Search for Common Ground

Washington, DC   |  www.sfcg.org

Mission

End violent conflict. It’s our purpose — our call to action.

Instead of tearing down an existing world, we focus on constructing a new one. We do this through a type of peacebuilding called conflict transformation. Meaning: we look to change the everyday interactions between groups of people in conflict, so they can work together to build up their community, choosing joint problem-solving over violence.

Our mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict, away from adversarial approaches, toward cooperative solutions.

Ruling year info

1982

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Shamil Idriss

President

Mr. Isam Ghanim

Main address

1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Suite 1101

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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EIN

52-1257425

NTEE code info

International Peace and Security (Q40)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

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

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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?

Security Sector Reform in Tunisia

We are working with the Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM) to support the process of security sector reform (SSR) in Tunisia.

Security is one of the most pressing issues faced by the country, but the citizens’ lack of confidence in the police hinders effective responses.

Tunisians had high hopes for comprehensive SSR after the 2011 Revolution. However, despite vigorous reforms undertaken in the last several years, those hopes did not convert into a significant change in the perceptions and behaviors of citizens and security forces. Additionally, a lack of communication about existing or future reforms has led to public concern that the government does not have a comprehensive strategy to address SSR in Tunisia.

In 2015, we launched our SSR project, with the goal of supporting civil society efforts aimed at increasing the transparency of and citizen participation in security sector reform.

Our project spans 22 months and takes place in four governorates (Ben Guerdane, Bizerte, Kasserine, and Tunis).

In collaboration with KADEM, we facilitated capacity-building sessions to encourage civilian engagement with security sector reform, and are providing small grants to civil society organizations to support community projects designed to improve security sector engagement. These community projects build inclusive loacl dialogues with security actors and state officials to create shared solutions to each community’s concerns regarding the security sector effectiveness and accountability.

Through civil society-led collaboration with key stakeholders, communities have developed 11 actions plans to address local security concerns in direct partnership with security sector actors. These initiatives, coupled with trainings for journalists, guarantee increased transparency in these efforts and greater collaboration between security forces and civil society actors. Nearly 79 percent of the civil society organization representatives involved in these local projects reported that communication and engagement with the security forces have increased, particularly as the local projects have progressed. Additionally, 89 percent reported an overall improvement in the relationship between police and citizens in their communities.

One of these organizations was the Coalition of Associations, a consortium of local civil society organizations in Ben Gardane, a town on the Libyan border. In partnership with Search, they were able to hold four dialogue sessions and were amazed by their success. One participant, Neziha, who went on to become the Coalition’s project manager, said that she could not believe that one day she would sit with security actors and openly discuss local security challenges.

From this dialogue, the participants decided to form a civil committee dedicated to addressing local security-related issues and challenges through grassroots action. They hope to take on local grievances and conflicts peacefully, preventing violent escalations. Their first campaign is aimed at preventing violent behavior and promoting respectful relationships at important community commonplaces, likes sports venues and schools. They are doing this by raising awareness through flyers and signs and even radio messages with prominent figures such as the city’s Imam.

We are also working with the press, TV, and radio stations to demonstrate the successes of these community projects and ensure accountability. With local media professionals, we have produced documentaries, TV round tables, and ample press coverage.

Our work has also led to the joint development of local initiatives to address key security concerns of the population, such as safety in and around schools, road safety, violence in football stadiums, and more. Through the implementation of these initiatives, the participants have the opportunity to put their collaboration skills into practice, thus reinforcing positive relationships and consolidating partnership.

Population(s) Served

Despite producing 90% of Nigeria’s export earnings thanks to an abundance of oil resources, the people of the Niger Delta region feel neglected and marginalized. The federal government effectively ended a decade-long militancy in the region when it instituted the Presidential Amnesty Process in 2009 to demobilize and reintegrate former militants. Nevertheless, the region continues to feel the effects of the conflict. People in the Niger Delta remain disempowered by a persisting culture of violence, loss of alternative livelihoods, lack of opportunity for entrepreneurship, and a lack of transparency in public decision making.

