connects peacebuilding and conflict resolution research with ground level activism. She is particularly interested in peacebuilding through culture at the ground level. Nilanjana speaks Sinhala and English.

Tunisia - Nissaf Slama

Nissaf Slama is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent in Tunisia. A social activist and former reporter and fixer with Tunisia Live, she has collaborated with the New York Times, Vice Magazine, The Financial Times, CBS News and Human Rights Watch.

Uganda - Stephen Oola

Stephen Oola is an Advocate in the High Court of Uganda. He heads the Conflict, Transitional Justice and Governance Programme at the Refugee Law Project (RLP), a leading Centre for Justice and Forced Migrant, based at the Makerere University School of Law, Kampala. A pre-doctoral scholar at University of Antwerp, Belgium, Oola holds a LLB (Hons) Degree from Makerere University and an MA in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, USA.

Ukraine - Olga Dolinina

Olga Dolinina is Insight on Conflict’s Ukraine Peacebuilding Expert. A trained journalist, in 2014 she began working for Save the Children in Dnipropetrovsk. Using her experience of professional sports marketing and management, she also founded and runs Break The Ice, a hockey-based NGO supporting children displaced by the conflict in Ukraine. She is currently a Protection Associate with the UNHCR in Kiev.

Western Balkans - Mirjana Kosić

Mirjana Kosić is executive director of TransConflict, an organisation undertaking conflict transformation projects and research throughout the Western Balkans. Mirjana is also an academic assistant at SIT Study Abroad programme “Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans“, where she delivers lectures focusing on conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dayton Peace Agreement, and the role of international community in post-war reconstruction and state-building. Mirjana holds an MA from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bologna.

Yemen - Ahmed Hezam Al-Yemeni

Ahmed Hezem Al-Yemeni is Insight on Conflict's Local Correspondent in Yemen. A writer and researcher, he published The Dynamic of Democratisation – Political Parties in Yemen in 2003. He is a frequent commentator on Yemeni politics, including foreign policy, youth radicalisation and terrorism issues, and has more than a decade’s experience engaging with international organisations and NGOs working in the country. A US State Department Leaders for Democracy Fellow, he has taken part in several international human rights programmes, and holds an MA from Leeds University, where he focused on the politics of the Middle East.

Zimbabwe - Edward Chinhanhu

Edward Chinhanhu is Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent for Zimbabwe. He has a first degree in Education and an MA in Peace and Governance. He also completed a postgraduate Diploma in Governance, Democratization and Public Policy at the ISS in The Hague; is a Transitional Justice Fellow of the IJR in Cape Town, and a Rotary Peace Fellow of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Our approach

Why ‘Insight on Conflict’?

Insight on Conflict provides information on local peacebuilding organisations in areas of conflict. Local peacebuilders already make a real impact in conflict areas. They work to prevent violent conflicts before they start, to reduce the impact of violence, and to bring divided communities together in the aftermath of violence. However, their work is often ignored – either because people aren’t aware of the existence and importance of local peacebuilders in general, or because they simply haven’t had access to information and contacts for local peacebuilders. We hope that Insight on Conflict can help redress the balance by drawing attention to the important work of local peacebuilders. On this site, you’ll be able to find out who the local peacebuilders are, what they do, and how you might get in touch with them. Over half the organisations featured on Insight on Conflict do not have their own website.

Who is ‘Insight on Conflict’ aimed at?

Insight on Conflict is not an academic website, or aimed only at specialists. We believe the stories of peacebuilders should be accessible and relevant to anyone interested in conflicts. We think people both in conflict areas and interested outsiders will find the information useful, for making contacts, research, and gaining a fuller understanding of the potential impact of local peacebuilders. If you do find this site helpful, or it has helped you make connections, please tell us!

Who do we feature on Insight on Conflict?

We feature local peacebuilders; local people, working towards peace. We’ve worked from the definition in the respected ‘Reflecting on Peace Practice‘ project, that peacebuilders should be working towards two basic goals:

  • Stopping Violence and Destructive Conflict; and
  • Building Just and Sustainable Peace.

All groups featured on Insight on Conflict should be working with these goals in mind. We only feature groups that are non-partisan – not groups who work with only ‘one side’ in a conflict.

