Peacebuilding policy

About us

Peacebuilding policy

Our vision is of a world where local people are able to find their own solutions to their conflicts. To achieve this, they need funding and recognition from everyone involved in conflict resolution.

Whether it is international aid agencies or conflict-zone governments, UN peacekeepers or local fighters, we want all players to understand and mobilise the huge potential of local peacebuilders.

We want to change the balance of global peacebuilding altogether, so that local peacebuilders – ‘insiders’ – are the first resort in any conflict resolution activity. We know they can’t do everything themselves, but we also know that they have the knowledge, the commitment and the local status to prevent future wars and make peace work.

The world’s current approach to preventing and resolving conflicts is not working. Forty per cent of wars restart within ten years of a peace treaty being signed. We are convinced that this is because conflict resolution activities are mainly led by ‘outsiders’ – international ‘experts’ who are flown in for a crisis. What is needed is peace built from the grassroots up, turned into reality on the ground, and local peacebuilders are the future for this.

We want to see local people given the power to build their own better futures. We want to see them become leaders of their own peace and development programmes, not contractors for outside agencies. And we want to see their activities multiplied far beyond what we can fund ourselves.

So we work internationally to persuade those with power, funds or influence to adopt our vision. We seek partnerships with like-minded organisations, we liaise actively with UK policy-makers, and our new affiliates in New York and Berlin will help us to approach the UN and the EU with greater impact.

We welcome any assistance with our influencing work. To find out more or to get involved, please email

Insight on Conflict

Our Insight on Conflict project employs local correspondents in a growing number of conflict areas who map the local organisations that are doing the most effective peacebuilding work. For about half of the 500 or so organisations, this is their only web presence. Academics are using Insight on Conflict to enhance their curricular resources, and researchers can make use of our local correspondents to create connections in the field.

Sign up to the Insight on Conflict Monthly Newsletter which summarises the latest thinking on local peacebuilding.

Concept papers

We are exploring a new approach to conflict resolution, in which local people are supported to direct their own programmes and find their own solutions.

We believe this is an aid model for the future, moving people in the developing world from aid-dependency to self-determination.

It raises new challenges and issues, which are examined in our concept papers.

We welcome debate or comment on these, and are happy to provide speakers or trainers on these topics.

Baraza Justice
A case study of community-led justice in DR Congo.

Reflections on Peace Direct’s approach to evaluating local peacebuilding initiatives
Paper outlining Peace Direct’s approach to evaluating the work of local peacebuilders.


Local First: Summary Pamphlet (pdf)
Local First is an approach to international development that prioritises the views and leadership of people and organisations in the countries affected, over those of outsiders from the international community.


Coming Home: A Case Study of Community Led Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration in DR Congo (pdf)
Case study of locally led DDR programme comparing costs and impacts between local and international programmes.

DDR in the DRC by Andre Kolln (pdf)
Report comparing the effectiveness of DDR programmes in DRC 2002-2009.

Crisis in South Kordofan (pdf)
Call for support for local peacebuilders during the partition of Sudan into North and South, July 2011.


Ripples Into Waves (pdf)
A collection of cases of highly successful local peacebuilding, showing how it can scale up to make a national impact.

The Peace Direct Model (pdf)
An in-depth look at the Peace Direct vision for running an international NGO led by local peacebuilders’ priorities.


Think of a Conflict (pdf)
An in-depth look into what we do and how we do it.

Locally Led Monitoring and Evaluation (pdf)
A guide to Peace Direct’s approach to Monitoring and Evaluation.

How to Choose a Dance Partner (pdf)
Series of interviews with international players who have gone through the process of finding a local peacebuilder to partner with.


War Prevention Works (pdf)
Inspiring book of stories of grassroots peacebuilders worldwide.

Peace Direct updates

Keep up to date with our work.