Peacebuilding and international development have historically functioned as separate areas of practice, but increasingly, scholars and practitioners recognize the intrinsic link between the two sectors, and agree that social, economic, and political development are unsustainable in societies with violent conflict. Nearly two-thirds of development programs operate within conflict-affected countries. Addressing the basic needs within these communities is imperative. Efforts to strengthen the links between peacebuilding and development, and the adoption of conflict-sensitive approaches to development have important implications for the design and implementation of development assistance policies and programs. The best practice in both fields is to work at multiple levels, using participatory, consultative methods to link grassroots with higher level perspectives. Fairness and inclusion are critical to both development and peacebuilding processes and outcomes.
"Only by securing development can we put down roots deep enough to break the cycle of fragility and violence." - Robert Zoellick
Donald Steinberg is President & CEO of World Learning, an international nonprofit organization that provides education, exchange, and development programs in more than 60 countries. He has more than 35 years of experience with government and nongovernmental organizations, and expertise in international relations and development.
Until recently Steinberg was Deputy Administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Areas of focus included the Middle East and Africa; organizational reforms under USAID Forward; inclusion of women, people with disabilities, LGBT persons, and other marginalized groups in development; and expanded dialogue with development partners.
Steinberg served as Director of the State Department’s Joint Policy Council, White House deputy press secretary, National Security Council senior director for African Affairs, special Haiti coordinator, U.S. Ambassador to Angola, and the President’s Special Representative for Humanitarian De-mining. He was also Deputy President for Policy at the International Crisis Group, a Randolph Jennings senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and has advised the Women's Refugee Commission, the U.N. Development Fund for Women, the U.N. Civil Society Advisory Group for Women, Peace and Security, and the Institute for Inclusive Security.
He is the author of more than 100 articles on foreign policy, African developments, gender issues, post-conflict reconstruction, children and armed conflict, and disarmament, for outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, Guardian, The Nation, and the International Herald Tribune. He holds master’s degrees in journalism from Columbia University and political economy from the University of Toronto, and a bachelor's degree from Reed College.
Steinberg's honors include the Presidential Meritorious Honor Award, the Frasure Award for International Peace, the Hunt Award for Women in Policy Formulation, the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship, the State Department and USAID Distinguished Service Awards, and six State Department Superior Honor Awards.
Sandra Djuvara Melone is Executive Vice President of Search for Common Ground. Prior to becoming EVP, Sandra founded the Women's Peace Centre in Burundi; and established and ran SFCG’s European headquarters in Brussels. Sandra is a founding member of the European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation (EPCPT); of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO); and of the Child Soldiers Initiative (CSI) - on whose steering committees she served. She served on the Board of the International Federation of Associations in Belgium (FAIB); and as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP).