21 Resources to Plan Your Next Peacebuilding Training

A compilation of the best resources with guidance and activities to help you plan your next peacebuilding training.

by Taylor O’Connor | 10 May 2024

peacebuilding training activity

Photo by FORTYTWO on Unsplash


“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” – Eleanor Roosevelt


I can’t count the number of peacebuilding trainings I’ve planned and facilitated. And having done this kind of stuff for quite a while now I know the value of good training resources.

I also know how hard it can be to find good training resources to train peacebuilders. I think the reason for this is twofold: 1) most established peacebuilding training programs don’t have the resources to compile and publish their peace training materials, and 2) many peacebuilding training programs are based on the knowledge of the trainers they hire and don’t even have any formalized curriculum.

I also think that while there are a handful of international peacebuilder training programs out there, the vast majority of peacebuilding training programs operate at the local/community and national levels. So to help out all the groups and individuals out there trying to put together their own trainings of peacebuilders.

 

What is a peacebuilder training and what resources are needed?

But first, let’s cover this basic point. What is a peacebuilder training?

Well, a peacebuilder training is any program or organized educational activity that aims to train people how to build a more peaceful and just world, or at least how to find ways to take action at the community level to address a social issue that threatens peace/justice.

There exists an academic field of study called Peace and Conflict Studies, but this is different. The academic discipline of Peace and Conflict Studies focuses much on theories while peacebuilding training is all about practical tools to take action for peace.

Such trainings are often facilitated by non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community based organizations (CBOs), or civil society organizations (CSOs), but can be carried out by any group however formal or informal.

Secondly, what resources are needed to conduct a peacebuilder training?

Well, in this blog post I have compiled 21 resources to help you plan your next peacebuilding training. Generally, such resources are downloadable and include either guidance to plan and carry out a peacebuilding training or activities to facilitate a peacebuilding training, ideally both. The activities are essential. Participatory and engaging activities are at the heart of peacebuilding trainings and workshops. All resources provided here include great peacebuilding training activities, and some include guidance.

 

What I learned from my process of selecting the best peacebuilding training resources

Below I have included the top 21 resources to help you plan and carry out your next peacebuilding training. I have selected resources that include actual activities to conduct in a peacebuilding training or workshop. Some include also planning guidance while others do not. Resources that are primarily focused on readings, self-guided workbooks, or other instructional material, but that did not include any activities were also not included.

Common topics included in peacebuilding trainings are peacebuilding theory and practice, conflict analysis, conflict transformation, and personal skills associated with building peace. Many also include activities that help participants plan projects for peace.

I also have learned that while many peacebuilder training programs exist, most at local and national levels, and some at international levels, few have published resources that are freely available. Many peacebuilder training programs have not formalized their curriculum beyond a short outline provided online, and many are linked to specific individuals with expertise who will facilitate the trainings.

Most formally published peacebuilding training resources are from large international organizations who have funding to produce peacebuilding training curriculums, and in some cases the produce the resources in collaboration with smaller organizations.

Also, there are not a lot of good training materials out there specifically for training peacebuilders. The resources I have found and selected were produced from a wide array of organizations across more than 20 years. Good peacebuilding training resources are not regularly published.

You will see that there are a lot of youth-focused training resources as this is a primary group involved in peacebuilding efforts.. Any resource developed as a youth peacebuilding resource can be applied to people who are not youth, but it is interesting to see how many were developed specifically for youth and young people.

 

How I found and selected these peacebuilding training resources

Of course you can find hundreds, probably thousands of training resources online that can be used in peacebuilding trainings. This list is not a comprehensive list of every resource that could possibly be used in a peacebuilding training. It is a list of the very best training resources that are generally explicitly designed for training peacebuilders, or training people in how to build peace. A few are not explicitly related to peace, but more on social change., and I have included them only because the activities they have are great for peacebuilder trainings.

