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Abstract or Description

The FACE Peace Initiative at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice intends to help peacebuilders answer questions about in-person and online collaboration with intention and care. This design brief combines desk research on best practices from other fields with observation of peacebuilding organizations to identify key debates and concerns and provide insight into how to navigate trade-offs between in-person and distanced peacebuilding activities and events.

Peacebuilding organizations often attempt to gather members of the field into “communities of practice” (“CoPs”), which intend to increase skills and knowledge among members through long-term information-sharing and reciprocal mentorship. Facilitators of practice communities in peacebuilding and other fields frequently complain that the community falls moribund over time.

This FACE Peace design brief considers the question of practice community success from the perspective of hybrid work and the tensions peacebuilders have come to feel between digital and in-person interactions in a truly global field.

What does in-person interaction between practice community members accomplish? When are these benefits essential for success? When are they simply “nice to have”? What are the best ways to recreate the benefits of in-person meetings at a distance? Are there benefits only distanced work can provide?

Answers depend in part on the goals, constraints and characteristics of the practice community. This design brief offers insights on two related questions. First, how should the facilitators of practice communities decide what happens in person and what happens at a distance? Second, how can facilitators administer the in-person and online aspects of their practice communities to maximum effect?

Publication Date


Document Type



peacebuilding, hybrid work, virtual, online


Peace and Conflict Studies

FACE Peace Design Brief #1: Communities of Practice On/Offline