Being invited to take on the Chairmanship of Peace Direct is a real honour. Peace Direct is one of the most innovative organisations in the peacebuilding world. The chance to help it grow and to spread the message that local peacebuilding works is one that I am greatly looking forward to.
I am keen to get to know Peace Direct’s supporters and those we support as quickly as possible and will be making some early opportunities to do so. In the meantime if any of you have questions for me or for the Board as a whole, I encourage you to contact me on [email protected].
The climate for fundraising is difficult and may yet get worse. But I am clear that this is an area above all that we need to master if Peace Direct is to be confident about sustaining what it has so effectively started. It will be the biggest focus of my first year and I hope that in twelve months time I will be in a position to report a substantial increase, particularly in funding from governments. No-one disputes that conflict prevention is cheaper than peacemaking or peacekeeping. The British government’s recent announcement of a greater security focus in DFID spending is an opportunity for Peace Direct.
As Peace Direct’s relationships with local peacebuilders expand and mature, so the range of advice and support that those at the front-line need grows and diversifies. I want to find ways of continuing to support initiatives that Peace Direct has helped when their needs expand beyond our core capabilities. I am keen that we should explore the scope for greater collaboration with other organisations that can bring those added capabilities to projects that need them.
Insight on Conflict is already a valued resource to other NGOs, the media, academics and government. I want to see its position consolidated as the recognised “go-to” source of information on local peace-building initiatives and for it to become a significant multiplier of effect through the network it represents. I see it as a core element of Peace Direct’s overall mission and one whose potential we need to develop and tap.
And closest to home, I will be making sure that I get to know much better the excellent staff of Peace Direct and the work that they are doing – Local First!
Chair, Peace Direct