The 2016 Summer Peacebuilding Program was the second annual iteration of a three-week long intensive training program designed to bridge the theory and practice of building peace in societies that are emerging from conflict, violence or war.

What is Peacebuilding?

SPP provides an opportunity for participants to learn from the experiences and approaches of scholars and practitioners who work on some of the most difficult challenges our world faces today, including: resolving conflict, ending all forms of violence, providing social justice, and creating more secure and developed societies by transforming the conditions and relationships of conflict. SPP welcomes all those interested in exploring the above-mentioned topics through a process of self-reflection, gathering of theoretical and conceptual data and its application to real world problems. Students and practitioners in the field of conflict, peace, development and security studies are eligible to apply.

The SPP builds on the ‘Peace’ dimension that was explored for two years (2013 and 2014) in the Peace, Trade and Development program.


“Many have asked me what I thought of the program; they knew of our trips to the prisons and talks with MIIS faculty, and of course almost everyone knew of the presence of Dr. Christopher Mitchell, but I think my answer to the question, “How was it?” still surprised them. If I were told to pin point three of the most academically informative and thought-provoking weeks of my life, it may have been those.”

—-Danny Pavitt,
2015 SPP Participant

Peacebuilding is a programmatic focus area for the Center, a theme that is reflected in its field research courses, the summer Peacebuilders Fellowship, the annual conference, the research areas of its visiting scholars and its publications, especially its working papers series. As such, the Center is well positioned to bring together its many experiences and contributions to the field of peacebuilding through its network of scholars, practitioners and policy makers and present the multi-dimensionality of peacebuilding.

Interactive Sessions

The 2016 SPP has three key parts that reflected through all the sessions over the three weeks:

Part I: Conceptual Inputs

Peacebuilding, Critical Development, Security, Justice, Governance, Gender, Culture, Trauma-healing, and Reconciliation

Part II: The Praxis of Peacebuilding

Skills for Peacebuilding; Non-Violence, Media, Field Visits to organizations working on reducing gang violence in the Salinas, Soledad and Oakland areas in Northern California

Part III: Applied Practice

Participants applied the practical knowledge, skills and theories learnt to a real world problem. Their recommendations were evaluated by organizations that are dealing with or have dealt with a similar problem.

SPP Simulation


SPP core faculty were scholars and practitioners from various academic institutions, policy think tanks, NGO leaders and social activists. Dr. Pushpa Iyer, Director of the Center for Conflict Studies and Associate Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), is the lead coordinator of the SPP.

Certificate of Completion

Participants successfully completing all three weeks of the program received a Certificate of Completion.

Date & Venue

The 2016 program ran from July 25 to August 12, 2016. The first and second week of SPP were held at the MIIS campus in Monterey with a lodging option within walking distance to campus. The third week of SPP was residential at the Mount Madonna Conference Center in Watsonville, CA.


Admission to the 2016 SPP is now closed. SPP applications are accepted on a rolling basis (except for Davis UWC scholars) so we review and respond to you two weeks after your application is received. The following was our admission criteria for the 2016 SPP:

(a) Proficiency in English language

(b) Academic or equivalent work experience

(c) Clear personal and career goals

(d) Ability to meet SPP financial requirements

Click to apply!

Program Cost

The SPP program cost, which covers lodging for three weeks, board for week one and all course related expenses for three weeks was USD 3500 for the 2016 SPP.

Course Fee for Middlebury College (Vermont) students was USD 3000.

Non-residential course fees for MIIS (Monterey) students were USD 2500.

Students could receive academic credits for the program (paying additional tuition fees as required by their own educational institution). MIIS students could receive up to six credits for the SPP (conflict resolution certificate students could also count two credits towards their practice requirement).