It's our pleasure to introduce the Rotary-IEP Partnership newsletter!
This newsletter aims to create a line of communication with Rotary stakeholders interested in supporting the Rotary-IEP Partnership, as well as to feature and promote Rotary stakeholders’ work in the Partnership. Each quarterly newsletter will feature a select number of Rotary Positive Peace Activators as well as Rotary-related IEP Ambassadors and their work. We will also announce upcoming events of interest.
Warmest Regards, Charlie Allen – Director of Partnerships, IEP
Rebecca Crall – Area of Focus Manager Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention, Rotary International
Launched in 2017, the Rotary-Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) Partnership is one of Rotary’s strategic partnerships. Rotary’s key strength is the ability to convene and mobilize locally - Rotary members are experts at this. Thus, Rotary members organizing and working at the community-level makes it possible to create environments where lasting peace is possible, and, in turn, bring about more peaceful societies - from the local to the global.
IEP is an international and independent think tank dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human well-being and progress. The Institutes key strength is its decade long data driven peace research, which is being used to teach Rotary members to apply new peacebuilding methods to their communities while addressing underlying causes of conflicts.
In addition, the partnership allows for the development of local workshops hosted by Rotary clubs to educate communities about Positive Peace, as well as community-based projects in peace and conflict resolution that are both practical and impactful.
The Rotary-IEP Partnership – through IEP’s Pillars of Positive Peace framework – provides a unique structure to:
View peace as a process and a system versus a product or result
Build capacity in how Rotary members think about peace and development
Provide educational resources to move initiatives forward
The core focus of the Partnership is IEP peace education for Rotary stakeholders, to help them shift attitudes and approaches to peacebuilding and to create meaningful change in their communities by applying the framework of Positive Peace to their interventions.
Four cohorts and counting...
The Rotary Positive Peace Activator Program began in January 2020 and will run through 2025. This competitive application program trains active Rotary members, Rotaractors, Rotary Peace Fellows, and other Rotary stakeholders in specific regions on IEP’s Positive Peace framework. After a 20-hour training (presential or online), Activators agree to a two-year service commitment, providing presentations, leading trainings, and supporting projects with Rotary-affiliated stakeholders. Activators are considered “representatives” and “extensions” of the Rotary-IEP Partnership.
To date, Rotary and IEP have trained four cohorts (North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia) with a total of 119 trained Activators globally. In 2020 - 2022, trained Activators logged 2,153 hours of service – via presentations, radio interviews, writing, and project work – reaching 82,134 people. This means that more than 80,000 people have learned about Rotary, IEP, and Positive Peace through Activators in 2020 - 2022. Future cohorts include East Africa, Middle East North Africa, and Oceania.
ACTIVATOR HIGHLIGHT: NORTH AMERICA
Patricia Shafer: Youth Peace in Action
In 2012, Patricia Shafer completed her Rotary Peace Fellowship (RPF) at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand with action research on peacebuilding through education. So, it was intriguing when a group of Rotary members proposed that she design peace training for students that would start in the US and be adapted around the globe. RPF Carla Lineback and Patricia tested the idea in 2013; what evolved into NewGen Peacebuilders (NGP) launched in North Carolina in 2014; and it’s since been shared with middle school, high school, and university students in 14 states and 12 countries. Patricia’s experience becoming a Rotary Positive Peace Activator (RPPA) proved a new milestone. She now sees the IEP Pillars of Positive Peace – also called the “Eight Pillars” – as a unique framework to shift peace from aspiration to action. Fellow RPPA Jim Roxlo and Patrica have collaborated, with Global Grant support, training Zones 30 & 31 Rotaractors to design peace projects addressing hunger. Post-survey feedback gave the “thumbs up” to the way the Eight Pillars was used. Again, in Lebanon, the framework was central to training for university students and a follow-on “Train the Trainer” that equipped a subset to deliver mini-workshops leveraging the Pillars. And in a sign that “you really can go home again,” more than 300 high schools and 7,000 students in the US were the first to experience many of IEP’s tools in the 2021-22 pilot year of an interactive online course called “Youth & Peace in Action” supported by 22 Districts in Zones 33 & 34.
