The peacebuilding field is increasingly confronting a gap between theory and practice. In principle, we know what sustainable peace looks like and we have a developing understanding of what it takes to get there.
In practice, though, the field is still developing models to deliver the kind of complex, sustainable interventions that can address the roots of armed conflict. At One Earth Future, we have developed a standardized operating strategy to help us address this gap by helping us develop in a step-by-step manner system that we believe are effective and scalable.
One Earth Future (OEF) is an operating foundation with the mission of catalyzing systems to eliminate war. This is certainly a lofty mandate, but we believe that the end goal of sustainable peace is achievable—indeed, has already been achieved in some regions—through appropriate analysis and coordinated work. Our theories of impact are rooted in the recognition that sustainable peace requires addressing multiple aspects of the complex systems driving armed conflict simultaneously and at a scale sufficient to have a real impact on these systems. These solutions have to be both bottom-up and top-down, as well as active across different conflict domains. Achieving this has required us to develop a methodical approach with a long-term–horizon, and one which recognizes that any transformational and long-lasting work towards peace must be contextually informed and applied with the needed scale and scope.
Our strategy is rooted in part in the recognition that we as a single NGO can’t solve problems alone and must coordinate with other organizations to support collective impact. At the same time, we develop and execute programs designed to solve specific, discrete drivers of conflict. In executing these programs, we have developed frameworks used for planning, launching, refining, and scaling work that attempts to balance our mission, our limited resources, and our emphasis on working for sustainable and long-term solutions.
This brief introduces our strategy and plans with the goal of sharing strategic learnings. We hope that it will also spur reflection and discussion of our plans and best practices in the field. It explores One Earth Future’s thinking in considerable depth, describes our approach to planning, scoping, executing, and closing projects, and is illustrated with some specific examples from our work.