Peacebuilding Guidelines

Numerous and diverse factors drive contemporary conflicts, from strained relations between governments and groups of people to threats that transcend borders such as environmental crises, the flow of weapons, and violent extremism. In today’s interdependent world, regional or local conflicts often have consequences that undermine the security and well-being of distant communities. Transforming conflict to build just and durable peace requires the global community to think differently about how it responds to the complex nature of 21st century challenges. Governments, multilateral organizations, and civil society must work in concert to develop a new framework for conflict prevention and peacebuilding that engages international, regional, state, and local actors in addressing the human security challenges of local populations.

As the world evolves rapidly toward a multipolar reality in which a growing array of nations pursue their national interests from positions of shifting political and economic power, the United States continues to play an important role in global efforts to create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. U.S. policies and behaviors that demonstrate respect for the competencies and perspectives of both traditional allies and emerging powers can help create a greater sense of shared responsibility and advance collective problem-solving to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts. Civil society organizations have a significant role to play in promoting non-violent responses to conflict and cultivating the political climate necessary for official peacebuilding and diplomatic negotiations to succeed. They also are important advocates for a more robust multilateral system that is effective at brokering peace agreements.

The Fund’s Peacebuilding program aspires to strengthen grassroots constituencies for peace and to connect them with policymaking on the regional and international levels. It aims to understand the conditions that lead to violence and the processes that support durable peace in order to identify innovative solutions to the most pressing drivers of insecurity. The program’s grantmaking focuses on conflicts that have a disproportionate influence on international peace and security. It works closely with the Fund’s Pivotal Place programs, especially in the Western Balkans, and with the Global Governance portfolio of the Democratic Practice program. The Fund places particular importance on elevating the role of women and young leaders in international peacebuilding and conflict transformation efforts.

Goal: Advance Just and Durable Peace

The Fund will pursue the following interrelated strategies with respect to select conflicts.


  • Supporting innovative and collaborative approaches and policies for conflict prevention, management, and transformation at the multilateral, regional, and national levels.
  • Strengthening constituencies and political will for conflict transformation and durable peace.

The program is currently focusing a significant portion of its grantmaking on the wider Middle East.

For more background information, download the Peacebuilding Program Memo (March 2011) [PDF]

Featured Grantees

In Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, observes Afghan National Police training prior to a International Security Assistance Force change-of-command ceremony in 2011.

Center for International Policy, Inc.
An IRAP client explains her story with the help of a volunteer interpreter in Amman, Jordan. (Courtesy Susannah Stevens/IRAP.)
Urban Justice Center
Solar panels set up by Comet-ME among the tents of a community in the South Hebron Hills.

News and updates

The Iran Project Releases Statement in Support of the JCPOA and Diplomacy

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Fund President Stephen Heintz introduced and moderated a keynote discussion with Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, about U.S.-Iran relations a year after the signing of the Iranian nuclear deal.

International Refugee Assistance Project Director Recognized

Rebecca Heller, the director and co-founder of the International Refugee Assistance Project, was awarded the 2015 Charles Bronfman Prize for its work providing legal services to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.