The United States is experiencing significant democratic backsliding, violence, and increasing instability. Since the 2016 election in the United States, there is an increase in programs aimed at building peace and reducing polarization including a proliferation of programming that promotes dialogue. While well intentioned many of these programs rely on misguided assumptions of what works to reduce polarization and are not grounded in the learnings and findings of good peacebuilding practices. Additionally, many of the programs do not even attempt to measure effectiveness or challenges. While some of these programs are harmless and will not have any impact either positively or negatively, many are doing actual harm in communities.
The Alliance for Peacebuilding is working to ensure that peacebuilding programming in the United States as is the case internationally follows peacebuilding principles that ensure conflict risk is integrated into programming and evaluating a program’s effectiveness or failures are part of the learning. This session will examine and outline best practices and standards for peacebuilding programs in the United States in conjunction with the National Day of Dialogue led by the Ideos Institute.