It does not include purely theoretical or academic resources about peace and conflict theory. It does not include peace education curriculums which are focused on educating children, youth or the general public about peace. I have another blog post mapping over 100 peace education resources which you can find HERE.

It also does not include training resources on specific topics associated with peacebuilding like social justice, gender, music/arts, media and tech, social cohesion, peace infrastructure, demilitarization, nonviolence, conflict management and resolution (including dialogue facilitation, negotiation and mediation), environmental peacebuilding or others. Each of these topics can and will have their own blog posts sharing resources. All resources shared below are explicitly on peacebuilding and peace skills. Some cover various topics, but the main purpose of the resource is to train peacebuilders.

Other training resources not included in this list:

  • Not general peace education or focused on children. Focus here is on training peacebuilders who already have the motivation and drive to build peace. Some focused on youth, but not for general public to try to convince people of the importance of peace and building peace
  • Not high level peacebuilding and conflict sensitivity, or program planning for peace workshops
  • Training materials that are not explicitly about peace or peacebuilding not included
  • Not including resources that are not presented in a simple download. Some projects have resources in numerous downloads, multiple booklets when used together form a complete program, including some trainings and activities,,, but these are too complicated. Also, not websites with clickable database to find activities.
  • With one exception, Not including many country specific curriculums, or context specific curriculums

 

How these peacebuilding training resources are presented

Copyright: All resources here were found as free downloads on the websites of the organizations that created them. I have not included resources that can’t be found freely online. Also, I have not included a few resources where you have to register to receive the resource via email out of respect to organizations that wish to collect email followers in exchange for their free resource.

If for any reason you are from an organization that published any of these and you don’t want it also linked on my website, just email me to let me know and I’ll take it down. You can contact me, Taylor here: taylor (at) everydaypeacebuilding (dot) com

Presentation: I have include the name of each resource, the year it was published and the name of the organization (or organizations) that produced it. I did not include the names of authors as only a few of the resources cited a specific author and when they do they often include numerous individuals involved in creating a resource. Only one resource was produced with no organizational affiliation so in that case I listed the author names.

Links: Each resource listed below includes a link for a direct download of the resource. I chose to include direct download links because often external links change. Some have more than one link because the resource is split up.

Language: Some of these resources are available in multiple languages while others are only available in English. In this blog post I have included only English language versions. If you find a resource you like and want to see if it is available in other languages you can usually find it on the website of the organization (or organizations) that produced it.

 


Top 21 Peacebuilding Training Resources

 

My top 21 peacebuilding training resources are listed below, organized into 4 categories:

  1. Comprehensive peacebuilding training resources
  2. Smaller peacebuilding training resources and/or more focused resources
  3. Training resources focused on conflict transformation
  4. Peace focused games, energizers and facilitation tools

 

Comprehensive peacebuilding training resources

Below you will find six resources that are presented as a comprehensive package of activities and guidance to plan a peacebuilding training. Each includes numerous activity guides across various topics.

 

Young Peacebuilder: Training Handbook for Young Peace Educators (2021) | by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)

An excellent resource with tons of activities across lots of relevant and practical peacebuildling skills including personal skills, project management skills, peace advocacy and facilitation, among others. The training resources are easy to use.

 

Youth Peacebuilding Training Manual (2022) | by UNHCR

This is a newer one that I haven’t used yet, but it looks super great. The organization and design is excellent. It looks like a great introductory level course for new and aspiring peacebuilders, and community level peacebuilders. There is a large community focus and it includes activities that cover lots of personal peace skills.

 

Youth 4 Peace: Training Toolkit (2018) | by the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY Peacebuilders)

This is another user/facilitator friendly resource – meaning that it is easy for facilitators to use and apply activities. There are tons of interesting activities in here covering training on key concepts in peacebuilding. It also includes lots of resources for planning and implementing peacebuilding trainings.

