87 Peacebuilding Trainings to Develop Your Skills for Building Peace

A compilation of the international peacebuilding trainings and workshops with open enrollment for peacebuilders around the world.

by Taylor O’Connor | 15 May 2024

peacebuilding training

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

So we’ve been planning a lot of trainings and eCourses with Everyday Peacebuilding recently and in the process I thought I’d do a bit of searching to see if I can get a good sense of what types of trainings exist out there in the wide world of peacebuilding.

Fortunately we have a solid database of thousands of peacebuilding organizations and peace activist groups around the world. And Since I have been organizing the database for some time now I already had a good sense of where I would find good trainings and workshops. That helped me get started, then I did a bit of a more in-depth scan of the database to pull up trainings that I may have missed.

All in all, I came up with 87 peacebuilding trainings and workshops from 16 different organizations, including us. Some offer just one training, while others offer a few or many. Some are free and some are paid. Some are virtual and some are in person. Some are more in-depth training programs while others are one-off short trainings on specific topics.


What is included and what is not in this mapping of peacebuilding trainings

If I mapped every single training or workshop that peacebuilders might be interested in, then we’d have thousands of entrees here, and I probably would never finish my research. So included here you’ll find only trainings and workshops that are explicitly about peacebuilding, and for peacebuidlers. Some cover various topics like gender, dialogue facilitation or environment, but with a focus on peace and peacebuilding. There are many trainings available on these topics and many more that peacebuilders may be interested in, but if there wasn’t a specific focus on peace and peacebuilding they weren’t included.

I also didn’t include academic studies programs on peace and conflict. If you are looking to get your Bachelors, Masters or PhD in Peace and Conflict, coverage of the hundreds of universities that offer programs like this are not included. Also not included are professional certificates from accredited universities.

Included are only trainings for open enrollment for anybody, anywhere in the world. I have not included trainings for people from specific countries or regions of the world. Some regional trainings have been included if they have open enrollment for anyone, anywhere in the world.

Also not included are the following:

  • Nonviolence trainings are not included because this is a different focus
  • Trainings for children about peace
  • Trainings with primarily a humanitarian or development focus
  • Trainings that are in languages other than English
  • Trainings that were offered once, but are no longer available. Some organizations do random, periodic on-off trainings and it is hard to predict what offerings will be available and when.
  • Trainings only for high-level professionals that work in UN or international peace activities


What did I learn in researching peacebuilding trainings

So what did I learn from doing this comprehensive mapping of peacebuilding trainings?

The first thing that struck me when doing this research was that beyond the handful of peacebuilding trainings I knew of, it was hard to find peacebuilding trainings for open enrollment.

But then when I dug a bit deeper, I found that there are a lot of offerings available, but they come from few sources (just 16 organizations) relative to the massive number of peacebuilding organizations and peace activist groups worldwide.

I think there are three reasons for this:

  1. Most peacebuilding training takes place in universities and is focused on Peace and Conflict Studies, theories, etc.
  2. Most peacebuilding organizations at all levels from local, national to global that develop trainings do so for their staff and/or partners.
  3. Many organizations don’t have the resources or technical capacity to produce formal training resources or to launch open trainings globally. Many lack the technical skills or human resources to manage global trainings. This is particularly relevant for virtual trainings.


How you can use these resources

There are a few ways you can use the resources I’ve presented here.

First and most obviously, you can find a training of interest to you and join it, or apply to join. If it is a cohort-based opportunity (often only available once a year) you might need to mark your calendar or get on the list to either join or apply to join at the right time.

Second, you can use the self-guided virtual training resources as multi-media resources in your own peacebuilding trainings.

Lastly, you can study what is offered in these trainings to develop your own peacebuilding training.


