A certain level of sensitivity to different forms of violence is a precondition for working on the topic of Peacebuilding. If the participants have not done the workshop aimed at sensitising them to violence, then that should be the first step.

There can be different objectives for the Peacebuilding workshop, but some of the main ones are: better understanding about what constitutes peacebuilding, better understanding of values and principles, developing a culture of criticism and self-criticism, creating space for better understanding of others and promoting nonviolence.

Workshop Example



What Tells Us That We Are (Not) Living in Peace? What Could Lead to a New War?

Type of exercise: Work in small groups, presentations in plenary

Duration: 40 minutes

Materials: Flipchart paper, markers


Exercise description

Split into three groups. Each group is tasked with preparing a wall newspaper about one of the following topics:

  • What tells us that we are living in peace?
  • What tells us that we are not living in peace?
  • What could lead to a new war?

They have 20 minutes. Then they present their work in the plenary.


Alternative version of the exercise

Instead of splitting up into small groups, wall newspapers can be prepared collectively for each of the three topics.


Large barometer: Peacebuilding

Type of exercise: Large barometer

Duration: 60–90 minutes

Materials: Prepared pieces of paper with statements (see exercise description)


Exercise description

The large barometer method

The poles of the barometer are “Is peacebuilding” and “Is not peacebuilding”.

Some statements and social phenomena for the barometer:

    1. The return of refugees
    2. Religious institutions
    3. Emphasising your national identity
    4. Capital punishment
    5. NATO bombing of Serbia and Montenegro
    6. ICTY
    7. KFOR
    8. Feminism
    9. Alternative civilian service
    10. Trying war criminals in their own countries
    11. Abortion
    12. Legalising soft drugs
    13. Censorship of the media
    14. Better to deal with KFOR tanks than Serb policemen
    15. Gay/lesbian marriages
    16. Gay/lesbian couples adopting children
    17. Peace activism
    18. 51% women in politics
    19. Arming for defence
    20. International community
    21. Patriotism
    22. Humanitarian aid
    23. Dayton Agreement
    24. Privatisation – a step towards Europe
    25. Female pilot, female psychologist, female judge, female president, female miner, female minister, female locksmith, female mayor…
    26. Introducing religious instruction in schools
    27. Rebuilding the Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka
    28. National flag on a church steeple
    29. Better living standard
    30. Positive discrimination (affirmative action)
    31. Non-governmental organisations – NGOs
    32. Globalisation
    33. Tradition
    34. The Chinese
    35. The Americans
    36. Equality of women in the military
    37. Revision of Second World War history
    38. White Armbands” action in Prijedor
    39. Peace activists at a commemoration for military casualties



We usually pick 10 statements for a group of 20 participants. Each statement is printed twice so that everyone has an opportunity to put at least one statement on the barometer. Often the same statement ends up in different positions on the barometer.


My Definition of Peace

Type of exercise: Individual work, presentations in plenary

Duration: 30 minutes

Materials: Different coloured paper, felt-tip pens


Exercise description

Everyone in the group writes their definition of peace on a different coloured piece of paper. Then a “colourful sea” of paper is made on the floor and everyone reads.


Wall Newspaper: Why is Peacebuilding Needed in My Society?

Duration: 15–20 minutes