BUILDPEACE: Building peacebuilders through integrated formal and non-formal learning approaches
During 2016-2019, Xchange Scotland participated as one of the partner organisations in an Erasmus+ funded project ‘BUILDPEACE’. This 3-year project, led by the Coventry University, brought together seven third-sector and academic organisations from the UK (Coventry University, Xchange Scotland), Turkey (Kadir Has Üniversitesi, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University), France (The Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service), Serbia (Young Researchers of Serbia) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Wings of Hope). The partner organisations worked together to improve the provision of teaching, learning and training opportunities in the piecebulding sector through combining learning approaches of the formal education (e.g. universities) and non-formal education (third-sector organisations) sectors.
Peacebuilding is now a multi-billion Euro industry with a global infrastructure, reflecting the acute need to address conflict and insecurity There is a growing confidence that doing so is possible, in particular with new technologies available to us today. The increase in peacebuilding has spurred growth in education and training, as practitioners need applied skills and knowledge. However much of the current provision is offered piecemeal, disconnected from other relevant learning opportunities. Collaboration between learning providers coming from formal and non-formal education backgrounds is challenged by differences in pedagogical perspective, underpinning ethos and teaching methodology. There is no clear guidance for learners on the skills and competencies they should acquire and no easy way for them to combine courses strategically. There has also been little systemic reflection on the benefits and limitations of online and distance learning in peacebuilding, although learning providers commonly use these tools.
BUILDPEACE project has been designed to boost the skills and competencies of Europeans in the public, third and private sectors to build peace and connect communities. It aims to improve the provision of teaching, learning and training within the peacebuilding industry by bringing together providers from the formal education (FE) and non-formal education (NFE) sectors into a community of practice. Partners investigated current gaps, weaknesses and missed opportunities in educational provision across the field, addressing these with innovative tools for learners, as well as tools and mechanisms for learning providers to facilitate cross-sectoral working.
The main objective of BUILDPEACE was to enable innovative new approaches by developing peacebuilders by:
- Creating a common framework of key competencies across the FE and NFE sectors
- Helping learners find navigable and flexible pathways for accessing relevant learning opportunities
- Blending FE and NFE learning approaches for more comprehensive provision, using technology
The project helped partners to better understand the current state of educational provision within the peacebuilding field and develop innovative new ways to improve learning outcomes using new methodologies and technologies. This have informed the creation of a range of tools for learners and learning providers, including free online courses (MOOC’s), a handbook, a toolkit and a matrix of the competencies that people need to acquire to work in the field. Tools for policymakers include a mapping report and a policy recommendations report.
The key output of this project, however, is the series of interactive Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) on Peacebuilding, available in 4 languages (English, Spanish, Turkish and Serbian). These courses are free, self-paced and available to anyone with an interest in furthering their understanding of Peacebuilding and its applications.
- Policy Recommendation Infographic
- The BUILDPEACE Handbook for Learners
- The BUILDPEACE Mapping Report
- The BUILDPEACE Policy Recommendations
- The BUILDPEACE Policy Recommendations (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian)
- The BUILDPEACE Policy Recommendations (Turkish)
- The BUILDPEACE Toolkit for Educators
- BUILDPEACE MOOC 1: Concepts and theories of Peacebuilding
- BUILDPEACE MOOC 2: Conflict Analysis and Case Studies in Peacebuilding
- BUILDPEACE MOOC 3: Reflective Practice
- BUILDPEACE MOOC 4: Facilitation