ACTIVATOR HIGHLIGHT: EUROPE
Sreetharan Vallipuram: People of Action
Rotary member and Assistant Governor Sree became a Europe Positive Peace Activator in 2021. Member of the Rotary Club of Westminster West (D1130), he is chair of the District Peace Committee and manages 12 Peace Officers. Sree heads the United Nations and Commonwealth London Peace Envoys, with notable projects including: Rotary Peace Square in Kyiv-Ukraine (2020), Uganda vocational School for ex-child soldiers (2021), advocacy for the UN-TPNW, promoting Intercountry Committees, and workshops on conflict resolution.
Sree became an Activator months after the Queen’s Pageantmaster appointed him to coordinate the lighting of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons in all Commonwealth capital cities. Activator Sree put together a presentation linking the IEP Positive Peace Framework with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, an event with the strapline: #PeopleofAction: Communicate Collaborate Celebrate.
It became clear that when Rotary members engaged with each other and external parties to plan the event, they would impact IEP’s eight Pillars of Positive Peace. For example, the impact on the Well-Functioning Government Pillar would be high as Rotary members collaborate with local councils, mayors, and governors in their respective cities. Sree brought the Pillars of Positive Peace “down-to-earth” and demonstrated how the event could strengthen Positive Peace and the Pillars. Lighting the Beacons on June 2 in cities, from east to west, will form not just a Peace Wave – but a Platinum Jubilee Rotary Positive Peace Wave. As communities across the Commonwealth communicate, collaborate and celebrate they inevitably promote and strengthen Positive Peace.
Meet Rotary Member and IEP Ambassador: Melrose Lunn
In today’s era of increasing technological connectivity, unimpeded access to the free flow of information is more crucial than ever. In remote regions of Aklan Province, Philippines, internet access can be a challenge. Without a quick and reliable connection to accurate information, citizens are disadvantaged in times of crisis and disaster. They are cut off from flows of knowledge and education, which would otherwise contribute to the growth of skilled human capital in the region. Each of these factors undermines the potential development and maintenance of peace in the Province.
IEP Peace Ambassador and Rotary Club Member, Melrose Lunn, has dedicated herself to addressing these inequalities using the practical tools developed over the course of our Program. In response to one of the 8 Pillars of Peace, free flow of information, Melrose set about designing a project to deliver and install internet boosters in remote communities to address the problems raised by fragile internet connectivity. Alongside this first phase of the project, Melrose organised an event to inform local community leaders about IEP’s Positive Peace Framework. She introduced audience members to IEP’s empirical research, the eight pillars of Positive Peace, and an explanation of her project installing 4G Internet boosters in the region.Through this, Melrose provided the audience with a relevant, practical example of how to build positive peace in the region. All it takes is the development of targeted, community-led projects that will strengthen the eight Positive Peace pillars.
Since the initiation of her project in December, 2021, Melrose and her team have successfully installed 4-G Internet Boosters in five barangays, including at Rosario in Malinao’s "Clinic in the Cloud" Hub. They are currently testing to ensure the successful internet boosters in two other barangays.
The Rotary International Convention
Rotary-IEP Partnership Breakout Sessions at Rotary Convention
For those of you attending the Rotary International Convention, join us for two breakout sessions:
Rotary International Convention: “You are a Peacebuilder: How to Activate Peace” June 6, 3:30-4:30 pm, Room 372
Global Peace Index 2022 Launch with Rotary International
Join us to hear about this year’s findings and to learn more about the Rotary-IEP Partnership. Speakers include Rebecca Crall, Area of Focus Manager - Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention at Rotary International; Michael Collins, Executive Director Americas at Institute for Economics & Peace; and Marcel Van Opstal, Ex Ambassador of the European Union and President 2021-2022, Rotary International - Club Bogotá Centenario - District 4281, Colombia.