87 Peacebuilding Trainings, Offered by 16 Organizations

I’ve organized peacebuilding trainings into the following 4 categories:

  • Entry-level peacebuilding trainings
  • Comprehensive training programs for peacebuilders
  • Short peacebuilding trainings covering multiple topics
  • Trainings on specific peacebuilding topics

I’ve include the link to each training below as well, and in cases where there are multiple thematic trainings offered I have provided the link to the page that lists all the trainings. Next to each entry I have indicated the organization that offers the training. Some organizations have multiple offerings across various categories

I have indicated next to each entry if training offerings are virtual, in-person or both. If trainings are virtual I have indicated if they are self-paced or cohort-based. In-person trainings are all cohort-based so it is not indicated. It is also indicated if trainings are free, paid or both.

I have also noticed that some organizations have very established training offereings that do not change while others seem to change course offerings yearly or come out with new trainings periodically. If you are reading this beyond 2024, you may check websites of interest to see if there are new offerings. All trainings listed below are active at the time of writing. I may update this post in the future.


Entry-level Peacebuilding Trainings

There are only 3 trainings I found that are entry level peacebuilding trainings. One of them I developed myself.


Foundations of Peacebuilding | by Forum ZFD (virtual, cohort-based; paid)

This virtual training provides an introduction to tools and principles of peace and conflict work. It is a paid two-week online course that seems to be conducted once each year. It covers peacebuilding in theory and practice, including best practices. It is suitable for people seeking entry into the world of peacebuilding jobs and work.


Introduction to Peacebuilding | by the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) (virtual, self-guided; free)

This is a self-paced virtual course that provides a general overview of the peacebuilding field and covers basic skills for those who will seek jobs and work in peacebuilding. The course covers theory, practice and examples of peacebuilding work. The focus will be on traditional peacebuilding approaches from within international systems of aid and peacebuilding. As any activity of USIP, tools, approaches and information shared in this training will be oriented in support of political objectives of the United States Government and Department of Defense. The course is free.


How to Build Peace | by Everyday Peacebuilding (virtual, self-guided; free)

I developed this course as I felt that courses on actually ‘how to build peace’ don’t really exist. Most of the trainings I could find out there focus primarily on getting jobs on peacebuilding projects in the international aid industry. There is a huge lack of available trainings that help regular people learn how they can build peace.

This course is free and covers tools and approaches that I developed myself, specifically to help individuals from all walks of life find creative ways they can use their unique skills and abilities to make change on any social issue they care about, for a more peaceful, just world.


Comprehensive Training Programs for Peacebuilders

There are only 3 comprehensive peacebuilding training programs available. They tend to be programs that run for the duration of ten weeks to six months. Some include further technical support to help participants develop and carry out their own peacebuilding initiatives.


Young Peacebuilders Training | by the United Nations Alliance for Peacebuilding (UNAOC) (virtual and in-person, cohort-based; free)

UNAOC has one cohort of young peacebuilders each year, usually focused on a different region of the world each year. The Young Peacebuilders Training is a peace education initiative that is designed to support young people in gaining skills that can enhance their positive role in issues of peace and security and in preventing violent conflict. There is an online and an in-person component that concludes with participant action projects. The training program covers personal peacebuilding skills, project management, advocacy, facilitation, and other topics to help participants develop and carry out peace projects in their communities.


Peace Practice Alliance | by Euphrates Institute (virtual, cohort-based; free)

Similar to UNAOC, Euphrates Institute conducts one cohort each year in their Peace Practice Alliance. Participants are from all over the world, both in contexts directly affected by violent conflict and from those not directly affected. The Peace Practice Alliance is a virtual training experience


Full-time Course in Peace and Conflict Work | by Forum ZFD (in-person; paid)

This is a 10-module course conducted by numerous expert trainers once a year in Germany. Each module is approximately one week, covering a different topic each week, and each week is facilitated by a different expert trainer. It includes and introduction and closing week, and topical weeks across 3 themes: 1) attitudes and skills in conflict transformation, 2) peace programming, and 3) mainstreaming crosscutting themes. Each year a cohort of approximately 10 participants of diverse background participate in the course together. Each module is also open for those who want to just attend one course on a topic of their interest.


