IMTD and USIP Information Exchange
On Monday, November 21st, 2016, the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy and the United States Institute of Peace gathered together at USIP headquarters for an informal brown bag lunch. Both IMTD and USIP presented.
Vice President of USIP’s Academy Jeffrey Helsing opened the session by discussing the founding and history of USIP and the many features of the organization, including peacebuilding operations, new initiatives within USIP, and the education opportunities provided by the organization.
One of IMTD’s main interests currently is monitoring and evaluation, as this is a vital part of measuring success during and after peacebuilding programs. Elizabeth Cole, Director of the USIP Fellows Program presented some key methods and findings regarding these topics.
IMTD reciprocated the partnership by presenting on two current programs, and the Cyprus peace program. Clara Huergo, Lead Program Officer of Climate Change and Human Security, presented on the mission and current progress of the team. CCHS is currently focused on citizen science initiatives around the Lake Titicaca region of Bolivia, where communities are impacted daily by climate change. Lead Program Officer Sean O’Reilly expanded on Children’s Peace Initiative- Kenya’s mission of building friendship among children of neighboring communities within the Rift Valley of Kenya.
The climax of IMTD’s presentation, presented by Rajit Das, Director of Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation, centered on the Cyprus peace project, which Dr. Louise Diamond started in the early 1990s and was funded by a $60,000 grant from USIP. This was the first grant ever awarded to IMTD and served as a launching pad for both the Cyprus peacebuilding program and IMTD’s founding as an NGO, allowing the organization to test concepts and abilities in the field.
As Steven Riskin, USIP Director of Grants Strategy Team and Funders Initiative mentioned, it is rare to have an opportunity for both the grant giver and grant receiver to speak over 20 years later. Therefore a portion of the presentation on Cyprus was dedicated to the evaluation and impacts of the peacebuilding program that IMTD ran in the area. Overall, IMTD was able to train over 800 participants in conflict resolution skills, and a former alumni of the training program was a member of the Cyprus government in 2003 when the gate along the Green Zone was lifted.
The meeting was closed with a healthy discussion on what success looks like for an NGO like IMTD, what future possible projects might be, how monitoring and evaluation can be implemented in new ways go forward, and potential collaboration.