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Peacebuilding & Development Institute


Search for Common Ground and USIP: Learning Portal for DM&E for Peacebuilding

Peacebuilding and conflict resolution are relatively new areas of professional practice. There are a growing number of organizations active in this field and efforts to more accurately monitor and evaluate projects are developing. There is a real need to share tools, approaches, methodologies and the findings of evaluation so that the community can better understand ‘what works’. In addition, there has been a growing emphasis on development program accountability and an increasing requirement from donors for programs to demonstrate their impact. In response, the peacebuilding sector has been building capacity and reinforcing its monitoring and evaluation work. 

To contribute to the development of appropriate tools that would capture efficacy of the peacebuilding projects and to share good practices in DM&E and lessons learned about peacebuilding programs, Search for Common Ground and the Peacebuilding & Development Institute at American University’s School of International Service are setting up a new online interactive space - a Learning Portal dedicated to DM&E in the peacebuilding sector.  This initiative is supported by DFID and will be launched in 2011.

The Learning Portal will give the Peacebuilding community an interactive space to enrich the value and the quality of the DM&E work in the sector, from the conceptual level down to day-to-day practices in the field.  While the Learning Portal is targeting more specifically the peacebuilding community and the DM&E practitioners in that field, it shall be a major source of information and reflection on DM&E for the larger community in the development world.

To join the Learning Portal or to learn more, visit

Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI) Partnership:
This November, PDI’s summer training courses were approved to be part of POTI’s Certificate of Training in United Nations Peace Support Operations program!

POTI’s advanced-level certificate program offers students the opportunity to acquire a solid foundation of knowledge by combining the convenience of distance training with the benefits of in-person classroom instruction. At the Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI), we strive to “take the distance out of distance learning.” The POTI self-paced curriculum is available in English, French, and Spanish, and is open to all students interested in peacekeeping and humanitarian relief; there are no educational or professional prerequisites for enrolment. We have the most experience providing online distance learning about peace support, humanitarian relief, and security operations to individuals worldwide. Each year we support over 100,000 new enrolments.

The POTI curriculum contains courses such as: An Introduction to the United Nations System; Peacekeeping and International Conflict Resolution; Gender Issues in Peacekeeping; and International Humanitarian Law. Students access their course materials, exams, and other resources through a personalized virtual classroom, and upon successful completion of each course students receive a Certificate of Completion from POTI.

To learn how taking a PDI summer training course this May can count toward earning a Certificate of Training in United Nations Peace Support Operations, visit

Cesar Chavez School for Public Policy : Youth Drug Trafficking Summit

The Center for Peacebuilding and Development is honored to co-sponsor this year’s Cesar Chavez School for Public Policy Partnership’s 10th grade Drug Trafficking Summit. In each grade level students complete interdisciplinary advocacy projects that provide them opportunities to use the thinking of all the disciplines to wrestle with complex real world issues in an authentic manner.  In 10th grade students will focus on the issues of sovereignty and power in a globalizing world by studying the issue of drug trafficking. 

In order to do so, Chavez students along with invited students from across the city will hold a youth summit to address the question:  Under what circumstances the U.S. should respect the sovereignty of other nations, and when (if ever) it should not?  Students will work in committees to formulate presentations related to this question in the context of drug trafficking between the US and Mexico.  Students will share those presentations with their peers as well as experts in the field at the summit.  Collectively, summit participants will then decide on a broad set of recommended actions and present those to the State Department representatives or another relevant government body.

PDI in Sri Lanka

PDI is in a partnership with a Sri Lankan agency to establish a regional training institute in Peacebuilding & Development for scholars and practitioners living and working in various conflict and post-conflict environments in South and South-East Asia.

See more here: