Nonviolent Peaceforce

Transforming the world's response to conflict

aka NP   |   Saint Paul, MN   |  www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org

Mission

We protect civilians in violent conflicts through unarmed strategies. We build peace side by side with local communities. We advocate for the wider adoption of these approaches to safeguard human lives and dignity.

Notes from the nonprofit

Globally the status quo for protection and security is rooted in violence. Overwhelmingly, nations, institutions and even neighborhoods resort to use of force or weapons in addressing violent conflict. Nonviolent Peaceforce envisions something different: building peace and security through nonviolence. Building on existing community strengths, NP supports local actors as they work to address the roots and consequences of violent conflict. As a global non-governmental organization (NGO), we are focused on the protection of civilians and based in humanitarian and international human rights law. We are guided by these principles: Nonviolence, Non-partisanship, Primacy of local actors, and Civilian-to-civilian action. NP’s work is sustainable because it enhances the pre-existing capacities of communities dealing with conflict to solve their own problems: local citizens become the agents of peacemaking.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Ms. Tiffany Easthom

Main address

2610 University Avenue W Ste 550

Saint Paul, MN 55114 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

35-2197019

NTEE code info

International Peace and Security (Q40)

International Human Rights (Q70)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

According to the Global Peace Index, the world has become less peaceful since 2008 (Institute for Economics and Peace, 2020). The World Bank (2019) reports that more than 2 billion people live in countries affected fragility, conflict and violence, and the principle of civilian immunity to war has eroded to the point where the vast majority of casualties are now civilians. According to the United Nations (UN), the number of people forcibly displaced in 2019 was more than 79.5 million, the highest-level ever recorded (UNHCR, 2019). Remedies that are efficient, cost-effective, and easily-replicable urgently need to be scaled up throughout the world. Nonviolent Peaceforce believes that Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) can effectively reduce violence, increase the security of vulnerable civilians, and promote mechanisms of peace. UCP is a relatively new but field-tested approach that meets the needs of vulnerable populations caught in zones of war and conflict.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Myanmar

Five decades of military rule, an isolated economy, and ongoing war in ethnic minority areas have left Myanmar weak and divided. Officials are ill-equipped to create a political and cultural environment that supports openness, and builds trust among the people of Myanmar. Wealth and power remain in the hands of a few, and only those with political connections have opportunities to better their lives.

The military allowed a civilian-elected government (the National League for Democracy) to take office in 2015, while the military still retained control over key areas of policy, especially security and home affairs. The NLD was deposed by the military in 2021. Because the country has more than 100 ethnic groups, with many of them having their own militia, it’s politically and culturally at odds.

Nonviolent Peaceforce is helping local actors to protect civilians and build peace in regions where there’s conflict. Between 2012 and 2017 NP trained civil society and ethnic armed groups in ceasefire monitoring and civilian protection. Since 2018, NP supports women and youth to become leaders, training more than 100 Emerging Women Leaders (EWLs) to respond to issues that are important to their communities. In doing so, NP is creating opportunities for discussions between groups and allowing civilians to participate in the early stages of Myanmar’s peace process as well as local decision-making processes. NP also has brought together representatives of civilian protection networks from different ethnic areas to reduce isolation and create learning opportunities. In a similar way, NP has connected women and youth from various groups to strengthen their voices and encourage the population to pay more attention to their needs.

Many civilians at the grassroots level are determined to make a contribution to peace in their communities, but lack the confidence or the ability to influence the country’s current decision-makers. Others have the confidence and the networks, but lack a basic understanding of issues concerning peace and security. This makes it hard for them to work effectively. By helping these emerging community leaders, they will be able to contribute to Myanmar’s peace process and hopefully will be included in decision-making processes.


Our team quickly adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are now working remotely and connecting with community leaders over video chats. Our program to train emerging women leaders on community organizing has shifted to respond to the pandemic. Now, a group of emerging women leaders have translated COVID-19 prevention education materials into their local languages, in order to reach minority groups left out of the government response to the virus.

Population(s) Served

Nonviolent Peaceforce was invited to Mindanao by local organizations working for peace and justice. Some of the organizations are formally involved in monitoring the ceasefire between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). NP deploys internationals to work with local peacekeepers, contribute to their safety, help to maintain ceasefires and advance the peace process.

Nonviolent Peaceforce Philippines Project objectives include:

Enhancing the work of local peace teams through its presence and by reporting to the outside world;
Contributing to the maintenance of the ceasefire(s) and working to prevent new violence;
Supporting human rights reporting mechanisms in remote conflict areas;
Assisting and connecting local and international advocacy groups;
Ensuring grassroots conflicts are resolved through dialogue at the local level and do not grow into larger crises.

Outcome

Being the only international non-governmental organization working with and living in close proximity to the most conflict-affected population in Mindanao, NP has been able to support and enhance local structures to achieve their goals as well as cross-community dialogue since 2007. In late 2009, NP accepted an offer by the conflict parties – the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – to join the civilian protection component of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) of the peace process. In 2020, NP held 23+ training sessions, reaching more than 877 people on peace processes, child protection, GBV, and international humanitarian law.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams have acted as a liaison between all groups involved in and affected by the fighting. This impact on cooperation and partnership is incredibly important to sustainable peace, whether that takes the form of clans working through conflict or a demonstrated commitment from several community members to peace. For years, we have been a key member of the partnership for peace in the Philippines. Now, using this same partnership that was set up for peace, we are rapidly responding to COVID-19.

Rather than not knowing who to turn to when faced with threats of violence, and now the virus, communities know they can reach out to Nonviolent Peaceforce for support and open communication. Recently in one village, community members were staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19, but the government food rations had not yet arrived. The community members were not able to leave, but they were getting desperate for food. They trusted and contacted Nonviolent Peaceforce, and our teams were able to bring their message to the government, so they could bring food to the village safely. Communication is key to making sure people can access basic resources, especially during a crisis.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In 2010, two South Sudanese organizations, the Institute for the Promotion of Civil Society (IPCS) and the Sudanese Organization for Nonviolence and Development (SONAD), invited Nonviolent Peaceforce to provide operational expertise in preventing violence before and during the 2011 elections and referendum.

Since then, in South Sudan, NP and its partners have collaborated to build Sudanese-led violence prevention teams. These teams act as adjuncts to traditional dispute settlement and peacebuilding activities in districts where the risk of violence is especially high. In 2020, NP protected 29,269 people at aid distribution sites, more than 16,000 children attending child safe spaces and accompanied more than 221 community members.

In addition to providing a proactive presence and protective accompaniment for vulnerable civilians, trained civilian peacekeepers work with local groups to foster dialogue among parties in conflict. NP and its South Sudanese partners equip civil society leaders with tested tools to strengthen their communities' confidence and capacity to reduce and prevent violence. They seek cooperation and coordination with traditional and community leaders, as well as with elected officials, civil servants, and military personnel. Working especially with women, youth, and traditional leaders, the project employs a blend of well-tested methods and novel nonviolent practices.

For the past decade, our protection officers have been living in the same communities they serve. Because of these close ties, our staff have become trusted messengers, and are able to control rumors as a way of preventing tension, violence, retaliation, displacement, and panic related to COVID-19. And, we are continuing to respond to gender-based violence (including domestic violence) and conducting patrols in areas where civilians could be attacked if there are cases of COVID-19.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The military campaign to retake ISIS-held areas in Iraq resulted in the mass displacement of civilians and a complex protection crisis, including increased human rights violations and the establishment of IDP (internally displaced persons) camps. There have been consistent reports of civilians’ rights being violated, including unjust detention, child recruitment, torture, assault, and gender-based violence. IDPs not allowed to return home remain in camps that essentially become detention centers while others are forced to return to insecure areas contaminated with explosive remnants of war and lacking necessary services.

Lack of resources leave IDPs, particularly minors, vulnerable to being recruited by armed groups. With further camp closure and consolidation planned, along with diminishing funding for camps, IDPs are likely to face significantly more challenging conditions. This strain on resources has created reduced sense of safety and security, social upheaval, and increased tension. This is damaging to social cohesion in Iraq.

In early 2017, NP began working in Iraq to provide services to people fleeing violence. NP is now focusing efforts on vulnerable IDPs in camps, people returning to areas that are contested and high-risk, people who have been unjustly detained, and tense areas along the disputed Federal Iraq and Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) border. In 2020, NP conducted 39 community security forums to over 450 attendees, and provided protective presence to more than 42 families. NP’s headquarters are in Erbil, with additional offices in Kalar and Hamam al Alil.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to adapt our protection work to be remote so that we are still providing a critical response to civilians in Iraq—many who have travelled long distances from other countries. We are continuing to check in over the phone with the civilians we serve. This continued communication allowed us to understand their concerns, share WHO safety guidelines, and advocate to ensure that their needs, security, and safety were met. NP connected 520 individuals and families to resources in 2020. This continued communication during the crisis would not be possible without our teams building real relationships with individuals and families for the past 2 years.

Population(s) Served
Adults

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by then Minneapolis Police Officers. This event catalyzed country-wide (and global) protests for racial justice and anti-racist action. These events and the conversations that followed, together with the social stresses that were exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic, as well as the deep political divisions manifesting into violence, have brought the current situation and its origins to the forefront: the United States is grappling with issues of civilian protection, rethinking security, and how to move forward.

Nonviolent Peaceforce can be one part of preventing mass violence in the United States and helping guide imaginative conversations and processes. In cities around the country, protesters and civilians have banded together to de-escalate force by federal agents, protect neighborhoods and local businesses, call for accountability in municipal budgeting and policing, and re-envision community safety. Yet, communities often grapple with what it means to maintain their commitments to less reliance on law enforcement response to safety concerns that can be resolved without use of force or threat of force.

Not only does there need to be a systemic and cultural uprooting of the violence that permeates so much of U.S. society, but there is also an immediate need for direct civilian protection at certain flashpoints for violence (such as demonstrations, key moments in electoral transition, trial announcements, etc.). Our approach is always about prevention of as well as responses to violence. Beginning Minneapolis and Saint Paul and soon expanding to other regions of the United States, we are engaging and training volunteers and paid staff alike for rapid deployment and longer term monitoring and relationship-building.

The work includes:

Civic Space -- working with highly-trained Community Safety Teams to protect demonstrators and community members as they exercise their human and civil rights.

The Community/Neighborhood -- working with neighborhood and community organizations to offer community safety trainings, as well as longer term mentoring.

Institutions --- working with institutions that utilize armed force and armed response to demonstrate unarmed, nonviolent alternatives.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults

Where we work

Number of accompaniments for vulnerable people, primarily women and children, in one year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Children and youth

Related Program

South Sudan

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of countries with active programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people trained in unarmed civilian protection

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children cared for in child-friendly spaces

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

South Sudan

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of people protected at food distributions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

South Sudan

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of UN- and UN-related policies that include Unarmed Civilian Protection

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We envision a worldwide culture of peace in which conflicts within and between communities and countries are managed through nonviolent means.

Nonviolent Peaceforce is a global civil society organisation. We protect civilians in violent conflicts through unarmed strategies. We build peace side by side with local communities. We advocate for the wider adoption of these approaches to safeguard human lives and dignity.

Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) is a proven way to reduce violence before, during, and after armed conflict; the effectiveness stems from providing direct physical protection, while empowering local peace processes and infrastructures. Unlike traditional military peacekeeping or armed private security firms, there is no reliance on weapons; this paradigm uses relationships rather than threat.

To increase our impact, we have two mutually reinforcing strategic aims for the next five years:

•Enhance protection for civilians in armed conflicts and strengthen local peace processes. We will expand our programme implementation by increasing field activities, enhancing civilian participation in peace processes, and building local protection capacities.

•Mainstream UCP policy and practices as an effective response to violent conflicts. We will step up our advocacy to advance unarmed civilian protection by influencing decision makers, advancing the methodology, and promoting greater adoption of unarmed civilian protection by others across the world stage.

Over the past 12 years, Nonviolent Peaceforce has developed and field-tested unarmed civilian protection techniques, which are based on four main methods: proactive engagement, monitoring, relationship building, and capacity development. Each of these methods has a number of applications. Frequently, UCP methods and applications are used in a dynamic interaction, reinforcing and complementing each other. Actual implementation activities are based on specific context, conflict analysis, and risk assessment.

By creating networks of relationships, strengthening self-protection strategies, developing local peace infrastructures, and creating safe spaces for civilians to address urgent issues, UCP broadens the options for civilians to choose their own security priorities.

NP's civilian teams are diverse and comprised of staff from the violence-affected communities as well as from outside. All NP personnel are rigorously trained in the tools and strategies of unarmed civilian protection. They are committed to a code of conduct focused on mutual respect, equity, and non-discrimination. NP works in partnership with local communities, organisations, and complementary international organisations to create locally owned, sustainable solutions that protect and support civilians struggling to survive in conflict zones.

Standing up and speaking out against violence is at the core of NP's mission. In all the places we work, our peacekeepers inspire local communities to action, using nonviolent strategies and personal resolve. Together, with our partners, we provide people with the tools they need to deter violence and protect their families, friends and neighbors. Here are a few examples from the past year:

-Connected women in our Emerging Women Leaders (EWL) program in Myanmar virtually when meeting in person was no longer possible due to COVID-19.

- Supported anti-COVID drives for displaced persons in remote Filipino camps, providing information and the resources for women to create facemasks for their community.

- Started work in the United States to consider how UCP strategies may be implemented during the unrest and state sanctioned violence following George Floyd’s murder, the latest iteration of anti-racism efforts, and heightened tensions during the US election year.

We currently have more than 200 staff working in South Sudan, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Iraq. To better support our field-work, we are concentrating on strengthening NP from the inside out. We continue focusing on building our own organizational capacity, improving all of the functions that support programming — administration, financial management, safety & security, and staff welfare.

In the face of the immense challenges in the world today, we know that we have to work together. Reducing violence and engendering conditions for peace is not an isolated process. We need to strengthen our collective capacities to prevent violence, to protect ourselves and each other with unarmed strategies.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email, External as well as internal complaint mechanism,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In response to feedback received from local partners, we have shifted the orientation of our programming in the Philippines from protection to peacebuilding. Additionally, by observing patterns of feedback received from staff members, we have added the Safeguarding & Accountability Manager position in our country programs as part of the wider management team.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Nonviolent Peaceforce
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Nonviolent Peaceforce

Board of directors
as of 6/22/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lucy Nusseibeh

Founding Director, Middle East Nonviolent and Democracy

Term: 2018 - 2021

Rolf Carriere

Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, UNICEF and World Bank

Meenakshi Gopinath

WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace)

Rachel Julian

Leeds Beckett University

Anna Matveeva

University of Exeter

Tiffany Tool

IPEN, UNHCR

Fatuma Ibrahim

Transition International

Francois Marchand

Générale des eaux/Connex/Veolia-Transports/Transdev (ret.)

Alex Gillen

Audit and finance organizations, non-profit sector

Louisa Chan Boegli

Rugiagli Initiative

Thomas Kurmann

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Brian McLeod

Merck

Deepa Sureka

Kora

Gabriella Vogelaar

Netherlands Institute of International Relations

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/22/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/28/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.