Through our project "Tomorrow is a New Day,” we support stability in the Niger Delta region by promoting a culture of nonviolence, increasing collaboration and communication between authorities and communities to improve local security, and encouraging the inclusion of women in community decision-making. With two critical events anticipated in 2015, the national elections and the proposed end of the Amnesty Program, these goals take on a new significance.

To build a space for women and youth to participate in community decisions, we helped build "Information Resource Centers” featuring radio studios and internet cafés in violent communities. These centers have supported and encouraged youth, including former agitators, to create their own radio programs that showcase positive youth leadership and peacemaking. Women and youth are also encouraged to use this new platform to air their concerns and grievances and to peacefully advocate for change. The first phase of the project made significant contributions to promoting cohesive, engaged communities and removed some barriers to community healing.

In the second phase of the project, launched in April 2014, we are targeted 12 key trend-setting communities in the four states of Abia, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers in the Niger Delta. We have teamed up with local partners in each state, as well as community-elected Local Project Committees, to educate key leaders and security agents on conflict transformation. We also train women and youth in non-adversarial advocacy approaches so they can increase communications with community leaders and make their voices heard. To involve as many people as possible, we sponsor regular community meetings on security issues and Peace Architecture Dialogues with important local actors. These meetings are designed to improve information sharing and collaboration on key issues.

This project is funded by the European Union’s Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace.

Population(s) Served

We acknowledge youth as positive agents of change that must be empowered to play a proactive role in transforming conflicts, so we provide them with opportunities to practice non-violent community leadership. In December 2013, our team in Pakistan successfully completed the implementation of a project entitled "Promoting Peace in KPK & FATA – Connecting Youth Leaders and Policymakers through Mediation and Dialogue,” referred to as Pakistan Peace Promoters.

Through activities ranging from trainings and workshops to dialogue forums, the 23-month project was implemented in 25 districts of the Khyber Pakhutnkhwa province (KPK) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the most troubled and conflict-affected areas of Pakistan. Based on the findings of a Post-Crisis Needs Assessment conducted in 2010, the initiative built peace by encouraging dialogue among youth and policymakers. We equipped them with a "Common Ground Approach” in handling conflicts and disagreements.

The trained youth leaders established 25 District Dialogue Forums (DDFs) in their respective communities, where they resolved local issues and discussed such topics as rule of law, unemployment, lack of access to health and school facilities, and social justice.

We also organized Networking Sessions to create space for policymakers and youth leaders to examine issues together and formulate policy recommendations.

The five most enterprising and promising youth leaders were awarded small grants that will allow them to carry on their work beyond the project and create sustainable peace in their communities.

The project made use of mainstream and social media to promote messages of moderation and tolerance to the people in these volatile regions. We produced seven video case studies featuring success stories of youth leaders and five radio magazine programs focusing on peacebuilding and non-violence. These were aired on local TV and radio stations across KPK and FATA.

Our initiative also produced a project documentary (https://vimeo.com/83005873) , beautifully illustrating our peacebuilding actions and capturing personal stories of people who benefited from the project.

Population(s) Served

Difficult living conditions, overcrowding, and management issues within the Moroccan prison system expose the guards and detainees to significant risks. Prison staff have limited resources and training to manage the situation. Individual conflicts and tensions among detainees- between detainees and staff, or even between staff themselves- are always liable to occur. To promote human rights and reforms for detainees, both groups must learn to manage conflict constructively. We are therefore working to encourage constructive approaches to conflict resolution and modernize the penitentiary system in Morocco.

