Our early work has been concentrated in the Middle East, mostly in Iraq. Currently, IPE is engaged in the following projects:
Community Peace Education
In partnership with the University of Duhok (UoD), IPE has helped to develop a program that has engaged more than 3,600 youth in peacebuilding training so that they can begin to work as peacebuilders in their communities. Young people living in Duhok and surrounding areas—including Syrian refugees, internally displaced Iraqis, and residents of the host community—have worked with trainers from the UoD Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies (CPCRS) to develop knowledge and skills that have enabled them to initiate peace-focused youth clubs.
Improving Social Cohesion
IPE is working with CPCRS to help Iraqis displaced from Nineveh province to Duhok to develop skills and approaches that will enable their communities—both in displacement and during their eventual return home—to deal constructively with difference. Tribal, religious, and political leaders from Nineveh are taking part in a series of CPCRS-hosted dialogues and skill-building sessions aimed at improving social harmony and breaking the cycle of violence that the Islamic State’s emergence in Iraq has accelerated.
IPE has begun teaching computer coding skills to Syrian refugees, displaced Iraqis, and local youth in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), with the objective of providing young people with the skills needed to gain income-generating employment within the private sector. This pilot project, conducted in partnership with the Dutch NGO SPARK, works with the private sector to identify and teach common skills lacking in public university graduates and will equip 50 youth with English-language and computer coding skills over a nine-month period by the end of 2016. Guru, one the world's leading remote-working platforms, has agreed to assist with job placement for successful participants.
Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding (2012–2014)
CGA and CPCRS conducted two Joint Research Seminars in Peacebuilding, which brought students and alumni of UoD's Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies to CGA to work with their graduate student counterparts to develop proposals for peace research projects to be conducted in Duhok. The CGA graduate students and Dr. Thomas Hill travelled to Duhok for three weeks in 2013 and again in 2014 to carry out their research projects with partners from UoD. These research projects culminated in the publication of Finding Peace in Iraq, Volumes 1 and 2. Areas of research included: religious conversion in the KRI; the impact on youth of mainstream media coverage about the disputed territories; a case study on the impact of social service provision on refugee relations; the impact of education on peacebuilding in the KRI; a case study of three villages and their perceptions of peace, conflict, and relationships as affected by water scarcity; women's perceptions of the effectiveness of Kurdish female leadership in addressing women’s rights; the experiences of Syrian refugees within the Domiz Camp; and ethnic minority groups and political representation in parliament.
Strengthening Capacity in Peacebuilding: Instruction and Practice (2010–2011)
CGA and CPCRS cooperated on an 18-month project that brought 10 professors from UoD and three other Iraqi universities to New York in 2010 and 2011 for intensive work on developing a master’s curriculum in peace and conflict studies. The project allowed UoD to refine its existing master's program and to build support at other Iraqi universities for this emerging field of study.