In 2023, MPI offered 12 peacebuilding courses over the three weeks with one new course entitled Media Prosumers for Peace: Savvy Use of Communication Tools for a Better World in Week 2. Gender and Peacebuilding, one of the thematic courses in the third week, was offered with new perspectives and facilitators.
Over 140 peacebuilders from around the world attended our training and found it to be an exciting, stimulating, and challenging learning experience. Read their feedback here. Click on any course title or "Read more" to see more details on each course.
MPI 2023 ANNUAL PEACEBUILDING TRAINING
Forging the Path Towards Peace: The Journey Continues
May 15 – June 2, 2023
Mergrande Ocean Resort
Bago Aplaya, Talomo District, Davao City, Philippines
The Foundation Courses lay out the fundamental parameters, approaches, and processes encompassed in the field of peacebuilding.
The Thematic Courses build on the foundation courses by delving into particular strategic areas and focused applications.
WEEK 1: May 15 – 19, 2023 | FOUNDATION COURSES
The course offered a range of valuable benefits to the participants. Firstly, it provided a substantial amount of new knowledge, which they expressed the intention to apply within their communities. The facilitators played a crucial role in this process, as their ability to simplify complicated topics and employ unique and excellent facilitation techniques made learning easier and more effective. The open learning environment with colleagues further enriched their understanding. Participants found the course instrumental in deepening their grasp of theoretical concepts and their practical application in real-life scenarios.
The course was found to be particularly helpful for several reasons. Participants mentioned that they learned more and felt motivated to apply their newfound knowledge in their communities. The facilitators' expertise and ability to explain complex topics in a simplified manner were highly valued. The unique and excellent facilitated techniques, along with the open learning style among colleagues, contributed to a rich learning experience. Participants appreciated the deepened understanding of theories applicable to real-life engagement and the recognition of structural violence in society, specifically within the Philippine context.
The course provided several helpful aspects for the participants. It focused on analyzing the root causes of conflict, understanding the difference between conflict and violence, and exploring ways to transform conflicts into peaceful resolutions. The course emphasized the importance of considering the involvement and interrelationship between different actors in a conflict. It also highlighted the significance of reframing key messages during negotiations and the role of communication in resolving misunderstandings.
Participants found several aspects of the course particularly helpful. They appreciated the group activities, which allowed for critical analysis and engaged participation. The field trip to Shrine Hills provided a tangible understanding of the inter-connectedness of the environment with conflict. The facilitators were praised for their expertise and the interactive nature of the course. The combination of lectures, presentations, examples, and discussions contributed to the participants' learning experience. The course emphasized the significance of incorporating the concept of peace in understanding the environment and highlighted the importance of using both top-bottom and bottom-top approaches in addressing various issues. Participants valued the practical application of theories and the tools presented in translating them into practice. The course also fostered personal growth, increased awareness, and provided tools for advocacy and campaign work related to environmental peace. Sharing experiences among participants and relating them to environmental issues in their communities was also appreciated.
WEEK 2: May 22 - 26, 2023 | THEMATIC COURSES
The course provided helpful content and theories, deepening the understanding of the individuals and helping them become better peacebuilders and mediators. It was deemed beneficial for personal skill development and for contributing to their daily work. The concepts were well-taught and easily comprehensible. Specific aspects highlighted include the curriculum process, CRS content, different steps involved, the role of the mediator, mediation, dialogue, negotiation, and the inclusion of role-playing activities.
Participants found the course particularly helpful for various reasons. One benefit was the opportunity it provided to define and acknowledge their trauma, as well as identify ways to deal with it. The individual sharing of stories allowed for a better understanding of trauma and low/simple interventions. The course also offered theories and knowledge on conflict and how the brain functions, which was appreciated by the participants. Engaging in exercises and utilizing tools helped them better grasp the theoretical concepts. The course fostered a non-judgmental environment, enabling effective listening and understanding of different narratives.
Participants found several aspects of the course to be particularly helpful. They appreciated the detailed steps and processes of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), as well as understanding the relationship between monitoring and evaluation. Learning about M&E tools, the formulation of Theory of Change (ToC), and creating monitoring frameworks were also highlighted as valuable. The course facilitators and co-participants were mentioned as accommodating and beneficial to the learning experience. Participants found the basic concepts and elements of MEL, as well as the clear presentation and explanation of MEL tools, to be essential for project implementation. Case studies, activities, and handouts provided useful references. The development of indicators and project processes, as well as understanding the relevance of tools in specific contexts, were also appreciated. Overall, participants found the tools, processes, and learnings from the course to be meaningful and applicable to their work.
Participants found the thorough guidance and support from the facilitators to be particularly helpful in the course. They appreciated the realization of how to produce and consume information in digital platforms, emphasizing the importance of introducing media literacy at the grassroots level to benefit communities. The course helped individuals contextualize issues in their own lives and encouraged them to consider how they could address these issues as communications professionals. The deconstruction of concepts and the injection of peace-focused perspectives made the material more digestible. Participants learned to use media ethically as an advocacy tool.
Participants found several aspects of the course to be particularly helpful. They appreciated the focus on community organizing, world cafe activity, nonviolent communication, and advocacy campaigns. The feedback and experiences shared by the participants in the peace process were valuable in their learning. The program strategy, power mapping, and nonviolent advocacy campaign discussions were also highlighted as helpful. Participants appreciated the respect for different cultures and the passion and responsibility for peace advocacy demonstrated by the facilitators. The inclusion of activities and group work, as well as the facilitators' personal experiences, contributed to the participants' learning. Overall, the content, approaches, means, capacity, relevance, and topics covered in the course were considered helpful in practicing peace advocacy and community organizing.
WEEK 3: May 29 – June 2, 2023 | THEMATIC COURSES
Participants found the course to be highly informative and beneficial in expanding their understanding of gender and peacebuilding. They appreciated the opportunity to learn from the experiences of fellow participants and found the interactive activities to be helpful in grasping the concepts and applying the tools and techniques taught.
Participants found several aspects of the course particularly helpful. The use of both conventional and non-conventional teaching methods was appreciated, as it facilitated active participation and engagement. The concept of shifting from a teacher-centered approach to a student-centered and societal-centered approach in peace education was highlighted as a valuable insight. The creation of a Peace Education design and the opportunity to learn how to foster a peaceful environment within the education system were seen as significant contributions of the course. Participants also appreciated the use of storytelling through documentary videos, which provided real-life examples and enhanced understanding. The presentation of pedagogies for change and the practical activities and workshops conducted during the course were helpful in contextualizing the concepts and facilitating comprehension. Overall, participants gained knowledge and ideas that could be applied in developing curriculum, designing projects, and implementing peace pedagogy in their own communities and educational settings.
The course offered valuable aspects that were particularly helpful to the participants. The immersive workshops allowed for experiential learning, enabling the participants to learn by actively engaging in activities. The exposure to the group performance by Kaliwat Theatre Collective and the field visit to Kublai Millan's home-art studio emphasized the significance of peace in the arts, highlighting its importance in fostering understanding and harmony.