post / 10 November 2021

IFIT and Ford Foundation Announce Launch of Global Initiative on Polarization

NOVEMBER 11, 2021 | New York and Barcelona – The Institute for Integrated Transitions in collaboration with the Ford Foundation today launched the Global Initiative on Polarization

Through interdisciplinary research, global convenings, and applied work in selected focus countries, the initiative will examine practice-relevant strategies and challenges at the nexus of polarization, conflict and social justice. 

“Polarization is a critical global challenge of our time, but we are only at the beginning of understanding the types of interventions best suited to preventing or reducing its most severe and conflict-generating forms,” said Hilary Pennington, Executive Vice-President of Programs at the Ford Foundation. “We hope this unique collaboration will help civil society leaders and organizations better sustain their work to build more just and inclusive societies.”

The Global Initiative on Polarization not only will provide a deeper understanding of polarization through an international lens, but will also serve as a springboard for future work in this complex yet critical area, allowing for a broad alliance of actors to engage in coordination, strategy formation and joint problem solving on cross-cutting challenges of polarization. 

“Among other things, this collaboration seeks to contribute to the body of knowledge on promising and realistic strategies for combating extreme forms of polarization in both democratic and non-democratic settings”, says Mark Freeman, Executive Director of the Institute for Integrated Transitions. “We also want to help advance understanding of the diversity of underlying drivers of polarization, including deeply-embedded social and political narratives, while charting relevant criteria and metrics for effective interventions at both micro and macro levels.”

Over the next four years, the initiative will encompass global landscape analysis of the major actors and projects in the field; regular convenings that bring together diverse experts and stakeholders around key dilemmas and controversies; “learning by doing” exercises in selected countries; and the development of an interactive resource hub that helps support a community of practice on polarization.

To learn more about the Global Initiative on Polarization, please visit this link.

Media Contacts

Eleanor Weber-Ballard (IFIT)
+44 781 77 77 114
[email protected]

Matthew Creegan (Ford Foundation)
[email protected]


The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization with assets currently valued at $16 billion. For more than 85 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.


The Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT) is an international NGO dedicated to helping fragile and conflict-affected states achieve more inclusive, just and sustainable negotiations and transitions out of war, crisis or repression. Drawing on a network of over 250+ leaders and experts, the institute’s core work is to serve as an expert resource on integrated policy solutions for locally-led efforts to reduce polarization, increase dialogue and break cycles of conflict. 

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