Rockefeller Grant to Kroc and Partners Will Empower Peacebuilding Worldwide

Author: Joan Fallon

The University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, together with the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict and the Alliance for Peacebuilding, has been awarded a three-year, $1,050,000 grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The grant — the largest-ever grant from the Fund for a peacebuilding initiative — will support an ambitious effort to strengthen peace and security policy worldwide by empowering civil society organizations to have greater influence on policymaking at global, regional, and national levels.

On the front lines

Civil society organizations include community groups, non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations, relief and development agencies, grassroots groups, and faith-based organizations. These groups have proliferated around the world in recent years. Many operate on the front lines of violent conflict, and their knowledge and expertise are critical to identifying the causes of war and overcoming obstacles to peace, says David Cortright, director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute and a principal investigator for the project.

In recent years, civil society organizations and governments, including the military, have been reaching out to each other and exploring creative ways of working together to build safer, more sustainable societies, Cortright says. This project will build on these efforts, bringing together civil society groups, government, intergovernmental organizations, and security forces in global, regional, and national forums to develop security policies that are more responsive to local communities and human rights standards.

Grant partners

This project seeks to bridge gaps, not only among civil society and policymakers, but also between the United States and international policymakers and between academics and practitioners. The grant partners include:

The University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, one of the world’s principal centers for the study of the causes of violent conflict and strategies for sustainable peace.

The Alliance for Peacebuilding, a U.S.-based network of nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, and practitioners working in applied conflict prevention and resolution around the world.

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, a worldwide civil society network headquartered in The Hague aiming to build a new international consensus on peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict.

Action learning

As the academic partner in the consortium, the Kroc Institute will take the lead in developing an “action learning” component to the work, gathering and articulating applied knowledge generated by local practitioners and linking it with scholarly knowledge from research institutes and academic centers.

The Kroc Institute will also incorporate action learning into graduate courses on policy advocacy and conflict transformation, enabling graduate students to participate in program activities alongside global peace practitioners.

Contact: David Cortright, 574-631-8536,