We are engaging with prison directors and managers, guards as well as detainees by means of a series of trainings and dialogues on conflict transformation, detainees’ rights, and the reintegration of detainees back into society. We are also working with our various partners to bring the penitentiary system in line with international standards regarding detainees’ rights. The ultimate goal of this project is to reduce the high rates of recidivism by improving the ability of detainees to manage conflicts and disputes effectively when they are in prison and after their release.

We have previously worked with 14 prisons throughout the country to train prison directors, prison administration staff, and detainees in techniques and mechanisms for managing conflict. Today, we are working in 34 prisons, which is half of all the prisons in Morocco. This project will facilitate the formation of a national platform on the state of human rights in prisons, good governance, and prison reform in Morocco.

This project is funded by the European Union and implemented in partnership with the General Delegation of Penitentiary Administration and Reintegration, the Foundation Mohammed VI for the Reintegration of Detainees, and the Rabita Mohammadia of Moroccan scholars.

Population(s) Served

As the Syrian conflict enters its fourth year, more than one million Syrian refugees have fled to Lebanon and now represent over 25 percent of the population in a country of four million people. This dramatic increase in population has brought about significant disruptions to the Lebanese economy, infrastructure, demographics, and society. In addition, Syrian refugees are often concentrated in already economically underdeveloped areas of Lebanon. As a result, Lebanese youth in these areas suffer from high levels of unemployment and feel marginalized in their own country, further fueling discrimination and resentment towards refugees.

Women and children make up nearly 80 percent of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and are especially vulnerable to the consequences of conflict. The emotional costs incurred by Syrian refugees are profound. Most have experienced the death of relatives or close friends or have been separated from their families, and many cross into Lebanon unaccompanied.

Once in Lebanon, many young Syrian refugees forgo education in favor of work to support themselves and their families, making them susceptible to exploitation. Without a proper education, another consequence is that these young people often struggle to focus their energy and participate fully in society. These issues cause tensions and reinforce negative stereotypes between Syrian refugees and Lebanese locals. The refugees who are able to attend school are often bullied and marginalized by their Lebanese peers.

In response to this unprecedented refugee crisis, we have partnered with two local organizations, LOST in the Bekaa Valley and DPNA in South Lebanon, to address the challenges of social cohesion among Syrian and Lebanese youth through arts. “Better Together: A Youth-led Approach to Peaceful Coexistence” begins with two summer camps in which Syrian and Lebanese youth participate in conflict resolution trainings and artistic workshops in drawing, theater, music, and film. Three-hundred and twenty youth will attend these trainings and workshops over two years and learn to express themselves through art, as well as how to battle the stereotypes and misconceptions they hold against each other. Once the camps are completed, these youth will be ready to become leaders and improve relations between these two communities.

After the summer camps, the project continues with year-long artistic workshops to address trauma and promote mutual understanding nationwide, as well as a “pen pal” activity that will allow the youth to keep in touch with other participants throughout Lebanon. Though outside of the formal educational system, these activities engage Syrian refugees and their Lebanese youth counterparts by encouraging them to address everyday challenges together and focus their energies productively and creatively.

In addition to our workshops and activities, we are using our relationships with Lebanese media to broadcast short videos detailing our efforts across local TV channels. The videos will be also shown at public events held by us and our partners in order to exhibit the artistic outcomes of the project. These artistic performances will give community members the opportunity to explore the issues such as social cohesion, stereotypes, and misconceptions about “the other.” Finally, we will hold a discussion with expert facilitators to reflect on the project.

Population(s) Served

Violent extremism can be an extremely difficult issue to tackle, particularly when the government and moderate religious leaders lack the theological training, organization, and leadership skills needed to counter radical narratives. These groups can, however, serve as a positive alternative to more radical clerics if they demonstrate strong leadership skills, transparency and sound theological training emphasizing tolerance and pluralism. We’re using our global experience with intra-religious dialogue to establish a working group of key actors who can support ideals of religious tolerance and cooperation and coordinate messages about countering violent extremism.