Peacebuilding is a broad and expanding field. Peace Direct believes too much focus goes on ‘top level’ peacebuilding, such as negotiations between governments and international bodies, whilst ignoring the work of smaller, locally-based groups. We hope that Insight on Conflict can help redress the balance, and the focus of the site is on the local groups and individuals. At the same time, we want to offer people a view of peacebuilding in each conflict area, so where relevant we have provided information on the work of larger organisations.

If you are aware of stories or peacebuilding groups that we have missed and you think we should cover, please let us know.

How we can help

Insight on Conflict is designed to help make information about the work of local peacebuilders accessible.

Here you will find detailed information on how some of the worst conflicts in the world are being resolved by local people and local organisations – facts and figures rarely found in other sources.

We offer:

  • Contacts with grassroots peacebuilders in the countries listed in the menu at the top of the page. Our Local Correspondents can help with contacts and suggestions.
  • First-hand reporting from our network of local correspondents.
  • Background information and comment on peace and conflict issues.

Our site is used by practitioners, researchers and journalists looking for information on the work of peacebuilders.

We believe that by increasing communication about and with local peacebuilders, we can help contribute to their work.

If you want help with more information on peacebuilding in any of the countries we feature, please get in contact.

General enquiries and research: Ruairi Nolan, Insight on Conflict Programme Manager, telephone UK + (0)20 3422 5549 or email Ruairi@peacedirect.org

Spread the word

We want to get our information on local peacebuilders to as wide an audience as possible. If you found this site useful, please share with anyone else you think might be interested. How you can help:

Tell us how you’ve used the site

To help our monitoring of the site, it is extremely useful to keep track of contacts that are made as a result of the information on Insight on Conflict. If you do make any contacts or other uses of the information on this site, we’d really appreciate if you could drop us a quick email to let us know.

Join the conversation

Our blog is designed to encourage debate and discussion on peacebuilding. Please consider commenting to add your perspectives to any of our posts. Got something bigger to say about conflict and peacebuilding? Please send us in a blog post, we’d love to feature it.

Share on Facebook, Twitter and other social media

If there any posts or profiles of peacebuilders on the site that you find particularly useful, please share on social media. We’ve added some buttons on the site to make this easier.

Sign up to our newsletters

We have a range of newsletters to help you keep updated on different aspects of peace and conflict – click here to sign up.

Tell us how we can make the site better

We need feedback from users to let us know how we can improve the service we offer. Please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

Disclaimer

We strive to provide a valuable reliable resource with Insight on Conflict. We cannot however guarantee impartiality or total objectivity, nor do we present ourselves as a totally comprehensive ‘directory’ of local peacebuilding in a particular area. It is not in the scope of the project to verify and evaluate in detail what is being said to us. If you would like more details about the information in a specific area, please don’t hesitate to contact the Programme Manager: ruairi@peacedirect.org. We would also like to hear from you if you have any suggestions on how we might improve the site, or other information that you think will be useful for us to include.

Thanks and funding

To read a full list of funders and people who have helped with the site, please visit the ‘Thanks’ page: http://www.insightonconflict.org/thanks/

Endorsements

“Donors are struggling for information such as this. The security situations in these countries mean that international staff postings are one to two years at the most. In the case of Pakistan, we go from crisis to crisis (floods, assassinations, large scale terrorist attacks) and staff are usually caught up in the reactive work that these situations generate. As a result, we struggle with transfer of institutional memory regarding credible local organisations and everyday conflict events (which when analysed make sense of our bigger issues). In donor and civil society circles we also talk increasingly about bringing our efforts together to have a greater impact on the issues we work on. People still struggle though, with making the connections and placing their initiative within the larger context of social sector work taking place. Lastly, although we admit the issues associated, due to lack of information we struggle with the ‘entrenched partners’ phenomenon i.e. we continue to work with local organisations on our radar, rather than branching out and taking calculated risks.

“In my view, the above make great selling points for Insight on Conflict. You provide local context and maps, local stories, local contacts. Invaluable!”
Official, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Pakistan

Read more endorsements for Insight on Conflict.