The UNITAR Peace Funder campaign aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all
As the training arm of the United Nations, UNITAR is committed to spearheading dynamic and creative educational methods, channeling technological advancements and pedagogical innovations into effective adult learning solutions. On 2 April 2018, UNITAR is kicking off its first ever bottom-up crowdfunding campaign, UNITAR Peace Funder, which enables selected professionals from all regions of the world to enhance their applicable knowledge and technical skills, further consolidating their ability to act as peacebuilders and changemakers.
Over the past decade, UNITAR has developed an extensive expertise in the delivery of online programmes. Using the Internet as a medium, students, practitioners and scholars are brought together in a unique virtual learning environment designed to valorise experiential and collaborative learning. Since 2013, the Institute has been collaborating with leading higher education institutions, offering high-quality post-graduate programmes that engage students in exploring social, economic, environmental, and political trends and issues.
UNITAR Master’s programmes and independent courses are tailored for professionals working within the framework of international and regional organizations, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations. Through close collaborations with academics and experts at the forefront of their fields, students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to address issues in the areas of Conflictology, Electoral Policy and Administration, Humanitarian Action and Peacebuilding, and United Nations and the Art of Peace.
Acknowledging the interlinkages and synergies between high quality education and the achievement of the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular that of “peace, justice and strong institutions” (SDG16), UNITAR strives to expand the number of scholarships available to students from developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, African countries, and post-conflict countries, for enrolment in higher education. The scholars chosen for the UNITAR Peace Funder campaign have the opportunity to finance their Master’s degree’s fee by raising many small amounts of money in a timespan of six months from a large number of people, including family, friends, colleagues, and beyond.
This alternative financing method allows qualified individuals with pre-existing professional experience in peace- and development-related fields to fill targeted capacity gaps, reinforcing their ability to have a positive impact on their personal and professional environment. Facilitating access to UNITAR’s high quality education programmes also empowers the beneficiaries to subsequently diffuse their newfound capabilities and lessons learned within their communities. UNITAR hopes to enable the scholars to make positive contributions to policymaking in their countries, effectively creating a global network of like-minded peace multiplicators using UNITAR as an interface for enhanced exchange and cooperation.
By mainstreaming the use of crowdfunding as an alternative, bottom-up financing method among international organizations, UNITAR aspires to pioneer a more accessible, inclusive and community-based fundraising model, diversifying and democratizing its donor base. In this setting, crowdfunding is not merely about generating additional income – it is a vehicle for awareness raising, a platform for dialogue, a social capital enabler, a mechanism to scale up and expand impactful activities. It is an inspiring illustration of the myriad of ways in which the international community can support peacemakers and peacebuilders everywhere, in line with its long-standing commitment to reaching the furthest first and leaving no one behind.
The actual crowdfunding campaign begins on 2 April 2018. Stay tuned for more information on the campaign, and get ready to support our inspiring scholars!