The project brings together influential actors to form a cooperative working group focused on understanding violent extremism. The working group, The Research Institute for Islamic Studies, was established in May 2014. This is the first group in Kyrgyzstan created as a platform for members of government and law enforcement agencies, the Muslim community, and civil society leaders to discuss issues related to radicalization in the religious sphere.


This project was created by local experts and is driven by local participants and local actors, creating a space for local solutions.
The program fosters dialogue between diverse participants, allowing all voices to be heard and helping members find common interests and solutions. Women, youth, local leaders, religious actors, and the security sector all participate.
Applied research papers about violent extremism expand academic knowledge and create a platform for discussion.

Population(s) Served

After years of political instability, Madagascar is gradually returning to democracy and good governance. Yet, this process is hampered by recurring institutional crises. One of the main causes of this political fragility is the lack of trust and cooperation between key sections of society.


To tackle this challenge, we launched an 18-month project called Samy Gasy, in partnership with the Embassy of the United States. The goal of the initiative was to reduce confrontational approaches and increase dialogue between groups within Malagasy society, including government leaders, civil society organizations, media professionals, youth leaders, and the armed forces.

The main component of Samy Gasy was an international training program in conflict transformation and peacebuilding, offered in two parts.


The first one was a long-term training program for a group of 25 people who became local certified peacebuilders. The program was divided into 4 sessions of 3 days spread throughout the year. To graduate, the participants had to develop their own local peacebuilding initiatives. Their ideas were then presented to the public as part of a reality radio show in collaboration with our media partners. A panel of experts evaluated the initiatives on air and the public voted for their favorite one. The four themes of the training program were conflict analysis and the Common Ground Approach, security sector reform and peacebuilding, youth leadership and peacebuilding, and advocacy techniques for inclusion and reconciliation.


The second part of the program was a specialized training on each of the themes, organized in independent sessions of 3 days. These sessions offered more in-depth knowledge.


Under a third component of the Samy Gasy project, we built the communication and media engagement skills of institutions that promote transparency and accountability in Madagascar. These included the anti-corruption agency BIANCO, the anti-money laundering agency SAMAFIN, and the Ministry of Finance.


Anyone aspiring to become a certified local peacebuilder, without distinction of background, profession, gender, age or region, was able to apply to participate in Samy Gasy. Our international experts came to Madagascar to lead the training modules, while the Madagascar team supported the coaching sessions.


Samy Gasy has produced some transformative results. Of those targeted by the program, 90 percent believe that dialogue is the most effective method to create positive change for social cohesion. Similarly, 88 percent said that they have developed techniques and approaches for conflict transformation.


In addition to building the participants’ capacity for dialogue and community-based peacebuilding, Samy Gasy has also helped them form relationships, which have led to impactful collaborations. For example, some have created a social media group for peacebuilders in Madagascar, where they can share their successes and lessons learned.

Population(s) Served

The Tanganyika and Haut-Katanga provinces, known for their rich deposits of copper and other metals, used to be a stable area of the DRC. In 2013, the region has plunged into conflict, pitting the tribes of the Luba and the Twa against each other; since then, relationships between communities have been defined by deep mistrust and high tension.

With support from the National Social Fund, we are responding to the population’s need for reconciliation and supporting the government’s efforts to bring back stability with the project Jirani Ni Ndugu – “My Neighbor is My Brother”.

In close collaboration with traditional leaders and local teachers, we formed 25 peace committees to mitigate local conflict. With our support, these committees organize solidarity activities, sports events, and public initiatives that open a space for dialogue and cooperation between the Twa and the Luba.

We also use participatory theater to start conversations between the two groups, helping each side shift their perspective on the conflict. Performances by theater troupes trained and supported by our staff mix serious topics with humor. During every play, the public is encouraged to interact with the actors and find nonviolent solutions to the problems presented on stage.

