Skoll Foundation


Peace and Human Security

Conflicts and crises shatter nations and lives, preventing economic development. From Haiti to Afghanistan, it is a challenge and necessity to turn conflict into collaborative solutions and ensure human rights and rule of law. Transparency, citizen mobilization, functioning markets and government accountability are the critical building blocks to lasting peace. We advance innovations that lay the foundation for peace and human security.
Regions include: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East.


Crisis Action brings human rights and humanitarian organizations together across continents to protect civilians from armed conflict, remaining entirely behind-the-scenes as a catalyst and coordinator. By enabling civil society to speak as one at moments of crisis, it spurs the world’s most powerful decision makers into action. They harness the strengths of organizations to maximum effect on specific conflict situations. Crisis Action only works on a handful of conflicts at one time, chosen against strategic criteria. In just eight years, Crisis Action has grown from a start-up with a single employee to an international organization with almost 30 staff in eight offices. Crisis Action helped: secure one of the largest UN peacekeeping forces for Darfur, Sudan, prevent Zimbabwean President Mugabe from torturing civilians by stopping the supply of bank paper to the regime, and convince the Arab League to respond to mass violence against civilians in Libya and Syria.

Independent Diplomat (ID) provides confidential advice and practical assistance on diplomatic strategy and technique to governments, political groups and international organizations. Using a highly connected and knowledgeable staff of former diplomats, international lawyers and experts in international relations, ID guides clients through complex and opaque diplomatic processes and leverages its network of diplomatic relationships to help marginalized groups effectively engage in diplomatic processes where their interests are at stake. ID’s model has the potential to make the diplomatic system more inclusive, more representative, and more effective. Just one example: Independent Diplomat’s advice enabled South Sudan’s ministers to present their own views directly at the UN Security Council even before their country had secured independence, an opportunity never before granted to a non-state party. ID then assisted South Sudan to negotiate membership of the UN in record time.

International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) helps improve countries’ legal systems. It identifies legal leaders capable of sparking reform, collaborating with like-minded government ministries to seek consensus for change. It provides support through partnerships and communities of conscience and joins them under the umbrella of its online defender portal.

International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) is an international non-profit organization specializing in the field of transitional justice and helps societies in transition address legacies of massive human rights violations. It also helps build civic trust in state institutions as protectors of human rights.

PeaceWorks Foundation fosters co-existence between people in the Middle East. Its OneVoice Movement is reframing the conflict to highlight that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution and oppose violent extremism. OneVoice helped propel politicians to rekindle negotiations in late 2007, after a 7-year hiatus, following the year-long campaign “What Are You Willing to Do to End The Conflict?” that mobilized 650,000 Israelis and Palestinians to demand negotiations.

Roots of Peace is a humanitarian organization that eliminates landmines, then rehabilitates the land. It’s made a difference in Croatia, Cambodia, Angola and Afghanistan. So far, it has removed more than 100,000 land mines and impacted more than 100,000 farmers working in Afghan provinces to provide alternative agriculture crops, thus tripling the income for farmers. It also raised more than 30 million Pennies for Peace to rebuild schools and soccer fields on de-mined land in Afghanistan.

Search for Common Ground (SFCG) transforms the way the world deals with conflict — away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. It uses media initiatives and partners in government. For example, in 13 African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries, SFCG produced localized versions of The Team, a soap opera that promotes win-win ways of solving contentious problems. SFCG co-convened a working group of 34 distinguished Americans to make recommendations to the incoming U.S. administration on how to improve relations with the Muslim world. Madeleine Albright was a participant. SFCG also launched a leadership development program for Israeli and Palestinian social entrepreneurs.

WITNESS puts video cameras into the hands of human-rights activists and is an international resource for the media. Gillian Caldwell used its undercover cameras to investigate the Russian mafia forcing women into prostitution. WITNESS pioneered a site for human-rights video and helped stop the conscription of child soldiers in the Congo. Its video also helped the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights rule that the expulsion of Kenya’s Endorois people from their ancestral land was illegal.


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© 2015 Skoll Foundation.