 

Support for Effective Cooperation and Coordination of Cross-border Initiatives (SECCCI) Training Manual for Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Conflict Sensitivity (2002) | by UNDP and partners

This is an old one that has tons of activities covering core topics of conflict analysis, peacebuilding, conflict prevention, conflict transformation, and conflict sensitivity. The way the activities are written up is often a bit dense, including lots of supplementary information. I think this is good for more intermediate learners in peacebuilding practice.

 

Active Citizens: Facilitators Toolkit (2021) | by British Council

This is one that is not explicitly for peacebuilding, but is perfect for peacebuilder trainings. It has 80 great activities covering topics of identity, culture, dialogue, community engagement and social action project planning.

 

Youth Guide on Education for Peacebuilding and the Prevention of Violence (2022) | by UNESCO and The International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA)

This one has just 15 activities, but the activities they do have are great. It includes lots of planning and implementation guidance for peacebuilding trainings and some background information about pedagogical approaches for peacebuilding trainings. There is some focus on the African context, but most of the activities can be applied to any context or easily adapted. It also include some resources for monitoring of peacebuilding trainings.

 

Smaller peacebuilding training resources and/or more focused resources

Below I have presented six great peacebuilding training resources that include great activities. Each of those listed below either includes a smaller number of activities, activities only on one specific topic, or activities focused on one specific theme associated with peacebuilding.

 

Peace Counts Learning Manual (2015) | by Berghof Foundation

This is a shorter package of activities developed and tested in trainings for peacebuilders around the world. There are fewer activities, but they are really excellent. The package includes handouts and worksheets for activities where needed. Some of the activities are quite unique; not activities that you will see in other resources.

 

Women and Peacebuilding: Resource and Training Manual – PART 1 and PART 2 (2004) | by Eastern Mennonite University

This is a great one with a focus on gender, peace and conflict. It is important because gender should be integrated into any peacebuilding training. It includes 32 interactive activities. I’m not sure why, but it is split into 2 separate PDFs – note the two links above. But it is one training package.

 

Making Peace Where I Live (MAPWIL): A Project for Young People to Meet Peacebuilders in their Own Communities (2008) | by Elise Boulding, Cynthia Cohen, Gail Jacobson, Lyn Haas, and Mary Lee Morrison

This one is cool because it is focused on connecting young people (or any participants) with peacebuilders in their own communities. There is a big focus on learning from local contexts. Developed by peace educators in the United States, but oriented to be applicable to any context. There is not organization that sponsored this resource. It was developed by a group of individual peacebuilders, most namely Elise Boulding – a pioneer in peace education.

 

Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators – Middle School Edition and High School Edition (2011) | by United States Institute for Peace (USIP)

This training package includes two separate, but similar, training packages. One is geared towards high school age young people (14 – 18 years old) and the other for middle school age (12 – 14 years old). The activities in each are the same or similar with minor adjustments for age. It can be used for persons older than 18 years old, but not recommended for participants younger than 12. There are about fifteen activities in each primarily focused on understanding conflict and finding ways that each individual can build peace.

 

Guidebook for Mentors: A Manual for Teaching and Mentoring Young Peacebuilders (2021) | by Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation

Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) is well known for its annual peacebuilder training program which trains peacebuilders from all over the world. No doubt that they have leveraged the expertise of their diverse peacebuilding trainers and years of experience in training peacebuilders. This one is cool because it focuses on training and mentorship to guide peacebuilders in their development and support them in applying what they learn.

 

Peacebuilding Training Guide for Ethiopia (2017) | by the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa’s (IICBA)

This is the only resource included that was developed for a specific country context, but included because it is super great. While developed for Ethiopia, it has also been formally used in Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda. Includes great activities across a range of topics including conflict, peacebuilding, personal competencies, gender, and taking action, among others. Developed in part by an old friend of mine. Well done Tigist if you are reading! 🙂

 

Training resources focused on conflict transformation

The two resources below are focused solely and explicitly on conflict analysis and conflict transformation.

