Transforming conflict through collaborative problem-solving.
Active in 26 countries.
Established during the Cold War era, Search for Common Ground began – with a meagre staff of two – as an organization attempting to bridge the East-West divide. Today, it employs over 400 people working throughout 26 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, as well as domestically in the United States. The organization’s programmes presently engage thousands of people directly, while their innovative media projects increase that reach into the millions.
Drawing upon on diverse ‘toolbox’, Search for Common Ground engages in pragmatic long-term processes of conflict transformation at all levels of society through media production (radio, television, film and print), mediation and facilitation, training, community organizing, sports, theatre and music. Abhorring an adversarial mindset, Search for Common Ground projects are infused with the philosophy of peace as a ‘process’ – linked to the patient development of relationships of trust and respect.
This programming has had clear impact. External evaluations in Burundi, for instance, found that radio programmes produced by the Studio Ijambo project had changed the way people felt about and related to other ethnic groups in their society, while information dissemination activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo served as critical sources of public awareness about the peace process, helping to reduce suspicion and rumours that could otherwise lead to violence.
(Photo © SFCG)