Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Seeds of Peace visit Seeds of Peace website

Semester: 2012 Fall

Project Type: Facilitated Dialogue, Stakeholder Assessment

Students: Andrew Chinsky and Christie Dinapoli

Treaties are negotiated by governments; peace is made by people. Since 1993, Seeds of Peace (SoP) has set the standard in international peace-building by providing exceptional young people and educators from opposing sides of conflict with an otherwise impossible opportunity to meet face-to-face at our International Camp in Maine. With 20 years of experience, Seeds of Peace is one of the oldest and most respected people-to-people peace-building organizations in the field.

There are more than one hundred NGOs devoted to conflict resolution and peace-building with Israelis and Palestinians. Despite having similar or shared missions, there is little coordination or communication between organizations and few, if any, opportunities to: come together to address shared challenges; explore how organizational approaches overlap or complement each other; determine holes in the broader landscape of local peace-building; or examine how they might leverage their individual strengths to have a greater collective impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  At times, various NGOs may unwittingly undermine each other’s work as they compete for limited resources and support, doing a disservice to the larger cause.  At the same time, collaborations may not be meaningful if organizations lack a shared conflict analysis or may not be an effective approach to reaching shared goals.

The SoP project with HNMCP, ‘Mapping the Movement,’  aims to determine the opportunities and potential to strengthen the field and effectiveness of peace-building in Israel and Palestine by mapping the scope of the peace-building community and developing recommendations for ways that these organizations could positively impact each other’s work and their broader goals.

Our Work

  • Stakeholder assessment of peace-building NGOs working with Israelis and Palestinians, their needs and goals
  • A report mapping the interests of various NGO’s in Israel and Palestine that identifies common areas for and barriers to collaboration and proposes consensus-building approaches for organizations to increase coordination, communication, and the ability to harness shared interests while minimizing negative externalities of key differences
  • Planning and facilitating of a one-day conference in Jerusalem or Area C for NGO leadership, at which the HNMCP report will be presented. The Harvard team will facilitate discussion and help parties map out the initial stages of a consensus-building process, as well as provide next steps for increasing impact and effectiveness within the field

Deliverables Envisioned

  • Database of peace-building NGOs working with Israelis and Palestinians
  • Analysis of interviews with 25–30 organizations, representing a diversity of approaches, and other key players to inform findings
  • Strategies and suggestions for strengthening the impact of peace-building organizations
  • Planning and facilitation of 1-day workshop in Jerusalem [or Area C] in January 2013