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The Trustbuilding Program's contributions to advancing SDG16


The Trustbuilding Program advances SDG16 by fostering peace, justice, and inclusion across 12 projects on four continents. 

by Talia Smith, Alena Vasilyeva and Manon Michelle Monhemius


Established in 2019 as a collaborative initiative between Initiatives of Change International (IofCI) and The Fetzer Institute, the Trustbuilding Program (TBP) aims to promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies, directly addressing Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG16). With 12 projects spanning four continents, TBP fosters cooperation, understanding, and trust among diverse communities. 

Achievements to Date

To date, the TBP has made significant strides in advancing SDG16:

Reached 16,278 people directly through various trustbuilding activities.
Trained 3,103 local leaders in conflict resolution and trustbuilding methodologies.
Contributed over 46,942 volunteer hours to community projects.

Detailed Project Contributions to SDG16

TBP Australia 

The TBP Australia project focuses on reconciliation between First Nations Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. Through truth-telling and truth-hearing processes, it acknowledges historical injustices and promotes peaceful coexistence (Target 16.3). The re-establishment of the Armagh Centre as a hub for Reconciliation, Healing, and Education, in collaboration with local councils, MPs, and corporate partners, builds effective and inclusive institutions. 

TBP Burundi 

By reconciling Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa ethnic groups, TBP Burundi addresses the root causes of conflict and fosters mutual understanding (Target 16.1). The project amplifies marginalized voices through reconciliation workshops, creating a safer environment and reducing ethnopolitical tensions.   

TBP Cameroon 

Addressing the divide between Anglophone and Francophone communities, TBP Cameroon promotes peaceful coexistence and unity. Training peacebuilding ambassadors and targeting universities, the project develops accountable leaders and safer environments for all students (Target 16.6).   

TBP France – Oui Act 

The Oui Act project in France empowers disillusioned youth by promoting civic engagement and community involvement, offering alternatives to radicalisation (Target 16.1). By addressing identity crises and frustrations, the project supports justice through trustbuilding workshops and civic initiatives.   

TBP India 

Bridging the gap between rural and urban youth, TBP India promotes mutual understanding and inclusive societies. Training teachers as trustbuilders, the project ensures sustainability and scalability, reducing stereotypes and promoting social cohesion (Target 16.10).   

TBP Indonesia 

Fostering interfaith dialogue between Christian and Muslim youth, TBP Indonesia counters violent extremism and radicalisation, promoting peaceful societies through trustbuilding initiatives (Target 16.10).   

TBP Kenya 

Addressing interfaith and interethnic tensions, TBP Kenya creates dialogue spaces to mitigate violent extremism and radicalisation. The project trains community leaders and establishes networks of trustbuilders, contributing to grassroots-level institutions (Target 16.6). 

TBP Nepal 

Promoting unity between Madhesi and Pahadi communities, TBP Nepal fosters understanding and cooperation. Engaging diverse groups, the project builds bridges and promotes social justice through inclusive participation (Target 16.7).   

TBP Nigeria 

Restoring trust between civil society and the police, TBP Nigeria addresses misconceptions and fosters collaboration. By engaging both police and community members, the project builds effective and accountable institutions (Target 16.6). 

TBP South Africa 

By addressing intergenerational traumas, TBP South Africa reduces family violence and abuse, fostering safer communities. The project provides tools for healing through workshops and dialogues (Target 16.1).   

TBP Ukraine 

Building trust between internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities, TBP Ukraine reduces tensions and promotes social integration. Collaborating with government officials and local NGOs, the project empowers local leaders and builds inclusive institutions (Target 16.6). 

Future Plans to Enhance SDG16+ Efforts

IofCI is committed to expanding the TBP to further advance SDG16. Plans include:

Increasing project countries from 12 to 13/14 by the end of the year.
Strengthening partnerships with organisations, governments, and stakeholders to enhance reach and impact.
Investing in capacity building for local teams to effectively lead trustbuilding initiatives.
Enhancing our robust monitoring and evaluation frameworks to assess impact and improve methodologies.
Launching regional initiatives to address specific challenges and promote cross-border cooperation and trust.

The TBP exemplifies how targeted, local initiatives can contribute significantly to SDG16 by promoting peace, justice, and inclusive societies. We play our part in the broader conflict prevention agenda by addressing this goal. Through continuous expansion and enhancement of its projects, the TBP aims to create a more just, peaceful, and inclusive world.