Search for Common Ground

Search for Common Ground

(1982; Washington + 35 regional offices; ~600 staff;

A peacebuilding organization that uses a method called conflict transformation. Tries to “change the everyday interactions between groups of people in conflict, so they can work together to build up their community, choosing joint problem-solving over violence.” Active in over 30 countries worldwide with a team consisting mostly of local experts (83%). Video and radio media reaches over 50 million people in 21 countries every year. Focuses predominantly on Africa, the Middle East and Asia in that order.
Works with artists, children and youth, media professionals, military and police, political leaders, prisoners, religious leaders, and women.
Projects deal with conflict sensitivity; disarmament, demobilization and re-integration; fair and responsible media; gender equality; governance democracy and elections; religious engagement; natural resource conflict; reconciliation; refugee and internal displacement issues; security sector reform; sexual and gender violence; violent extremism.


  • Dialogue, e.g. mediation, training youth leaders, back channel diplomacy;
  • Media, e.g. documentaries, video reports, TV dramas, call-in radio shows and music videos
  • Community, e.g. soccer matches, participatory theater, shared farming projects.
  • Co-organizes the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum. A monthly platform in Washington that aims to (1) provide information from a wide variety of perspectives; (2) explore possible solutions to complex conflicts; and (3) provide a secure venue for stakeholders from various disciplines to engage in cross-sector and multi-track problem-solving.


Leadership: Shamil Idriss (CEO), Isam Ghanim (President), John Marks (Founder)

Budget: $45.5m (2017)

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