Social Cohesion

In depth

Key initiatives within the Social Cohesion Programme include supporting the Government of Iraq toward an inclusive national strategy for social cohesion, capacity development for youth groups, women groups, and Community-Based Organizations, institutionalizing peace education in universities, working with media professionals on conflict-sensitive journalism, supporting public advocacy campaigns, and facilitating conflict analysis to inform policy and programming.  

Prior to the launch of Support for Social Cohesion in Iraq, multiple social cohesion activities were conducted by UNDP under the Support for Integrated Reconciliation in Iraq Project, as well as projects by other pillars, including the Funding Facility for Stabilization and the Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme. These projects form the basis for further activities related to social cohesion that will occur from 2020 to 2024 as part of the new integrated project.

'I accept others' - A student from Iraq's first Diploma for Peace and Conflict Studies shares a message of peace. 

What we have achieved

  • Following the two-year-long development of a university diploma programme in Peace and Conflict Studies by academics from Baghdad, Tikrit, Anbar, Basra, Karbala, Kufa and Mosul universities, 44 students have graduated from the course to date.
  • Developed 21 Community-Based Initiatives. Community centers have received support and outreach has targeted religious leaders to develop capacities in mediation, tolerance, and acceptance. 
  • Trained 59 Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) on social cohesion and peace initiatives and proposal writing. 
  • Awarded grants to 12 CBOs for initiatives that enhance mutual understanding and togetherness within and among communities, reaching more than 2,600 people.
  • Local peace agreements have been finalized, resulting in the reintegration of over 3,300 perceived ISIL-affiliated families
  • Roundtable discussions on reconciliation have been held with journalists, youth and social media influencers, and young media professional forums occurred in Al Anbar and Mosul.
  • A citizen journalism program was launched in December 2020, with participation of 120 young journalists, bloggers and activists.
  • 20 Social Cohesion Champions have been selected from around Iraq to spread messages of peace and awareness within their communities. Champions will also design and implement their own community initiatives.


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