Radio programming is also part of our set of tools. Jirani Ni Ndugu is also a popular soap opera, broadcast on a weekly basis by our radio partners throughout the region. It helps dispel misinformation, rumors, and prejudices, and shows ways to resolve conflict peacefully. At listening clubs across the target provinces, we encourage the audiences to discuss the topics presented in the program and provide feedback to help us improve the quality of the show.

As we continue to promote nonviolent conflict resolution in Eastern Congo, the Tanganyika and Haut-Katanga provinces will remain a strategic area of interest for our work in the coming years.

Population(s) Served

Propaganda plays a critical role in violent extremist organization’s operations as they are still seeking ways to inspire new support in the digital environment by spreading provocative and hateful messages to nurture intolerance.

In Indonesia, violent extremist narratives have been produced and disseminated by three main groups. Though they each have different ideals and interests, these three main groups disseminate hateful propaganda and intolerant narratives to gain support from the digital and social media users. In some cases, social media has also been used as a tool to recruit youth to become active, either as a member or a supporter.

Violent extremist organizations target young people with messages that resonate with them: adventure, power, heroism, brother/sisterhood, economic independence, and protection of one’s family, community, or identity. Their recruitment messages give young people a sense of belonging that is often lacking in their daily lives. Therefore, we put a particular emphasis on young people entering public universities.

To counter these narratives and build community resilience, we launched Promoting Peaceful Narratives in Indonesia. This project is designed to build the capacity of local messengers to produce and disseminate alternative messages that counteract the appeal of violent extremism. We also aim to reduce the influence of violent extremist narratives among internet users, particularly youth, in response to growing intolerance and hate speech online.

To achieve this overall goal, our project uses three approaches. The first is to employ online and offline tools and analysis that identify targets for messaging campaigns, including both those at-risk for radicalization and those who are critical to preventing engagement. The next is to develop diverse tactics that provide alternatives to violent extremist ideologies through strengthening the capacity of messaging hubs to effectively adapt and respond to the ever-changing extremist narratives. This also includes creating targeted transmedia messaging campaigns. Finally, we aim to expand the capacity of young leaders and messenger networks to deliver locally-resonant messaging that reduces the appeal of violent extremist ideology and recruitment efforts.

Population(s) Served

For over three years, violent conflict has devastated Yemen, leading to many lives being lost and causing massive amounts of destruction. But through all of this, there are still sparks of hope.

In November 2017, we launched Peace Education in Yemeni High Schools. Partnering with the Ministry of Education in Aden and Lahj governorates, we began working with teachers and students in eight high schools toaddress violence among youth and provide alternative paths to self-determination and expression.

To strengthen young people’s resilience to violence, we first engaged secondary school teachers, increasing their knowledge about providing conflict sensitive and nonviolent education for students. Aside from training teachers in dialogue, facilitation, and nonviolent communication, educators also learn how to pass on these methods to their students, helping them learn to resolve conflict amicably and become positive agents of change.

Only eight months after launching this project, The Elders, a group of global leaders working together to promote peace and human rights and founded by Nelson Mandela, honored us. As part of a celebration in Johannesburg, South Africa, taking place on the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s Birth, The Elders selected 100 “Sparks of Hope.” These are initiatives that advance Nelson Mandela’s commitments to peace, health, justice, and equality.Additionally, The Elders also recognized our programs in Nigeria and South Sudan, making us the only organization to be selected three times.

As Peace Education in Yemeni High Schools progresses, we will continue to expand the number of educators, school directors and inspectors, and students involved. Thus far, our team has conducted a Training of Trainers for 44 educators, including 17 female educators. Additionally, we have created a Student Mediation Club manual, a tool that teaches young people mediation skills and advises them on how to form their own mediation clubs.

