Search for Common Ground: Vision for 2018


A letter from Shamil Idriss, President & CEO of Search for Common Ground

Thanks to your support, Search for Common Ground is off to a great start in 2018.

2017 was a year of profound transformation for Search. In our latest progress report, Conflict ReImagined, we present some of the changes that we have made with your help.

Thanks to you, we are poised to accomplish even greater results in 2018. Here are some of the things we’re planning for the year ahead:

Supporting Local Solutions In Urgent Crises

In 2017, armed conflicts brought Yemen, South Sudan, and parts of Nigeria to the brink of famine. This year, we are scaling up our efforts to help end these conflicts. In Yemen, our all-Yemeni team is supporting mediation between communities affected by the crisis and working with teachers to keep kids in school and out of armed groups. In Nigeria, we are launching a new partnership with humanitarian organizations to help communities rebuild their lives in the Lake Chad Basin. Our radio and theater productions in South Sudan continue to garner attention. In February, Media Coordinator Daniel Lokolong will travel to Brussels to receive the Austrian Government’s Intercultural Achievement Award in honor of our innovative work in South Sudan.

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Question for this article:

Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?

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Fostering Innovation and Experimentation

Technology is quickly changing societies around the world. We’re adapting as well as experimenting with new techniques. In Nepal, we’ve built on the success of our TV drama Singha Durbar and just launched a smartphone e-governance app that gives citizens information on government institutions, along with guidance on how to access justice and legal services.

During the last elections in Sierra Leone, we partnered with researchers at Stanford University to rigorously test the effectiveness of electoral debates, work that was profiled in The New York Times. As Sierra Leoneans get ready to go to the polls this March, we’re working with hundreds of civil society groups, journalists, and researchers to strengthen citizen engagement. Our work has already attracted notice. This month, the Sierra Leone’s Council of Chief Executives named us the “Best NGO of 2017” in the peacebuilding category.

Taking Local Insight to International Policymakers

Our colleagues around the world have unique insight and understanding of conflict dynamics. We launched a new white paper series, where we highlighted local perspectives from Yemen, Nigeria, and South Sudan. As our work has become appreciated, we’ve been asked to give testimonies and briefings for the United States Congress, the United Nations Security Council, and the British Parliament. In 2018, we’ll increase our efforts to help global decision-makers to build a more peaceful world.

These goals are ambitious, but your continued support will make them a reality. Thank you for joining in our vision of a 2018 full of breakthroughs for a healthier, safer, and more just world.