2022 was another difficult year, with a number of crises requiring humanitarian assistance and protection. The ability of civil society and other organizations to respond to these crises has been severely impacted by global crises including COVID-19, global economic disturbances, and political obstacles. For instance, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) announced that Afghanistan faced “record high access constraints and operational challenges observed in October 2022, with 184 access incidents reported resulting in the temporary suspension of 91 Programs reported by humanitarian partners.” These constraints were worsened by aid cuts, the re-direction of assistance from Afghanistan to respond to the Ukraine crisis, and the appropriation of humanitarian funds for 9/11 compensation, among other costly political decisions. TP hopes to continue work that addresses the underlying drivers of conflict and how to get them the support they require.
Many other crises had profound impacts outside the directly affected countries. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, for instance, along with the political and human costs to Ukraine, significantly impacted the global economy, especially commodity markets, causing spikes in oil and gas prices. More importantly, the war severely disrupted food transport logistics, as Ukraine and Russia were providing a third of the world’s wheat and barley before the conflict. This was particularly concerning for the MENA region which largely relied on exports from Ukraine and Russia, which impacted the regions food security. The Ukraine crisis, juxtaposed against other refugee crises, also revealed underlying double standards that guided perceptions (particularly western) about refugees, with governments treating and welcoming Ukrainian refugees remarkedly different than refugees originating from the MENA region. These are the types of crises, dynamics, and social perceptions that TP seeks to transform in its peacebuilding efforts.
We have also witnessed the bravery and courage of the Iranian women. Women leaders and women's issues were at the heart of these protests, centering the questions surrounding women, peace, and security (WPS), that TP has been committed to tackling. The demonstrations in Iran highlighted the need to identify women's rights as human rights, and as essential ingredients for sustainable peace and security. Similar to the Ukraine crisis, this event reverberated far beyond the borders of Iran. Along with issues of gender, this crisis revolved around issues of ethnicity, particularly the situation of Kurds in Iran. Spillover effects were witnessed as the Iranian government responded to the alleged participation of Iraqi Kurds with military strikes in Iraq.
This, unfortunately, does not cover the number of conflicts and threats to peace affecting the world today, including Ethiopia's Tigray crisis, an enduring political crisis in Myanmar, and the continued occupation of Palestine, and many others. These crises, while deeply concerning, do not erase TP's hope for peacebuilding successes. Transformative Peace continues to see opportunities for peacebuilding and looks forward to contributing to these processes in 2023. We send our deepest gratitude to all of our partners and supporters for putting their trust in our peacebuilding efforts this year, and look forward to continued opportunities to collaborate in the year ahead.
TP sends everyone best wishes for the holiday season and a happy new year! We look forward to continuing our work with communities and stakeholders across the globe in resolving conflict and building peace.
2022 Transformative Peace Events
In February, TP Founder Dr. Houda Abadi participated in a three-day colloquium in Istanbul hosted by the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) and the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies. She led sessions on Islamic peacebuilding and WPS. This event brought together over 50 Islamic scholars, peace practitioners, academics, and activists from the Muslim world to explore Islamic-friendly forms of state formation and post-conflict transitional governance. The colloquium was sparked by concern for the ongoing conflicts within the MENA region and the need for a new paradigm of conflict resolution, peacemaking, and statecraft. This event highlighted bottom up approaches and non-western forms of peacebuilding and governance. This opens up peacebuilding approaches to local, traditional, and religious nuances that can help make peace culturally resonant and sustainable.
Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) - FORSATY
In February, Dr. Abadi designed and led a capacity building workshop to develop gender responsive programming and mainstream gender into existing programs. At the workshop, participants assessed the current WPS landscape, revised essential concepts, dug deeper into gender-mainstreaming methodologies, and planned a unified gender strategy for the FORSATY program.
Translating PVE Theory Into Practice
In April, Dr. Abadi gave a guest lecture for Fullbright students at Chulalongkorn University's Rotary Center for International Studies. The lecture was titled "Theory to Practice: Preventing and Countering Radicalization that Leads to Violence."
In April Dr. Abadi also joined the Carter Center in having a live conversation on the role of art and gender in peacebuilding. The conversation focused on how art can be and has been used for women's empowerment from a peacebuilding perspective. The conversation revealed the multidimensional relationship between art and peace. Art can provide a crucial point of entry for women into the economy but it can also be exploited by violent actors to foment conflict. Additional themes concerned the corporate appropriation of Amazigh art, and how artists and peacemakers are resisting.
Emerging Trends and Efficacy in Mediation
In April Dr. Abadi participated in a research policy dialogue hosted by FBA in New York City. This dialogue event allowed researchers and practitioners to identify emerging trends in mediation and assess the efficacy of new and old methods.
Culturally Sensitive Peacebuilding
In May, Dr. Abadi participated in a colloquium on Afghanistan centering dialogues rooted in culturally sensitive peacebuilding. The conversations focused on embracing the religious resources that support human rights and peace within an Islamic framework.
Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) - FBA
In June, TP led more workshops on WPS in practice and conflict analysis, this time, as a part of the FBA Peace Process Support Unit's internal workshop on Inclusive Peace Process Design in Contemporary Conflicts.
Subaltern Narratives, Art, Gender, and Peacebuilding
In August, Dr. Abadi designed and delivered a session on peacebuilding, gender, and the arts for Beyond Borders Scotland, titled "Resistance: Reclaiming Subaltern Narratives" - The relationship between peacebuilding, gender, and the arts. This session examined the interplay of art, peacebuilding, and gender in promoting participatory politics and social engagement while exploring aesthetic resistance, online and offline activism, and how art can be used in social change and in reclaiming subaltern narratives.
Feminist Foreign Policy
In August, Dr. Abadi participated in a workshop on the development of a feminist approach to foreign policy, organized by the University of Edinburg.
The Evolving Moroccan VEO Landscape
In September, Dr. Abadi helped organize a roundtable discussion with USAID's FORSATY program, implemented by IOM, on the changing landscape of PVE in Morocco. The roundtable brought together practitioners, civil society leaders, policy makers, and scholars to identify effective PVE interventions.
UNDP Libya Cross-Border PVE Strategy
In January, TP Director, Dr. Abadi, and staff members, Austin Langdon and Jasper Vaughn collaborated on a report produced by the United Nations Development Programme on cross-border PVE strategies in Libya. This paper looked at five border communities in Libya and comprehensively assessed the challenges and opportunities for cross-border PVE interventions.
The Changing Landscape of Violent Extremism: Zooming into Morocco
In September, TP collaborated with IOM Morocco and USAID's FORSATY program on a study into the changing landscape of PVE in Morocco, including a theoretical review, a Daesh case study, and an examination of prominent push and pull factors, gender-mainstreaming, youth, and foreign fighters, culminating in a review of lessons learned and recommendations.
Seeking an Islamic Framework Towards Peacebuilding and Women’s Inclusion
The overall purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion of Islam and the protection of women’s fundamental freedoms, gender and inclusion, and the relationship between gender and political transitions; to be of value for the general discussion on Islamic state formation; and more specifically to assist the ongoing process of state formation in Afghanistan. The paper has three primary objectives: 1) decolonizing and engendering conflict resolution frameworks to develop sustainable and transformative peace; 2) identifying how fundamental freedoms and rights can be negotiated, protected and promoted in Islamic-based societies which experience a significant political transition to develop strategies to ensure an engendered political transition and sustainable peace in countries such as Afghanistan; and finally, 3) drawing best practices to advance inclusive policies where fundamental rights are protected and to ensure women’s meaningful participation in peace processes.
Our Transformative Peacebuilding Activities
TP has led several workshops on gender mainstreaming and participated in multiple conversations, dialogues, and events focusing on the role of gender in peacebuilding and conflict. In addition, a number of our publications, projects, and studies, have either centered around or remained sensitive to, the gender.
Dr. Abadi led a session on the relationship between subaltern narratives and gender in August for Beyond Borders Scotland
Dr. Abadi participated in a conversation with the Carter Center on art, gender, and peacebuilding.
Dr. Abadi also participated in a workshop on feminist foreign policy
Preventing Violent Extremism
TP collaborated on a number of publications and projects focusing on PVE, including dialectical research into the local consumption of religion in Morocco, a UNDP study into cross-border PVE strategies in Libya, and the changing landscape of PVE in Morocco.
Dr. Abadi helped organize and lead a roundtable on PVE in Morocco with USAID's FORSATY program
Dr. Abadi organized and led workshops on the changing landscape of violent extremism in Morocco, participated in multiple colloquiums on PVE and PVE-relevant peacebuilding.
Dr. Abadi was a guest speaker in the US Foreign Service Institute's (FSI) North Africa Area Studies Course, where she spoke in five courses from January to December.
Dr. Houda Abadi is working with IOM Iraq on its PVE efforts, including rehabilitation and reintegration, and gender mainstreaming.
Transformative Peace Partnerships
Transformative Peace went into 2022 with a new research partnership with Emory University. As a result of this partnership, TP conducted research on how religious diplomacy functions within Morocco culminating combining survey research, structured interviews, and a desk review. The objectives of this project were to provide insights into the consumption of religion at the local level in Morocco and to probe the relationship between Morocco’s global promotion of “moderate Islam” and its role in local realities.
In August, we were happy to announce a 15 month extension to TP's contract with IOM Morocco. As a result, TP was able to continue in its advisory role to IOM Morocco and USAID's FORSATY program and contribute to meaningful work on gender, learning, inclusive development, and PVE.
Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA)
TP is happy to share that it has won a highly competitive tender contract with FBA. Thanks to this partnership, TP will be able to support the work of the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) on multiple aspects relating peace process support and dialogue and mediation. This includes capacity-building support, process design, facilitation, advisory services, and/or policy development/research.