The Build Peace Fellows program builds local innovative potential for individuals and organisations embedded in peacebuilding processes. Over one year, we help Fellows take an innovative peacebuilding intervention from idea to pilot implementation. Fellows also emerge with a strong understanding of best practices in innovation that will allow them to design and manage programs that introduce innovation processes to their peacebuilding work.
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Fellows come together for a joint, week-long training course on participatory methodologies, user-centered design and conflict sensitivity, delivered by Build Up and relevant experts. This course does not teach specific technical skills (coding, research design, etc). Rather, the course provides fellows with the tools they need to design and manage innovative projects. We help fellows become product managers – the people who link developers / experts with business objectives, in their case with peacebuilding objectives.
Each Fellow is assigned a Build Up staff who acts as their lead mentor. Through monthly calls, regular email communication and one visit to their project location, the lead mentor provides project management support, technical advice and hands-on problem solving. Lead mentors work with Fellows to identify three or four mentors who have skills or experience relevant to the Fellow’s intervention. Mentors offer 3 or 4 one-hour calls over the course of the Fellowship to explore questions and share advice.
For Fellows working on a technology tool, Build Up works with Fellows to identify a suitable technology partner who can deliver a working “alpha” product that Fellows can test and pilot during the Fellowship. For Fellows working in the arts, Build Up works with Fellows to find relevant artists who can partner on a pilot arts intervention during the Fellowship. For Fellows working on research, Build Up staff provide technical training and hands-on advice to design and pilot a research process.
Fellows receive a grant to cover some of the technical and implementation costs of their intervention. The exact grant amount will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific needs of an intervention, but in any case will not exceed 16,000 EUR. Fellows are expected to engage with all aspects of the Fellowship program; applications seeking only grant funding are not a strong match to the program.
“The Build Peace Fellows Program has been an outstanding opportunity, not only to learn about peacetech, but also to have a hands-on experience regarding the possibilities and limitations of using technology for peacebuilding. In a time when ‘social innovation’ is a buzzword in peacebuilding and development projects, the Build Peace Fellows Programme is a unique opportunity to understand the prospects and risks of projects that involve technology for peacebuilding, and build context-sensitive and sustainable participatory projects that use technology appropriately, ethically and responsibly.” — Build Peace 2016-2017 Fellow