Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up for Kroc School News and Events

Join nearly 10,000 Changemakers when you subscribe to the Kroc School's monthly e-newsletters. Subscribe

Working to Build More Effective Local-Global Peacebuilding Partnerships in Colombia

Monday, August 5, 2019TOPICS: ChangemakerConferences and WorkshopsGlobal ImpactWomen Peacemakers

Two Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice staff members, Jennifer Bradshaw (Program Officer of Women, Peace and Security Programs) and Jennifer Freeman (Associate Director), just returned from spending two weeks in Colombia with 2018 Women PeaceMakers Fellow Rosa Emilia Salamanca and her organization, CIASE. This trip was building upon the work the Kroc IPJ started with Salamanca on the Local-Global Peacebuilding Compact during her residency in San Diego. Together the Kroc IPJ explored with a range of local women’s groups in Colombia: how can we build better peacebuilding partnerships between international organizations and local women peacebuilders?

Salamanca, her team and the Kroc IPJ hosted three dialogue meetings in Colombia. These dialogue meetings were hosted in Colombia's capital, Bogotá, and a more rural community, Palmira. For Salamanca, it was vital to get women’s perspectives from a cross-section of Colombian society, which to her women from areas such as: the capitol, indigenous communities and afro-Colombia communities too.

2018 Women PeaceMakers Fellow Rosa Emilia Salamanca

During these dialogue meetings, women peacebuilders were able to identify where international organizations were doing well in implementing the four pillars of the Kroc IPJ’s Local-Global Peacebuilding Compact, and where there were areas for improvement. Through this work, the Kroc IPJ is building a bridge between international organizations and local women peacebuilders so that they co-develop solutions to ending cycles of violence that closely align with the local context’s needs.

From these dialogue sessions in Colombia, there were many powerful learnings and insights that were shared. In particular, there were two recurring themes that existed across all groups, communities and geographic locations:

  • Better security and protection for women peacebuilders — women peacebuilders experience a different kind of violence and security concerns because they are women. They are peacebuilders, and usually caretakers of the family — this means the protection international organizations provide them needs to be extended to their family. Also, women experience certain violence because they are women, therefore international organizations need to be prepared to provide additional protection of women peacebuilders because they are experiencing gender-based violence.
  • Women need to be part of ALL phases of implementing peace — the Colombia peace talks were touted the most gender-inclusive peace processes in history. Now over three years after the agreement has been signed, the implementation of this agreement has been a constant struggle. In part, because women’s participation in this phase of building peace must be as inclusive, if not more, than what we saw during the peace talks. When international organizations are working in Colombia to implement and build peace, they must constantly work towards having 50 percent of the people present and running these programs be women from a range of backgrounds.

This initiative in Colombia was just one of three — the other 2018 Women PeaceMakers Mariam Yazdani and Amira Timan will also be hosting similar dialogue meetings in their local contexts.

The experience in Colombia further reinforced the Kroc IPJ’s deep commitment to ensuring the partnerships between local women peacebuilders and international organizations was more equitable and gender-sensitive. In particular, in this year’s upcoming 2019 Women PeaceMakers Fellowship, the Kroc IPJ will be working with a cohort of international peace donors and its Women PeaceMakers to explore how to build more effective funding partnerships, Pillar II of the Compact. 

Learn more about this year’s 2019 Women PeaceMaker Fellowship and how you can get involved here.


Kevin Dobyns
(619) 260-7618

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


Contact Us


Visit Campus

5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110