A September 2012 book explores the complex and important role non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play in processes aimed at building a sustainable peace and developing strategies for resolving conflicts peacefully. Through case studies of the activities of Partners in Health in Haiti, Women in Black in Serbia and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, Peacebuilding Through Community-Based NGOs highlights the range of ways these organizations are involved in post-conflict social reconstruction efforts. Co-authors, Max Stephenson Jr and Laura Zanotti of Virginia Tech, argue that there is no single approach to achieving peace and that mediators should be open to trying a variety strategies to find lasting solutions.
On his blog, Stephenson writes about his own experiences:
“Peace is not born of “an intervention,” but instead of the sustained efforts and commitment to learning of all involved (especially those in position to control resources and devise intervention strategies) to create fresh conditions for trust, economic sustainability and possibility amidst enduring fear and, often, acculturated hatred. These are not challenges either for the cocksure or the faint of heart. We came away with enormous respect for those engaged in peacebuilding efforts, even when we disagreed with their adopted strategies.”