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Our approach – old


ICRD mission is to build bridge Religious Considerations with Global Peacebuilding Policy and Practice


ICRD envisions A World in which Religious and Spiritual Values Advance Peace and Reconciliation.

Our Principles

Some of our core operating principles include: 

Partnership: finding and elevating the existing knowledge and capacities within focus communities and regions.

Elicitive methods: implementation models that respond to locally-driven analysis and planning.

Inclusivity: ensuring that less frequently represented voices and populations are emphasized.

Underserved conflicts: maximizing the added value of our efforts by focusing where responses have been limited.

Representation: having contextually appropriate faith, cultural, and other identities guiding community engagements.

Commitment: seeking to establish long-term relationships for greater sustainability. 

Strategic Objectives

Enhance the Capacity of Religious Peacebuilders

Many formal and informal religious leaders are driven by their faith convictions to promote peace, understanding, and empathy within their community and beyond, but could benefit from enhanced tools to clarify and confront the current conditions that challenge stability in their community.

ICRD convenes networks of support and provides specialized training to enhance peacebuilding skills, including:

- Context Analysis.
- Facilitating Difficult Conversations.
- Conflict Transformation.
- Reconciliation.
- Transitional Justice Processes.
- Early Warning Response Mechanisms.

Remove Religion as a Driver of Violence

While ICRD believes that religious faith can and should be a source of healing over harm, it is undeniable that certain influential faith figures have coopted religion in the past and present to advance conflict, hatred, and even violence. Often, legitimate concerns may lie at the root of damaging identity prejudices; ICRD helps to disentangle them, developing mechanisms for addressing economic or security concerns while dispelling harmful stereotypes.

ICRD supports doctrinal discernment and community building to increase understanding between groups, while disempowering religious narratives that promote violence, providing expertise on such topics as:

- Critical Thinking Pedagogy.
- Tolerance in Religious Education.
- Dialogue Across Difference.
- Religious Literacy.
- Religious Narratives of Social Cohesion.

Increase the Number and Diversity of Religious Peacebuilders

ICRD is committed to identifying and elevating the religious convictions, which are found in all faith traditions, that promote stability through building understanding across differences. The vast majority of religious adherents and faith leaders are not ideologically driven to advocate for dehumanizing violence. Considering the fact that roughly 6.5 billion people (84% of the global population) self-describe as adherents of a religious tradition, this suggests that there is an enormous pool of potential faith-based peacebuilders in the world.

ICRD employs specific methods to build greater numbers of skilled faith-based peacebuilders, including:

- Employing training of trainers and knowledge and skills exchange models.
- Enhancing the role of women of faith.
- Ensuring that marginalized faith influencers (formal and informal leaders) effectively participate.
- Promoting interfaith dialogue that leads to actionable and innovative strategies.

Inform the Field of Practice

The importance of religion in community interactions, including international affairs, has become increasingly recognized in recent years. Many diplomatic and conflict intervention processes are still seeking best practices for religious engagement, however. Additionally, many observers mistakenly assume that religion is only relevant in “religious conflicts”. ICRD has multiple strategies for increasing the awareness of the contributions that religious influencers, communities, infrastructures, and doctrines can provide to peacebuilding efforts, including:

- Analyzing trends and trajectories with a focus on innovative and predictive strategies.
- Conducting qualitative and quantitative community-based “research-to-action”.
- Employing unique approaches for impact measurement.
- Advising policy-making structures at the regional and national level.
- Producing field-tested methodological frameworks.

By building relationships of trust, ICRD steers religious convictions away from fomenting conflict and toward strengthening communities in their ability to resolve current and future challenges to peace. ICRD capitalizes on the following unique attributes of religious actors and institutions, which allow them to build trust and overcome differences:

  • Critical insights into community experiences and perspectives, thereby equipping them to negotiate relationships between individuals and institutions at all levels;
  • A perceived neutrality with respect to political, social, and economic agendas, thus enabling them to serve as trusted mediators;
  • The authority to interpret doctrinal values through which believers can be inspired to strengthen community by transcending ego, greed, envy, hatred and other motives that feed conflict;
  • An ability to strengthen the peacemaking capacity of policy­‐makers and analysts by demonstrating the value of applying religious principles to conflict mitigation.

UN-ECOSOC Consultative Status

ICRD holds official consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

2019 Annual Report