Programming and community engagement are at the core of our strategy. We invest heavily in supporting the development of integrated solutions and delivering reliable tools to those who need them most. Discover more about our innovative campaigns below and get in touch to stay up to date regarding our latest efforts.
THE SOVEREIGNTY ACCELERATOR
IMTD partners with Sovereignty First to offer the Sovereignty Accelerator dialogue processes to clients worldwide. The the Sovereignty Accelerator assesses the strengths of a country and the challenges it faces and helps decision makers use that information to design internal strategies for growth. The Sovereignty Accelerator is a wide spectrum dialogue process developed by Dr. Eric Wolterstorff to help actors at any level of social and political development secure their State’s sovereignty, and to take control of their infrastructure, economic, and social development.
The Sovereignty Accelerator principles are rooted in systemic trauma theory, family therapy, organizational development, and general peacebuilding theory. The Sovereignty Accelerator effect is to facilitate broad-scale systems change at accelerated rates.
THE SOVEREIGNTY ACCELERATOR
Sovereignty First’s idea of the Sovereignty Accelerator touches on the best of a country, the things its citizens love, and partners it with an “all in this together” spirit, so the country’s future development is not undermined by divided segments of the population. It is extremely useful in a post-conflict setting to sort out power struggles.
Although the Sovereignty Accelerator was developed for use at the national level, the tool can be adapted and applied with equal expectations of success to provinces, cities, and small communities.
A city in crisis is experiencing serious unemployment, a declining tax base, rising crime rates, and crippling strain on social services. We can help the city develop step-by-step plans to restore quality of life and to attract new business.
A minority population is experiencing discrimination by the majority. The minority wants to declare independence. We can help increase their internal autonomy, build their economy, and develop strategies for improving their relations with neighbors to enhance the quality of life in their region whether or not they ever choose to seek independence.
IMTD partners with Sovereignty First in all INCA projects. The partnership allows us to bring depth of experience and insight to a variety of settings.
INCA can be grant funded, but it can also be contracted on a fee-for-service basis.
Contact Karen Dickman for more information.
Tents is not an acronym. It recognizes liminal spaces set apart to consider deeper things.
There is not a county in the world which has not experienced mass trauma. It happens through war, terror attacks, natural disasters, etc. Many countries have both suffered trauma and caused it for others. The after-affect in either case is fragmenting of society. The more trauma is experienced, even by previous generations, the more fragmenting occurs. Unified visions for the country become more and more difficult to plan and to implement.
The same principles apply on city, state, or regional levels.
IMTD has recently agreed, quite enthusiastically, to join the Shifting Culture constellation by taking on the Tents program. Working with mass trauma expert, Dr. Eric Wolterstorff, we will be taking on the responsibility to work with both recent and historic trauma on a national scale.
Common concepts on taking on national scale trauma use one-on-one or small group therapeutic approaches. When you think how many people would have to participate in even a small country it is easy to see how that is not practical. We have better models, and are eager to test them with rigor.
Although they have many other uses this is a useful set of ideas for a transitional justice program. They help the country factions understand the complexity of their own humanity thus allowing room for the “other” to also become human. Enemies become neighbors. Justice and reconciliation programs can be much more effective from that point.
USA: TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE
Most transitional justice programs are like most justice programs, two-sided. They search out victims and offenders and try to establish a degree of accountability between them.
IMTD along with Sovereignty First, look at a broader picture, including victims, offenders, bystanders, and saviors. These are the common roles produced by any act of trauma, whether in a school shooting or a civil war. In a prolonged conflict most people will have played at least some, and maybe all of these roles at some point.
Often, overnight conflict roles become caricatures. Over years and then generations the roles become hardened divisions within societies and tend to replicate more violence.
Through a process of storytelling and response, focusing on the noted acts of brutality, IMTD and its partners can help generate a braided truth, elements of which are agreed upon by all participants. The better story will reflect the nuanced ethic of the complexity of the conflict. The braided story humanizes both the “monsters” and the survivors. It engages the innocent. It honors the best efforts of true heroes without deifying them.
The braided story provides for accountability but allows for prosecution if necessary.
This transitional justice process can be used a local, city, regional, or national levels. It would be very useful after a school shooting or other similar community tragedy.
IMTD’s transitional justice work can be grant funded, but it can also be contracted on a fee for service basis. Contact Karen Dickman for more information.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY PROGRAM
For the past two years, Zeiter (Mr.David Kartozia) and the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) have been working on an economic recovery project for the Republic of Georgia, and later also Ukraine. Specifically David built networks of teams all over each country. The teams recruited people to join a massive co-op, one in each country. The co-ops are not industry specific or product specific. They recognize that entire economic systems are necessary for the economic growth of the country. They are co-ops in the true sense of the word though in that they are designed to encourage members to help one another. If a member needs to transport a crop to cold storage, but doesn’t have the truck, another member can help. They should be mutually supportive.
The co-op concept allows small and medium farmers and manufacturers to pool their product to be able to supply large domestic and international markets.
Further, the project would provide small grants, up to $20,000, to help members overcome hurdles to getting a product to market. If a subsistence farmer needs a tractor to farm a larger plot of land in order to have surplus to sell, the project would provide the tractor. This allows more people to enter into the economy.
Along with recruiting members the teams around the countries also provide training that is useful for local members to maximize their access to markets and the benefits that come with it. They also help with grant applications for the project funds, and even with larger grants from other sources when necessary. They are on site to verify the applicant can and does use the grant as intended.
