The potential outreach for healthcare is perhaps one of the industry’s greatest facets for promoting peacebuilding.

The Institute for Economics & Peace believes that healthcare professionals can play a vital role in promoting Positive Peace within their communities by using their expertise, influence and positions of trust to carry out effective healthcare services which are regularly enhanced when aligned with the eight Pillars of Positive Peace.

Considering the outreach of peacebuilding and health initiatives

When we consider the aspects of modern-day healthcare, health initiatives have the potential for affective peacebuilding in a range of settings. The potential outreach for healthcare is perhaps one of the industry’s greatest facets as the trust, care and knowledge we often associate with healthcare professionals is enough to overlook interpersonal barriers often determined by culture, language and religion. Furthermore, this has the potential to extend healthcare and its peacebuilding potential from hospitals and communities to conflict areas, poverty-stricken regions and areas recovering from natural disasters.

Engaging healthcare initiatives with the Pillars of Positive Peace

There are a range of ways in which Healthcare can engage with Positive Peace. The process of doing so enhances the role of healthcare professionals, as we consider their ability to aid in the building of peaceful societies. By engaging healthcare initiatives with the interconnected Pillars of Positive Peace, we can see the potential for healthcare as a peacebuilder in a range of settings:

Promoting health and well-being (Well-functioning Government)

Empowering communities, especially those in conflict, with preventive health education by encouraging government incentives towards the maintenance of healthy lifestyles and addressing the causes of health issues.

Encouraging cultural understanding and competence (Good Relations with Neighbours)

Regulating an appropriate understanding of cultures through respecting diversity in backgrounds, views and beliefs of all members of the community being served. Healthcare professionals have the ability to address the importance of the non-discriminatory provision of services whilst bridging cultural gaps and barriers between community members.

Building trust, cooperation and community engagement (High Levels of Human Capital)

Healthcare representatives regularly maintain high levels of trust, which is strengthened by active cooperation and engagement in the community. Some examples is through involvement in community-based events, initiatives and committees.

Resolving Conflict (Acceptance of the Rights of Others)

Often subject to tense and confronting situations, healthcare professionals apply effective conflict resolution skills to de-escalate situations.

Increasing community knowledge and awareness (Free Flow of Information)

Healthcare professionals have the power to share information regarding the extent to which conflict can impact health. As a result, communities can regulate an empathetic and informed societal approach towards health issues.

Advocating for nonviolence and peace (Low Levels of Corruption)

Healthcare settings can promote the use of nonviolent communication and conflict resolution dialogue, whilst providing resources for individuals, groups and family to understand peaceful dispute resolution.

Providing healthcare for all in need (Equitable Distribution of Resources)

Healthcare should not be a matter of affordability; peacebuilding initiatives drive the notion that healthcare should be accessible to poverty and disaster-stricken areas, where resources are usually dire.

Encouraging safety, non-discrimination and wellbeing in the workplace (Sound Business Environment)

Healthcare professionals have the ability to educate others on the importance of ensuring a safe and ergonomically sound workplace where discrimination is non-existent, and the mental health of employees is prioritised.


As peace continues to deteriorate particularly in areas around the world where climate, terrorism, war and poverty have forced civilians into despair, healthcare looks to withhold the greatest potential for future peacebuilding. IEP’s eight Pillars of Positive Peace portray how actions for peace can shape health initiatives, in order to make the work of health professionals applicable across a range of international settings.


Download the Positive Peace Report 2022.

Positive Peace Report 2022


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Jack Ellis

Communications Assistant

Vision of Humanity

Vision of Humanity is brought to you by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), by staff in our global offices in Sydney, New York, The Hague, Harare and Mexico. Alongside maps and global indices, we present fresh perspectives on current affairs reflecting our editorial philosophy.