About us - Peace Direct

About us



We believe passionately in non-violence and the power of local action. Local people are central to the resolution of their own conflicts. Peace is not sustainable if imposed from the outside.



In 15 years we have supported local peacebuilders in over 25 countries around the world, providing vital assistance to ensure grassroots action stopping conflict and violence can continue.

With our local partners, we have saved lives, provided paths out of violence and built better futures.

As an independent organisation funded by people like you, we can direct money and support to where it is most urgently needed.


Our commitments to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At Peace Direct, we believe that local communities should be the drivers of sustainable peace. Partnering with them is at the heart of everything we do.

In recent years, a growing tide of activists have pushed for ‘localisation’ in development and peacebuilding. Structural inequalities and a legacy of colonialism remains. We believe this prevents local people from truly leading change and ultimately undermines community efforts towards peace across the world. 

We exist to challenge the status quo. To rebalance relationships and power in favour of local people and communities rather than international agencies.

Here are some ways we are challenging ourselves, and the sector.

Read our commitments 


Peace Direct at a glance

Our story

I couldn’t imagine how anybody couldn’t be obsessed by the terrible debris and carnage of war and not want to do something about it.
Scilla Elworthy
Peace Direct co-founder and patron


Peace Direct was born out of a passion to provide local people risking their lives on the front line of conflict with the resources they need to carry out their work. 

From small beginnings in the basement of a flat in London, to a dynamic and respected organisation that has supported over 40 peacebuilding organisations around the world, our history is true to our grassroots approach.





Our approach: why local peacebuilding?

The world’s current approach to preventing and resolving conflicts is not working.

50 per cent of wars restart within ten years of a peace treaty being signed.

Local people have been sidelined

Underpinning all our work is the belief the current structure of the aid system is flawed.

Local people have been sidelined in efforts to stop war and build peace.

We want to shift the balance of power and resources towards those who have the deep local knowledge of a conflict, and the long term commitment to fight for peace.


Doing things differently

We have always tried to do things differently. We do not establish country offices or employ expatriate staff.

We don’t arrive in conflict zones and we don’t leave them.

Instead, we find creative ways to support local organisations to implement their own work.

Locally owned, non-violent action is cost effective, scalable and strengthens the prospects for long term peace.

Shifting the balance

The tide is now slowly turning.

More institutions, donors and policymakers are acknowledging the role local people must play in resolving conflict, and in their own development.

While there are still real changes to be made within policy and practice, Peace Direct is well placed to build on this shift.


What we do


Through targeted advocacy, we speak with high level representatives from governments, international institutions and policy making bodies. We amplify the voices of local peacebuilders onto the international stage. Read more »


Peace Direct produces Insight on Conflict, the leading online resource for local peacebuilding in conflict zones worldwide. Through dedicated mapping of over 1,300 peacebuilding organisations, it highlights the scale and impact of local peacebuilding around the world. Read more »


We support 11 organisations in nine countries to carry out practical work to stop war and build peace. Through long term support, we help them become sustainable and independent organisations that transform the communities they live and work in. Read more »



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