In Ukraine there is also a security branch run by retired police and military officers. Because of the high pressure of corruption security protects the co-op members from threats by corrupt influences. They also ensure our own teams act according to policy and don’t abuse their positions. Finally, they ensure co-op members keep their promises, so as not to compromise the spirit of cooperation in the project.
They also have a Trade Association component. The trade association helps bring their goods to international markets. They provide licenses when possible, or at least assistance in obtaining necessary licenses and certifications. They find buyers and distributors.
We expect to see a rise on GDP over time, and in the short term a rise in member’s average household income.
There are 2 other aspects to the project crucial to its effectiveness:
1) IMTD provides the Sovereignty Accelerator developed by Sovereignty First
(www. sovereigntyfirst .com) This is, at its essence, a country-wide deconstructed national dialogue which identifies the most influential people and organizations shaping life in the country, then involves them in a series of one-on-one conversations about the social and political developmental levels of the country, threats to the country, and evaluations of the trustworthiness of the other influencers. It reveals corruption and saboteurs to the public, but perhaps of more valule, it unveils potentials for collaboration not previously realized. It also holds us accountable to the whole of the country, rather than just the co-op members. The conversation helps the country design its own goals and its own path to achieve them. It indicates practical next steps. It puts the design of development squarely in the hands of the people who will live and die by its success, who must live with its results. Our co-op fits itself into the larger country goals as established within the Sovereignty Accelerator.
2) The project works with a country expert economist. The Sovereignty Accelerator is built on public perceptions, not experts. We also work with experts to identify the economic chokeholds and potentials as they see them. We prefer to work with a Georgia economist in Georgia and a Ukrainian economist in Ukraine.
In every part of what we do we only provide frameworks which can be used by a country to build its own dreams and future. We do not come in as outside experts telling them what they need. There are several anticipated benefits:
1) One of the most dangerous transitions is from a dictatorship to democracy. The cultural leap is too difficult. Our system allows for practical step by step transitions at a pace the country chooses.
2) Georgia has experienced a series of revolutions, usually replacing a corrupt or inept administration with another of equal or worse quality. Even when some seem promising the general level of country corruption is such that governance is difficult and frustrating. These systems engage a broad spectrum of civil society, lets them design shared goals and a path to reach them, then holds them responsible to enact it. Governance becomes a matter of facilitating progress rather than struggling for control. Civil wars become unnecessary unless there is a true mismatch in values between the government and the population.
3) These projects enhance civic pride, but are a firewall against nationalism because they promote cooperation across all races, ethnicities, and classes within the country. Further, they benefit from cooperative agreements with other countries using the same system. Assistance to members in another country is actually beneficial to the membership of the originating country.
IMTD also has another program that is likely to supplement these programs in Georgia and Ukraine, but is vital to rebuilding especially post-conflict countries. Tents is not an acronym. The name recognizes the liminal spaces set aside for consideration of deeper things. IMTD is perhaps the only organization capable of taking on mass trauma on a national or large group scale. Some do memorial projects, but without the process that makes it meaningful. Most do trauma work one person or small group at a time. I have included a concept note written for USAID to be done in Yemen as an example of how that could be done in a post-civil war setting, but other traumas manifest frequently which tend to fragment societies, making shared goals and collaboration difficult. Considering the repeated violence in Georgia since separating from the Soviet Union, and the on-going in Crimea we anticipate a real need for this service in Georgia and Ukraine.
AMBASSADOR JOHN W. MCDONALD PEACEBUILDING CLINIC
In Spring 2016, with the initiative of former Executive Director Adam Zemans, the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) launched the Ambassador John W. McDonald Peacebuilding Clinic, a cutting-edge clinical model for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CAR), named for CEO and retired Ambassador John W. McDonald’s legacy. The Clinic’s mission is to teach peacebuilding in a way that provides a holistic bridge between the theory and practice of conflict resolution work. Based off of best practices in clinical education in the legal, medical, and social work fields, the Clinic convenes graduate students, professors, NGO practitioners, and funders in order to promote more effective and efficient conflict prevention and transformation.
The need for clinical education in peacebuilding arises from the wide gap between theory and practice in the field, and, consequently, between academia and on-the-ground organizations seeking to prevent and transform conflicts. As such, our Clinic model provides Conflict Analysis and Resolution students with experiential learning opportunities unprecedented in the field of peacebuilding. We seek to bridge these growing gaps between students and practitioners, scholarly and experiential learning, and life as a student and that of a young professional.
IMTD’s Clinical Education program aims to provide the theoretical and operational framework for the Clinic. We have formed partnerships as part of IMTD’s Climate Change and Human Security team’s efforts in the Lake Titicaca and Lake Angostura region. These partnerships will be key in integrating community-based knowledge into the Clinic as well as academic perspectives and understandings.
As we build upon these partnerships, the foundation of clinical education, and best practices, we hope to develop a robust model for a curriculum that will continue to grow with the help of other higher education institutions in the Washington, D.C. area, such as George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Our future goals entail housing a for-credit, one semester course consisting of 12-16 graduate students centering on multi-disciplinary CAR methods for peacebuilding. Going forward, we intend to formalize our curriculum goals, continue to foster partnerships with organizations and institutions, and potentially develop a model for a two-semester educational experience.