The Peace Work Institute (PWI) is a best practice initiative piloted during the previous project phases. It has been highly evaluated by the project external assessments and recommended for continuation and extension. Moreover, as part of the recent project Reflecting on Peace Practices Process, the PWI Guidebook is developed to serve as a resource for the future PWI schemes within the Roots or beyond it.

The PWI aims at capacity building of youth leaders in conflict transformation work. It is a series of activities in a logical continuum of three years – i.e. through the whole project period, including:

  • PWI sessions composed of 3 one-week-long residential seminars taking place minimum every six months;
  • After completion of the training series, PWI graduates launch conflict transformation initiatives as tandem projects between sparing pairs or groups.

The PWI is an international endeavour, yet first of all assuming participation from the regions targeted by the donor – such as South Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Middle East.

The Planning Team (PT), composed of appropriate Roots project staff and selected graduated of the previous PWI series, was established, with gender balance as a key criterion. The PT is and will carry on the responsibility both for the residential sessions’ logistical arrangements as well as for their content development and delivery. Meanwhile Roots project staff will remain completely responsible for the events due administration, evaluation and official reporting.

As an output of the PWI previous series the YMCA Europe has developed a Peacework Guidebook, including the curriculum, educational and facilitation modules. This handbook will be the base for elaborating the content of the next PWI round. However new modules and tools are also assumed to be included into the programme. As during the previous PWI series, through the whole run of the scheme Do No Harm approach will be used as the main educational methodology and module. Moreover, Do No Harm matrix will be the PME tool applied for the development of the follow-up tandem projects by the PWI graduates.

Upon the completion of the PWI training phase the graduates will be required to raise funds and cluster them into joint projects as sparring partners. All the sub-projects will be implemented with necessary backstopping and required administrative support by the Roots staff.

These tandem projects are estimated to totally enrol at least 100 participants as direct beneficiaries, within cross-border or regional activity scenarios ranging from youth reunions, exchange and study visits, to joint publications, advocacy initiatives and digital media. Do No Harm approach will be applied in fine-tuning the contents of those activities, with focus on topics that will serve as natural connectors between young people coming from different conflict sides. Such topics can be shared or composite heritage, environment, healthy living, interfaith dialogue, commonalities in youth work and joint service learning, youth culture and its expression, etc.. However, further tailoring of these scenarios is primarily subject to choices made by the PWI graduates themselves.