Short Peacebuilding Trainings Covering Multiple Topics

The peacebuilding trainings below cover multiple topics and are carried out during a period of two weeks to a month.


Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Annual Peacebuilding Training | by Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) (in-person, some virtual, cohort-based; paid)

MPI has been conducting their annual peacebuilding for many years. MPI’s work is grounded in peacebuilding work in Mindanao, Southern Philippines, but they have offered their training program for international participants for many years now. During the COVID pandemic they began offering the annual training virtually, and then went back to in-person trainings after. At the moment it seems that the focus is on the in-person annual training, but that they are exploring continued virtual offerings. MPI has expert trainers from the Asia region and around the world. The annual training covers is conducted for a three week period. Week 1 focuses on foundational concepts in peacebuilding. Week 2 includes a range of thematic courses. And week 3 includes thematic courses and field-based learning.


NARPI Summer Peacebuilding Training | by the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute (NARPI) (in-person; paid)

The NARPI Summer Peacebuilding Training is a two week program hosted in a different part of Northeast Asia every August. Participants come from all over Asia and beyond. Trainers likewise come from many countries and deliver a range of thematic trainings. Some peacebuilding experience is required, so the training doesn’t cover foundational topics. They have really interesting courses offered and I believe that they often change. Recent trainings at time of writing include trauma-informed peacebuilding, sexuality in conflict and peacebuilding, and restorative justice among others.


Thematic courses on peace activism | by Service Civil International (SCI) (in-person; travel costs reimbursed, accommodation and food provided)

SCI organises training courses and seminars that focus on a variety of themes. Each year they organize various trainings on different topics, and each takes place in a different country. Their trainings are experiential, action oriented and apply principles of nonformal education. Example training topics are: 1) campaigning and advocacy against war, 2) environmental and peace activism, and 3) building a culture of peace in diverse communities. Many trainings are linked to project planning and implementation or peace action workcamps. Check the website for upcoming trainings.


Youth Peace Camp | by the Council of Europe (in-person; free)

The Youth Peace Camp is an training that brings together about 60 young people from conflict affected contexts. The training focus is on human rights, intercultural learning and dialogue facilitation. The aim is to support young people to lead conflict transformation, peacebuilding and dialogue initiatives in their home countries.


Trainings on Specific Peacebuilding Topics

Most of the links below lead to sites where multiple training offerings are offered. Some are just for one training offering.


Multiple trainings on various peacebuilding topics | by the UPEACE Center for Executive Education (virtual and in-person, cohort-based; paid)

In addition to Masters and PhD programs, through the UPEACE Center for Executive Education, the University for Peace (UPEACE) offers a wide range of courses related to peace and social change that are open for public enrollment. Some courses are available online and others are offered on site at the UPEACE campus in Costa Rica. There are a wide range of courses offered. At the time of writing, some offerings that stand out are courses related to negotiation, entrepreneurship, global citizenship, intercultural communication, and leadership, amongst others.


Short courses | by swisspeace (virtual and in-person; paid)

swisspeace offers several peacebuilding courses in collaboration with the University of Basel in Switzerland. Courses tend to be for advanced learners in peacebuilding and focus on bridging current academic findings with the latest insights from peacebuilding practice. While there are many courses to choose from, some examples include digital peacebuilding, mediation, dealing with the past, peacebuilding strategy, dialogue, and other topics.


Multiple trainings associated with war abolition | by World BEYOND War (virtual, cohort-based; free and paid)

World BEYOND War offers various Pro-Peace and Anti-War Education eCourses. To date they have run 23 cohorts of students through various courses. They have offered a range of courses over the years. Popular courses are conducted more frequently, while others are conducted more periodically. Current offerings include Peace Organizing 101, Ending War 101, Peace Education and Action for Impact, and Unarmed Civilian Defense Instead of War.


