Shifting Institutions

While Humanity United is committed to supporting the work of those closest to conflict, we recognize that many external actors engage with and influence conflict and peace efforts, and the decisions made at an international level can have a profound effect on local contexts. We envision a global peacebuilding system where these external actors—whether they be government donors, large civil society organizations, humanitarian agencies, or international financial institutions—prioritize engagement with, and support the efforts of local peace builders. We believe that this change will be enabled by amplifying voices that challenge the status quo, and radically shifting institutional practices.

To support this goal, we accompany organizations and initiatives that:

  • cast a vision for a transformed system;
  • are led by their values, including a commitment to privileging local leadership;
  • seek to design, test, and implement new approaches and mechanisms to help international donors and policy organizations be more responsive to locally led peacebuilding; and
  • build momentum and foster networks of collaboration

A few examples of the partners we support are:

Program Focus: Mali
In Mali, HU is one of the members of the H3I partnership with Institut Malien de recherche-action pour la paix (Malian Institute for Action Research for Peace, IMRAP), Interpeace, and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Together, we run Vestibule de la paix, an initiative to develop a durable approach to peace in Mali based on community action. Bringing together the partners’ experiences with participatory approaches to peacebuilding in Mali and beyond, we support communities across Mali to sit together, analyze their experiences of conflict, and develop their own solutions.

As a multicontinental, multilingual partnership of organizations working together to support citizen and community leadership in peacebuilding, we are also committed to spurring the international peacebuilding system to do the same. In part, this means modelling the change we want to see in the way we work together, with local leadership and national ownership serving as our guiding operating principle. It also means supporting community-generated initiatives to achieve broader change at the national and international levels, and seeking meaningful ways for others within the system to reflect on how we all can better put citizens and their communities at the heart of our collective efforts towards lasting peace.