Remembering David Petrasek

It is a deep sadness for all of us at the DPI to have lost our dear friend and colleague David Petrasek, who died in Canada on Tuesday the 12th Of May 2020. Our hearts and thoughts go out to David’s family and to his many other friends all over the world.

David has been on the Board of the DPI since we started in 2011. That hardly begins to describe the value of his contribution. His profound knowledge (we’d often think, what didn’t he know?) and calm wisdom have been a constant and invaluable feature of our work.

It is easy for us to see why he was so loved and highly regarded by his students at the University of Ottawa. None of us could spend any time in David’s company without gently absorbing something new or seeing some question from a valuable new perspective.

But more even than his tremendous and dedicated work for the DPI, we remember the sheer pleasure of his company. Despite his huge range of other activities, whenever he was with us at the DPI, we were his people and the DPI was his sharp focus. David was the most engaging and humorous friend and colleague.

We were delighted when he was able to join us last June for DPI meetings and a get-together in Ljulbjana. He was the same David we had come to love over many years – for some of us, happily, longer than just the 9 years with the DPI. Lively, energetic, funny, wise. A truly devoted friend of the DPI. All of us here remember David with huge affection, and always will. A great man.

What We Do

The Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) is an independent non-governmental organisation established in consultation with international experts in conflict resolution and democratic advancement. DPI seeks to promote peace and democracy building through strengthened public dialogue and engagement. We provide a unique programme model which combines theoretical foundations and expertise-sharing with practical approaches such as conferences and other platforms for exchange. Our work is supported by a Council of Experts composed of preeminent international specialists spanning from policy experts to academics and human rights practitioners.

We aim to broaden bases for public involvement in promoting peace and democracy. Our unique model combines expertise and research with practical inclusive platforms for dialogue.

Our Key Themes

Our Focus Areas

Our work is divided into five focus areas of activity. We aim to: Provide inclusive platforms for dialogue through roundtable meetings, with the aim of broadening the bases of support for a peaceful solution process and democratic advancement across all sectors of society. Facilitate collaborative expertise sharing by encouraging participants to focus their attention on commonalities with other conflicts, rather than their own differences. This unique model helps establish an environment in which potential solutions can be explored with conflict transformation experts who have practical experience of relevant subjects, and in which bridges are built between different sides of a conflict. Build capacity through mentoring, by carrying out private diplomacy activities, providing targeted advice and by creating safe spaces for key actors and institutions to engage in learning opportunities relating to conflict transformation, including governance issues and human rights. Strengthen knowledge through assessment and analysis of the complex dynamics at work in the conflict and share potential solutions with stakeholders and the broader public with the aim that it will contribute to a long-lasting political resolution to conflict. Promote the indivisibility of human rights, advance the rule of law and defend the rights of some of society’s most vulnerable individuals, groups and minorities, thereby safeguarding future generations from further human rights abuses.

Organisational Values

The Democratic Progress Institute was founded on the principles of inclusive dialogue and open exchange of knowledge to promote peace, democracy and human rights. Our work is rooted in our deeply held values of respect and equality, through which we seek to foster strong relationships and an environment in which new ideas and established expertise can together progress democracy. At every level of our work and organisation, we are committed to professionalism, integrity and impartiality.

Latest News

PRESS RELEASE –  Tirana Earthquake and the DPI Roundtable Meeting 

Albania 25th -28th of November 2019

The Democratic Progress Institute (DPI), organised a roundtable discussion in Tirana, Albania, with our advisers and experts, to examine and assess the current political situation in Turkey and the region. Regrettably, in the early hours of 26th November, the biggest earthquake in the region for 40 years happened. Although sadly there were deaths and injuries in Albania from what was a strong Richter 6.4 earthquake, we are pleased that all our guests and members of staff were spared any physical injuries.

It was decided that the programme was cut short to ensure the safety of the participants and the staff. There has been a quite short session that day. The planned overall discussion which is a part of a larger series of activities in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey” will continue in the New Year.

In the meantime, all our thoughts are with the families of all those who lost their lives and others who have been affected by the earthquake.

Yeshim Harris
Chief Operating Officer
Democratic Progress Institute

PRESS RELEASE –  COMPARATIVE STUDY VISIT: Bringing a process back on track: Lessons Learnt from the South Africa experience

Pretoria and Cape Town, 9-16 June 2019

The Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) will, as planned, carry out a second Comparative Study Visit (CSV) in South Africa over the next 8 days that brings together a diverse group of participants from across Turkey’s many constituencies.


Follow Up: Youth engagement in conflict resolution processes CSV


On 9th March 2019, in a follow up to DPI’s August 2018 Youth engagement in conflict resolution processes CSV to Dublin and Belfast, the participants from Tenzile Erdoğan Anatolian Imam Hatip High School organized a meeting on Conflict Resolution during which they shared their reflections on the CSV and the role of youth in the Northern Ireland conflict resolution process. 


Follow Us On Twitter


Watch More...

Contact Us

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message

11 Guilford Street London WC1N 1DH
Tel: +44 0207 405 3835

Nearest tube: Russell Square (Picadilly line),
Chancery Lane (Central line)