Multiple trainings on PeaceTech | by BuildUp (virtual, self-guided; free)

BuildUp has some great self-guided eCourses on PeaceTech, some translated into other languages. The courses cover a broad range of topics on how technology can be used to build peace, including using data for peace, transformative online conversations, responsible and effective design processes, developing strategic communications for peace, and more. I think that the quality of their virtual trainings is quite good given their focus is on peace and technology.


Various trainings on peacebuilding and sustainability | by the Earth Charter (virtual, cohort-based; paid)

The Earth Charter offers a few different virtual courses on topics related to peace and sustainability. Virtual course offerings began in 2021, so it is not yet clear if some courses will be offered regularly or not, or if they will be offering new courses in the future. It seems that a few popular courses covering core topics of peace and sustainability are repeated, and they also include some one-time offerings.


Preventing and Addressing Violent Extremism through Community Resilience | by the Network of Religious and Traditional Peacebuilders (virtual, self-paced; free)

This is one, very excellent training offering by the Network of Religious and Traditional Peacebuilders. It has a very specific focus: to support civil society, religious actors and government officials to promote community resilience against violent extremism. You can follow the course videos online and download the course materials. An excellent quality course.


Courses from the Academy of Conflict Transformation | by forum ZFD (virtual, cohort-based; paid)

Forum ZFD offers a two month virtual course called Deepening Our Peace Practice as well as numerous thematic trainings offered virtually. Courses support experts from the peace, humanitarian and development sectors to strengthen their ability to carry out conflict-sensitive program work. Courses are for professional level participants. Thematic trainings cover topics like environmental peacebuilding, community dialogue, trauma-informed peacebuilding, and other topics.


IEP Peace Academy | by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) (virtual, self-guided; free)

IEP offers a course teaching people about the Global Peace Index. If you are interested in the Global Peace Index this is the only course that teaches about it. Otherwise, I found the quality of the course to be quite low. The course is presented as teaching you how to build peace, but it only talks about the Global Peace Index which is not relevant to most peacebuilders. It is basically a collection of video and audio clips from conference presentations. And for much of them, they have inserted random stock video clips with the audio from the conferences. It is a bit random.


Online self-paced courses | by United States Institute for Peace (USIP) (virtual, self-paced; free)

USIP has a large collection of free eCourses covering a range of topics in peacebuilding. Here you will find courses the provide traditional, formal peacebuilding approaches of the US government. Everything that USIP does is in support of the aims and objectives of the US government and the Department of Defense, and these peacebuilding courses are oriented to support these aims. I don’t usually recommend materials published by USIP as they often present the US military as a force for peace in the world, but some of the peacebuilders in our community have had positive experiences with some of their courses and activities.


Use these resources to support your learning and that of others

I hope these resources linked above are helpful for you, either to find learning opportunities to develop your own skills to build peace or to use to help others to learn.

Conducting this mapping was super helpful for me in mapping out the training program that I am developing with Everyday Peacebuilding. I’m trying to create something that is comprehensive, practical and accessible for anyone who wants to build peace. I mapped a sequence of 3 eCourses that I’ll offer to help people start from simply a desire to build peace (or make change on any social issue they care about), to learn essential peacebuilding skills, and end by launching their own projects and initiatives for peace.

This three eCourse series starts with my free eCourse on How to Build Peace and will continue to create more eCourses to build out this 3 eCourse series.

Also, I have built out the training system to offer these trainings to groups and organizations.

CLICK HERE to learn more about training offerings by Everyday Peacebuilding.


Further resources peacebuilding and peace training opporutnities

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Other trainings relevant to peacebuilders may be found on the Peace Training EU website.

And if you found this article helpful and want to find more blog posts like this mapping organizations that build peace across a wide array of themes be sure to check out our Resources page!

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