But we are not stopping there. Currently, we are establishing school-based Trust Funds that will allow students and teachers to initiate youth-led community projects. Our complementary Mubadaraty project, meaning “My Initiative”, also allows participants to develop their own projects for promoting peacebuilding in schools and communities through various activities like sports games, communal TV-viewings, and evening classes.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy 2007

U. S. State Department

One of the Best NGOs in the World 2012

Global Journal

One of the Best NGOs in the World 2011

Global Journal

Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Award for Institutional Excellence 2007

Arab American Institute Foundation

Special Consultative Status 2012

United Nations

Social Entrepreneurship Award 2007

Skoll Foundation

International Advocate of Peace Award 2012

Cardozo Law School

Award for Service 2012

Abraham Path

Among Top 100 Most Innovative Nonprofits and Social Enterprises 2016

Classy Awards

Acknowledgement for Leadership in Youth Peacebuilding from the Security Council 2015

UN

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

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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.

Search for Common Ground (Search) is an international non-profit aiming to end violent conflict. Our local teams engage all sides of a conflict, providing the tools needed to work together and find solutions that build up the community, instead of resorting to violence. Our mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict, away from adversarial approaches, toward cooperative problem-solving. We build sustainable peace for generations to come.

Since 1982, Search has partnered with communities in conflict to generate creative, context-specific approaches that build trusting, cooperative relationships across dividing lines. Search's toolbox includes traditional peacebuilding methods (e.g., dialogue, mediation, leadership training) along with innovative communications (radio, TV, film, print, comic books, music, video games) and community-based projects (development activities, arts, sports). Search's local teams use these tools to create ways for all parts of society and all parties to conflicts to engage constructively together around their mutual interests.

While our strategies for addressing the specific conflicts in each country and region where we work are different and customized to what is most effective, our overall philosophy and approach has several common threads derived from many years of experience. 1) We make long term commitments: Because peace is a process, we need a continuous presence to develop relationships on all sides of the conflict. Understanding the deep concerns of all parties is crucial in gaining the trust needed to enable a shift towards constructive, and creative problem-solving. 2) We use an integrated approach: For society-wide change, we work simultaneously on multiple levels – from leaders to grassroots – using multiple tools. This includes incorporating local institutions, such as tribal leaders, government ministries, school systems, youth gangs, and cultural icons (musicians, DJs, etc.). 3) We get engaged to see the possibilities: Conflicts are extraordinarily complex, and it takes profound engagement in order to understand them. We constantly adapt to changing environments in which we operate. In the wake of the earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, we adapted our peacebuilding radio programs to make sure that our broadcasts were designed to reduce violence specifically in post-earthquake situations. The radio shorts spread local information and encouraged peaceful responses to local tensions. 4) We are social entrepreneurs: We look for problem-solvers and creative thinkers who can develop finite and achievable projects. We are establishing a new market for the field of technology-enabled, cross-cultural dialogue called virtual exchange. Search will vastly grow engagement of young people around the world to help them become leaders for their generation. 5) We are immersed in local cultures: We work with and build on individuals and community knowledge, wisdom, and creativity. Partnering with local peacebuilders is crucial to strengthen their ability to transform their own conflicts. In Lebanon, we have partnered with two local organizations to address the challenges of social cohesion among Syrian and Lebanese youth through arts. Three-hundred and twenty youth have attended trainings and workshops over two years and have learned to express themselves through art, as well as how to battle the stereotypes and misconceptions they hold against each other. 6) We practice cooperative action: Dialogue is a necessary but insufficient means to change attitudes and behaviors. Wherever possible, we work with people in conflict to help them not only understand their differences, but also act on their common ground. In Nigeria, we are working with a group of young Christian and Muslim girls to cross the barriers of segregation and prejudice and make friends with girls of the other faith. Now the girls are acting on their shared interests and are running workshops, dramas, talk shows, and peace clubs.

Search's work is anchored in 35 countries with about 600 local staff who work continuously to make differences acceptable, even desirable, as a cultural norm, rather than a stimulant for fear-based violence. With local knowledge and heightened peacebuilding skills among the staff, Search responds to each region and country appropriately, with highly trained local mediators and facilitators leading the peacebuilding effort.

