Maine’s Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program and IMTD's Climate Change & Human Security Program have found common ground in Bolivia.

Maine’s Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, the oldest and one of the largest citizen lake monitoring programs in the nation, has long been on the forefront of citizen lake science. Over the nearly ­five decades, the VLMP has been in operation, our winning strategy for protecting water resources through direct citizen engagement has been adopted by governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s), and other lake-oriented groups across the US.We have been pleased and honored to share ‘lessons learned’ and resources to help to ensure the success of these, our sister lake monitoring programs. More recently, called upon to help our counterparts in three Canadian provinces, the VLMP model of effectiveness and efficiency went international. As a result, many key VLMP resources (protocols, training, and reference materials, etc.) have now been translated to French!

This summer, our international scope began its migration to the south when we had the good fortune to meet Adam Zemans, Director of the Climate Change and Human Security Program at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy. (IMTD is an international organization whose mission is to promote a systems-based approach to peacebuilding and to facilitate the transformation of deeply-rooted social con­flict, with a historical focus on environmental issues.) Adam, a US and Bolivian citizen with a keen interest in water resource issues, was introduced to the VLMP by of one of our certified monitors. As Adam learned about the VLMP, (exploring our website, and eventually attending three different VLMP trainings), a grand idea began to form.

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IMTD and USIP Information Exchange

IMTD and USIP Information ExchangeOn 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.

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Georgetown Students meet with Ambassador John McDonald

On Thursday September 29, 2016, the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) hosted the Foreign Service Program (MSFS) of the Georgetown Collaborative Diplomacy Initiative (GCDI). GCDI's goal is two-fold: gaining practical knowledge and simultaneously understanding the diversity of efforts involved in modern day diplomatic relations. During the meeting, Ambassador (ret.) John McDonald shared stories of his career in the Foreign Service, how International Day of Peace came to be, and IMTD’s mission. The students also attended presentations on two of IMTD’s current projects, the Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya Project (CPI-K) and the Climate Change & Human Security Program (CCHS) in Bolivia. Alex Cantone, Associate Director of IMTD, Africa and Montgomery Hill, Lead Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security gave the day’s presentations. Students were engaged with both Ambassador McDonald and IMTD staff in a question and answer session at the end of the day about our current programs, the day-to-day operations of an NGO, and the services that IMTD provides.

Children Taking the Lead to Counter Inter-Tribal Conflict in Northern Kenya

By Gabriel Maisonnave

“My grandson died of pneumonia,” Esther explained as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

The conflict between the Pokot and Samburu tribes of Northern Kenya has forced Esther, as it has many families, to keep moving further from danger. Sometimes this meant sleeping under a bush for nights at a time until they found more stable shelter. It was during one of these nights that her grandson became sick. Making a fire to keep warm at night was out of the question; enemies would be able to spot the flame.

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Walter Pinto Jr. and Using Technology to Combat Gender Based Violence in Brazil

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, in a presentation to the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD), Walter Pinto, Jr. discussed social management and governance in relationship to the Calafate Women’s Collective of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Pinto is a Technical Advisor for Programs and Projects of Prevention of Violence Against Women and Sexual Violence in the Office of the Mayor. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree at the Federal University of Bahia in Social Management with a specialization in Management of Public Policy, Gender and Race. 

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Ambassador John W. McDonald gives a lecture at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management

On Thursday, July 7, 2016, retired Ambassador John W. McDonald, CEO of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD), welcomed an invitation from Professor John L. Davies of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) to lecture at the University of Maryland, College Park. Addressing a group of public policy students, Ambassador McDonald spoke of his involvement with the United Nations Population Fund and the challenges in its formation.

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Lessons from the Alliance for Peacebuilding Conference

Eileen Borris, Mariana Melo and Adam Zemans at NEXT GEN PEACE

On May 24-26, 2016 more than 500 professionals, including 155 speakers from 23 countries, and 195 different organizations attended the NEXT GEN PEACE, the annual Alliance for Peacebuilding conference in Washington, D.C. During the three full days of the event, participants were able to attend 49 unique sessions and exhibits, covering a broad range of topics from climate change, trauma healing, and electoral violence, to race relations in America, storytelling, violent extremism, fragility, systems, technology, and evaluation.

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