CRIS has drawn on its experience of working with schools across decades as well as its current pioneering practice to distil core principles about the role of schools in peacebuilding work. While CRIS has developed these principles from practice, academic theory also reinforces why this is an important approach (see section Links to Academic Peacebuilding Research). Together they inform principles which underpin the GRACE model and the work of CRIS.
The GRACE model is a relationship-focused five stage model of collaboration which builds durable and ductile interdependent relationships, fosters mutual understanding and builds capacity for meaningful and sustainable sharing with the education sector. GRACE is not a linear model- and it retains high sensitivity to context. At times, schools and communities may move in and out of several of its five stages. Working through the difference stages of this model can support the development of strong collaborative partnerships, can support school improvement, enhance the professional and personal development of all school staff, and build bridges into local communities.