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Research, Documentation, & Learning

Background

The Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) is an Asian training institute based in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines, but its reach goes far beyond the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific Region. As of 2021, there are more than 2,300 MPI alumni from 61 countries all over the world, mostly coming from countries in South and Southeast Asia. It also has a growing number of alumni from other parts of the world, like Africa, the Middle East, the American Continent, and Europe.

MPI provides a space for people of diverse backgrounds to gather together, share, and learn in a safe environment where all viewpoints are encouraged and respected.

Through its Research, Documentation, and Learning (RDL) arm, MPI wants to make sure that its relationship with its alumni does not stop with the end of the training by strengthening the connection and collaboration between and among the MPI alumni and partner organizations.

Research and Publication

The RDL team initiates collaborative research projects with MPI alumni and the wider MPI network on different peace and conflict issues. By inviting the alumni and other peacebuilding partners to share their experiences, the RDL team also helps in producing stories, and other publications that document the ways MPI alumni have applied what they learned or observed in the field.

MPI Alumni Reunions

The RDL team regularly organizes MPI Alumni Reunions, either face-to-face or virtual. These reunions are a great way for MPI alumni of a certain town, region, country, or even across countries to connect with each other. They are able to get to know their fellow peacebuilders that have attended MPI’s peacebuilding courses in different years and on different subjects. The reunions become spaces for sharing and learning as they bring together MPI alumni with different professional backgrounds and experiences that are interested in strengthening one another and MPI’s peacebuilding network.

The reunions can either serve as a baseline to assess the interest of the alumni in forming their own informal or formal structures or they can be the place/space where MPI alumni groups or clusters are created.

The reunions are seen not only as a way to foster the connections between the alumni but also with MPI. It is during these meetings were MPI tries to promote the involvement of MPI alumni in:

  • The documentation of localized peacebuilding knowledge & bottom-up approaches to peace;
  • Soliciting or writing human-interest stories of peacebuilders/local practitioners; and
  • In helping with MPI’s need for facilitation, research, writing, etc.

Alumni Clusters/Learning Groups

While MPI alumni can acquire theoretical skills, methods, and tools during the Annual Peacebuilding Training or any other virtual or face-to-face training courses, the challenge is how they will apply the tools and translate the methods and learnings into their own context. Quite often, language can be a real barrier in fully understanding the content of the peacebuilding trainings, and therefore, the alumni might struggle to contextualize the application of the trainings in their respective country or region.

In encouraging the creation of alumni clusters or learning groups, MPI sees these also as a way to overcome possible language barriers of alumni, to contextualize their peacebuilding knowledge while sharing their experiences with fellow alumni from the same region. These informal or formal Alumni clusters or learning groups will also be able to facilitate exchange programs from one region to another as they can enhance mutual learning, networking, and a better understanding of regional peacebuilding contexts.

MPI imagines different kinds of MPI Alumni Clusters/Learning Groups:

  • Alumni who are having problems in contextualizing their learning and deepening the learning, and those who had language issues (one pillar);
  • Alumni who want to continue learning (second pillar); and
  • Alumni who will do advocacy and/or projects together (third pillar)

Clusters can be formal or informal as long as there is a safe space for sharing and learning between or among alumni. MPI assumes that with the creation of alumni clusters in different parts of the world, capacity building is taking place every time. MPI also assumes that peace strategies that arise from these local initiatives will be more sustainable because they are culturally and contextually appropriate.

If you already signed up for the Alumni pages, connect with other peacebuilders in your region or country by browsing our directory.

Please note: You must be registered and logged in to view the online directory. The online directory includes only those alumni, facilitators, MPI staff, and secretariat volunteers who have registered for our website.

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