On Thursday, August 28, 2015, DME for Peace had the privilege of hosting Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Diana Chigas, Andreas Hipple and Dr. Amineh Hoti for a panel discussion on how we understand what is effective in inter-religious in peacebuilding.
In a time when religious differences are often a tinderbox, igniting or being used as fuel to fan the flames of violence, the role of faith-based initiatives and organizations in building peace could not be more crucial. Religious communities have incredible potential for making significant contributions toward preventing conflict, mitigating violence, and facilitating reconciliation after a conflict, but how do we understand what is effective inter-religious action and what is not? This special edition Thursday Talk began a global discussion around this question and will presented insights from academics, donors, evaluators, and practitioners. We hope that you will continue this conversation in the discussion posts below and on www.dmeforpeace.org/eiap.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer is a professor at the School of International Service at American University and a Senior Advisor at KAICIID. As a recognized expert on conflict resolution, dialogue, peacebuilding and development, Dr. Abu Nimer has worked for over a decade on Arab-Israeli dialogue and peacebuilding efforts, the application of conflict resolution models in Muslim communities; inter-religious conflict resolution training; interfaith dialogue; and evaluation of conflict resolution programs. As a practitioner, he has conducted over a hundred training workshops and courses all over the world on themes of conflict resolution; community development, peacebuilding, reconciliation and development, training for trainers; interfaith and interethnic dialogue; culture, religion, intercultural training; conflict resolution and human rights in relief and development projects, and problem-solving workshops in such conflict zones as Sri Lanka, Mindanao- Philippines, Palestine, Israel, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, and Guatemala, as well as other areas including Egypt and the United States.
Diana Chigas is a Professor of the Practice of International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Fletcher School, Tufts University and Co-Director of Collaborative Learning at CDA Collaborative Learning Projects in Cambridge, MA, USA. At CDA she has worked with non-governmental and inter-governmental agencies to improve the impact of peace programming and development and humanitarian assistance on conflict. She has worked with OECD-DAC to develop an approach to guidance for evaluation of conflict prevention and peacebuilding and with the United Nations on issues of evaluation of peacebuilding and conflict prevention. She currently co-directing an action research effort on understanding cumulative impacts of peacebuilding efforts. Prior to joining CDA, Diana worked as a facilitator, trainer and consultant in negotiation, dialogue and conflict resolution, at Conflict Management Group, a non-governmental organization founded by Harvard Law School Professor Roger Fisher (and now part of Mercy Corps). Her work has included development of strategies, training and advice on preventive diplomacy in the OSCE, “track two” discussions in El Salvador, in South Africa, Ecuador and Peru and in the Georgia/South Ossetia peace process, and facilitation of inter-ethnic dialogue in Cyprus.
Andreas Hipple is a Senior Program Advisor at GHR Foundation. He is a seasoned international development and philanthropy professional specializing in organizational capacity building, monitoring & evaluation, faith & development, and public-private partnerships. Andreas received his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and has significant experience working with organizations across Africa, including Benin, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, and the DRC.
Dr. Amineh Hoti was a co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations (CMJR). As its first Director, Dr. Hoti worked on the development of some of the CMJR’s earliest courses. She has organized several major conferences and was Consultant Editor of Valuing Diversity Towards Mutual Respect and Understanding, sponsored by the Woolf Institute and the Society for Dialogue and Action (D&A). This book is an accompaniment to the National Curriculum and is an important learning resource for secondary school teachers. Her book, Sorrow and Joy Among Muslim Women, Cambridge University Press (2006) was nominated for the 2007 Kiriyama Prize. She is Executive Director of the Society for Dialogue and Action and an Adviser to the Three Faiths Forum. She now lives in Pakistan but remains as an affiliated lecturer with the CMJR and Fellow-Commoner of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge. More recently has helped to found Center for Dialogue and Action, the first Centre in Pakistan to offer courses on Diversity at a University level.