What we do

Our applied research and practical education programming aims to facilitate innovation and deeper learning at the intersection of peacebuilding and higher education to equip current and future leaders with the capacity to enhance levels of peacefulness in Iraq, Colombia and New York City.



Applied Research

Along with its affiliates, PREP elicits knowledge and develops and implements formal and informal peacebuilding education programming in communities facing the long-term effects of violence.

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Our work in Iraq

Working with the University of Duhok (UoD), the University of Mosul (UoM) and the University of Anbar (UoA) in Iraq, PREP facilitates cooperation between the three large public universities in a region characterized by complex intercommunal relationships and contemporary political discord. PREP has helped to build academic excellence in peacebuilding through support of master's and bachelor's and degree programs, diplomas and informal education, as well as the strengthening of relationships between groups that sometimes have been divided along ethnic, religious and political lines. PREP also has begun working with faculty at Al Anbar University in Ramadi to strengthen capacity for youth-led peacebuilding.


Strengthening university academic and institutional capacity

PREP has worked extensively with the UoD's Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies (CPCRS) to help situate CPCRS as a center of excellence and a service provider that offers high-caliber training, research and consultation on peacebuilding. UoD is the only university with a degree-granting program on peace and conflict studies in Iraq. PREP has helped to enhance the knowledge, teaching and research capacity of the faculty of UoD's Department of Peace Studies and Human Rights. 

PREP and CPCRS also have worked together to build the University of Mosul's academic capacity in peace and conflict studies. In 2018, PREP and CPCRS collaborated to offer intensive courses to select UoM faculty members in conflict assessment, reconciliation, and mediation, and then oversaw a set of workshops on the same topics delivered by UoM faculty to their students.

More recently, PREP and CPCRS have collaborated on a project that aims to strengthen youth peacebuilding capacity at the University of Anbar. PREP has worked closely with a group of 11 faculty members and 20 students to develop peacebuilding knowledge and training capacity at the university.

Equipping Youth peacebuilders in DUHOK and NINEWA GOVERNORATES

PREP and CPCRS worked together to deliver more than 200 Community-based Peace Education workshops in 2014-17 that reached over 4000 young people in Duhok and Ninewa provinces. PREP and CPCRS continued in 2018 to expand the capacities of young people to build peace in their communities through informal peace education programs focused on communications and advocacy and peacebuilding project planning, and by facilitating innovative conflict transformation simulation exercises. PREP and CPCRS has provided small grants to youth participants in these programs to develop peacebuilding projects that are equipping young people in Duhok and Ninewa to become agents of positive social change. 




Peacebuilding DiplOmas for Syrian refugees

PREP and CPCRS twice have teamed up to deliver a Joint Diploma in Peacebuilding. Consisting of four blended-learning courses such as Mediation, Conflict Assessment and Communications for the Peacebuilding Professional, the diploma aimed to prepare residents in the Domiz Camp for Syrian Refugees for work opportunities with international and local NGOs so that they could both improve their own economic and social standing and so that they could contribute to increased levels of peacefulness in their community. 

peacebuilding Research and publications

PREP research scientists and and affiliate researchers from UoD's Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution studies colloborate to document local capacities for peace in northern Iraq and to share best practices in peacebuilding and institutional learning. 

Check out our publications


Our work in Colombia

The historic peace agreement signed in 2016 by the Colombian government and the FARC-EP ended decades of violent conflict. In light of this historic moment,  PREP has partnered with the Escuela Superior de Administración Pública (ESAP), Colombia's national public administration school, to help support its role as an implementer of the peace agreement. 


Research exchange in the territories

With a particular focus on Colombia's rural territories, PREP and ESAP are working together to foster exchange of peacebuilding knowledge and cooperation on action research by students and faculty of both institutions. In January 2019, four students from the Master of Science in Global Affairs (MSGA) Program traveled to Algeciras, Colombia to conduct research with the ESAP research group RESURPAZ about perceptions of the post-2016 reparations process from the perspective of four different groups of stakeholders. Publication of the joint research is planned for late-2019.

In June 2019, five ESAP students and one professor came to NYU for a three-week Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding and worked with five MSGA students and two faculty members. After developing joint research proposals focused on the peace process in Chaparral, Colombia, the 10 students and one faculty member traveled there for a three-week research field visit in August. Publication of the joint research is planned for early 2020.

Discussions are underway for development of a joint PREP-ESAP blended learning program that will support the growth of entrepreneurship for peace in some of Colombia’s rural territories that have been most affected by violence.

Algeciras ESAP group

From a segment on Colombia’s national radio in August 2019. PREP's Katerina Siira and María Victoria Whittingham, professor at ESAP talk about their work with students on peace research projects in Chaparral. These projects looked at what local actors do to make societies more peaceful rather than just focusing on conflict, and emphasized local people as Peacebuilders.


Our work in Kuwait


Integrating Peace education into technical Disciplines

PREP is supporting soon-to-be established Al Salaam University — the first university to teach law, business, education and engineering through the lens of peacebuilding —  in program and curriculum development, and staff training. With the aim of ensuring that the region’s future lawyers, engineers, educators and business people will practice their professionals more peacefully, PREP will work closely with Al Salaam University's Center for Peace Studies,  which will be responsible for setting the curriculum for all of the university’s departments and ensuring that its faculty and staff will be well-versed in peacebuilding concepts in addition to their respective specializations.

Al Salaam University received its preliminary certification from Kuwait’s Private Universities’ Council in late 2018, and has spent much of 2019 developing its academic programs, management systems and plans for its physical campus.

ASU Kuwait

Practical Education

PREP serves as a bridge between its field research and the academic community at the Center for Global Affairs. Through innovative courses and events, PREP connects master's students with peacebuilding professionals and organizations throughout the world to gain international peacebuilding experience. 

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MSGA Peacebuilding Concentration


The peacebuilding concentration within the MS in Global Affairs (MSGA) program helps students to develop theoretical understanding and practical skills that are demanded by international and domestic organizations engaged in peacebuilding and related fields. Students who concentrate in peacebuilding have the opportunity to take skill-building courses such as: Conflict Assessment; Mediation Skills for Global Affairs and Working with Groups. PREP seminars and public events connect MSGA students and the CGA community to leading practitioners and the latest discourses within the peacebuilding field. 

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Workshop in Applied Peacebuilding

PROVIDING Practical FIELD-BASED peacebuilding work experience

The Workshop in Applied Peacebuilding, taught every spring semester by PREP director Dr. Thomas Hill, links students in the MSGA program with professional peacebuilding organizations. Students design and develop proposed projects in the classroom at CGA in close collaboration with partner organizations during the spring semester; during the summer, students implement the projects in the field.

Since 2011, 88 MSGA students have developed and implemented peacebuilding projects with international organizations and local NGOs in Afghanistan, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Panama, Rwanda, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Uganda, and the United States

Hear from former students about their experiences in the field 


Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding


The two-course sequence Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding and Advanced Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding has paired MSGA students with local researchers in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Colombia. The first of two courses teaches peace research methodologies and serves as a laboratory for development of joint research proposals; during the second course, MSGA students work in the field with their local counterparts to generate data and carry out their proposed projects. The course offers students and their counterparts with experience conducting peace research in the field. It also fosters learning and intercultural connections between students in New York and abroad, and provides participants with opportunities to publish original research. 

Check out 'Finding Peace in Iraq: Joint Field Research on New Approaches to Peacebuilding in the Kurdistan Region' Volume 1 & Volume 2