A new learning hub for experts working on peace, conflict and faith
By Sarah Pickwick
In a world of growing conflict, the role and impact of local faith communities, their leaders and other faith groups/organisations has come increasingly into focus.
They are recognised as bringing a unique approach to work in and on conflict, being themselves agents of change. Their work ranges from peace building, to conflict prevention, conflict resolution, inter-religious co-operation and many other types of programmes or interventions.
There has been a growing interest in the intersection of faith, conflict and peace amongst academics, field practitioners, and policy makers/donors alike, both faith and non-faith based. Many grapple with whether there is evidence for faith based approaches in and on conflict, and what is their impact? How are these approaches particularly informed by theological beliefs? How, within these approaches, do faith communities interact and work with other key stakeholders?
A dedicated platform did not exist where academics, practitioners, and policy makers working on these questions could be linked to share, work with and learn from one another. Therefore in mid 2014, World Vision and Islamic Relief began exploring whether it would be appropriate to set up a faith and peace/conflict horizontal learning platform, known as a ‘Hub’, under the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities.
After positive responses across the board, the Peace and Conflict Learning Hub will shortly be launched. It will aim to investigate what we know about the above areas, how do we better communicate about them, and what more do we need to know (the latter being addressed through further research).
The goal is to arrive at practical, actionable, recommendations that hub members will be encouraged to implement and influence others, and to increase effective partnerships between the members engaging with/in conflict settings.
The new hub is currently circulating its Terms of Reference and recruiting members. Membership is international and open to any expert working on peace/conflict and faith. It aims to include members from global south and north, drawn from the worlds of academia, policy and practice and to have a diverse cross section of different faith based groups (such as Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist) as well as non-faith groups and individuals.
If you would like to become a member of the hub or would like more information please contact Sarah Pickwick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Pickwick is the Hub Practitioner Co-Chair and the Senior Conflict Advisor at World Vision.