 

Conflict Transformation by Peaceful Means: Participants’ Manual – Trainers’ Manual (2000) | by TRANSCEND: A Peace and Development Network and the United Nations Disaster Management Training Program (DMTP)

This is a key training resource developed by influential peace theorist Johan Galtung. It includes training on a bunch of peace frameworks and tools developed by Galtung. For more advanced peacebuilders interested in peace and conflict studies theories, tools and approaches.

 

Nonviolent Conflict Transformation: Training Manual for a Training of Trainers Course (2006) | by KURVE Wustrow, Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR), and other partners

This resource covers concepts and activities to help participants understand conflict and apply conflict transformation approaches. It is a Training of Trainers (ToT) course so the content is a bit more dense than some other resources.

 

Peace focused games, energizers and facilitation tools

The five resources below include tons of great games and activities for peacebuilding trainings. Generally, they include lots of activities which are not presented in a comprehensive training package. What is interesting is that many of these include games, energizers and activities that are explicitly related to peacebuilding core themes like conflict, violence, etc. Most have very user-friendly indexes to help you find activities suitable to integrate into your peacebuilding training.

 

Designing and Facilitating Creative Conversations & Learning Activities (2011) | by the Barefoot Guide Collective

This is not a peacebuilding resource explicitly. The focus is on social change. It is a resource for facilitators that covers key approaches for planning and facilitation of activities for social change. It includes some great readings and tools to support facilitators, and it also covers key elements, approaches, and tips for facilitating different types of learning experiences associated with social change activities.

 

Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation: Methods and Games to Facilitate Training Sessions (2012) | by ZFD (Ziviler Friedensdienst – Civil Peace Service)

This one is a huge pack of games and activities covering topics associated with peace and peacebuilding, conflict and conflict transformation. The resource is not organized as a sequence of learning activities, but it covers various topics with tons of simple activities that you can select from to integrate in any training. It is unique because activities are simple and short, and aside from the general warm-ups and energizers, each activity is focused on peace topics like conflict, violence, communication, cooperation, problem solving, and other topics.

 

Virtual Trainings Gate: A toolkit for safe and effective virtual Trainings (2021) | by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)

This is the only resource I know of developed by a peacebuilding organization that is focused on facilitation of virtual trainings (on building peace). It includes coverage of some key interactive tools you can use for virtual trainings, best practices for protection of digital security, and guidance on how to design virtual trainings and workshops.

 

Training Kit: A Collection of Tools to Create Engaging Courses and Workshops (2020) | by SwissPeace

This one is another massive collection of peace-related activities. It is a compilation of activities that have been tested and used successfully by SwissPeace over the course of many years. Basically, the put together all their best activities from across a ton of different types of trainings over many years. It is a huge resource, but it is easy to navigate and use. In the beginning they have lists of activities organized and referenced by theme, group size, purpose, activity type/method, time, and complexity. They even included a list of activities that are suitable to use in virtual trainings.

 

Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education (2008) | by Arigatou Foundation

I’ve used this one a lot over the years. The focus is on intercultural and interfaith, and so is often used in peace education programs and activities, but so many of the activities are super great for peacebuilder trainings. I particularly like both the activities for building group cohesion, and the community action-oriented activities. The end of the toolkit also has some great resources that peacebuilders can use.

 


Now go plan your peacebuilding training

I hope these resources are useful for you in planning your next peacebuilding training, whether it be for your staff capacity building, for a youth peacebuilding program, or otherwise.

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!

Also, CLICK HERE to check out the peacebuilding training offerings we have at Everyday Peacebuilding. There you can see the three step system we have created to train peacebuilders, each step with a detailed outline of training components. Many of the resources from this blog were used to build out our training package.

Are there any peacebuilding training resources that are missing in this blog post? If so, CLICK HERE to submit a resource that I can add to this blog post.

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