Drawing on more than three decades of experience, Search is able to learn from past projects and tailor new programs ever more effectively. Our long-term commitment to each of our locations also ensures incremental and sustained change. Some projects endure in perpetuity by being incorporated into a larger governmental system. In Morocco, for example, the King decreed that Search's mediation program would be integrated across the Moroccan court system after seeing how it reduced the overwhelming -- and violence producing -- backlog of litigation in Moroccan courts. Similarly, the Macedonian Ministry of Education integrated our Mozaik model of interethnic, bilingual kindergarten into its national education system after Search demonstrated for many years that it strengthened interethnic cohesion.

Building on its knowledge base of past programming successes, Search seeks new approaches for shifting attitudes and behavior toward differences. Recently, we have pursued global “virtual exchange" as part of students' academic experience, use of large media platforms like Facebook to organize regional youth leadership councils, and highly sophisticated monitoring devices for crowdmapping, to prevent violence during challenging elections.

These capabilities have given Search a reputation as the “go-to" entity for both short- and long-term prevention and transformation of violence among the global funders of peace-building. Over the past ten years, Search has expanded its offices from 15 countries to 35 countries, and is poised to expand its reach even further.

At a time when violence seems intractable, Search is on the ground in some of the most unstable areas around the world, and sees real results and positive outcomes from our programs. For example:

- In Burundi, Search has seen a 10% increase in perceptions of youth as leaders and promoters of peace in the past year in areas where we have conducted programming targeting youth.

- In Niger, our project bringing together Malian refugees and Nigerien community members contributed to improve people's access to credible information about their relatives who stayed in Mali. It also helped create relationships between children and families and contributed in changing attitudes and ways to deal with conflicts; this resulted in reducing conflicts in the refugee camps.

- In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we have contributed to the diminishing violence against civilians, particularly women, by soldiers and police in the Eastern Congo, after many years of direct training of the security forces and community-building with the civilians. After Search training workshops, 71% of Congolese national police have a high understanding of protecting - not abusing - citizens and 61% of community members who participated in Search trainings appreciate soldiers and police services.

- We are making a difference in the level of violence and radicalization of prisoners in Morocco and Indonesia, which have been prime areas for breeding terrorism. In 34 prisons in Morocco, we trained 255 staff and 1020 detainees (including convicted terrorists) in human rights and nonviolent solutions to conflict. 83% of the prison directors reported gaining significant conflict resolution skills useful in their prison work.

- In partnership with Soliya, we are pioneering a college orientation program that aims to reinvigorate a culture of constructive discourse in the US by inspiring and equipping young adults to set new norms for dialogue across America's polarized dividing lines. By connecting first-year college students with their peers across the United States we will create the space for students to form empathetic and respectful responses in the face of differing values and experiences.

- In the near future we hope to vastly expand our “virtual exchange" program, to make it possible for students in Muslim-majority countries to experience direct, personal, in-depth and ongoing dialogue and exchange with their counterparts in Europe and the US, on the internet. Such encounters are the key to developing empathy, challenging hateful stereotypes, and enhancing critical thinking and communications skills.

Financials

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Operations

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

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Search for Common Ground

Board of directors
as of 10/16/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Adam Berrey

EVP Marketing

Term: 2019 - 2019

Eric Berman

Universal Music Group

Lesly Black

Philanthropist

Abigail Disney

Fork Films

Ingrid Stange

Partnership for Change and the PfC Social Innovation Fund

Jeremy Goldberg

LeagueApps

Shamil Idriss

President & CEO, Search for Common Ground *Ex-officio member

Laurie Michaels

Open Road Alliance

Adam Berrey

EVP Marketing

Tim Feige

Prudential International Insurance

Genghis Hadi

Nahla Capital

Isaac Lee

Exile Content

Elizabeth Riker

New Profit Innovation Fund

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