Policy briefs

Policy briefs

These are policy-relevant materials that present evidence-based research and analysis and summarize a particular issue.  They include a discussion of policy options and often offer some recommendations on the best option or options.

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TitleAuthorsSubject KeywordsAbstractLinkCountry Name
Incremental Inclusivity in Peace Processes: Lessons LearntAndreas Schädel and Véronique DudouetProject Evaluation, Inclusive Peace ProcessesThis policy brief provides evidence-based lessons learnt and recommendations on the timing, sequencing and modalities of inclusion of nonsignatory armed groups and civil society actors in peace processes. It aims to inform a strategic understanding on how to design and implement peace processes that are effective in bringing about an inclusive political, economic and social transformation. In particular, it draws on a comparative assessment of ‘incremental inclusion’ approaches for nonsignatory armed groups and civil society actors during the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements in Afghanistan, Colombia, Mali and Myanmar.https://berghof-foundation.org/library/incremental-inclusivity-in-peace-processes-key-lessons-learntWorldwide
Breaking the Silos: Pragmatic National Approaches to PreventionPaige Arthur, Céline MonnierEarly Warning, Locally-led Peacemaking Initiatives, Inclusive Peacebuilding
Through the twin resolutions on sustaining peace, member states have agreed on the relevance of a cross-pillar approach to prevention. Now the challenge lies in implementation. One place to look for positive examples is at country level, where governments tend to have a more pragmatic and less “siloed” approach to prevention, addressing the different risk factors simultaneously. In this policy briefing, we draw on examples from Côte d’Ivoire and Timor-Leste to illustrate how countries have developed integrated actions on prevention that cut across sectors, including security, development, and human rights. We then highlight options for the UN to better support these strategies
through cross-pillar approaches and identify practical ways forward for
governments implementing prevention approaches.
https://cic.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/pragmatic_national_approaches_to_prevention_final_august_31_web.pdfTimor-Leste
Building Peace from the Margins: Borderlands, Brokers and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka and NepalJonathan Goodhand, Markus Mayer, Oliver WaltonWar-peace transitions, Borderland brokersThis policy brief draws on findings from a two-year collaborative research project on the role of borderland regions in war to peace transitions in Sri Lanka and Nepal. The research examines political and economic changes in ‘post-war’ transition from the perspective of state margins, and, by doing so, it inverts the top-down, centrist orientation that informs post-war peacebuilding and development policy.https://www.international-alert.org/publications/building-peace-margins/Nepal
Trust-Building in Security and Rule of Law Partnerships: Risks, Biases and Knowledge GapsKaroline Eickhoff, Viktoria BuddeRule of Law, SecurityThis policy brief investigates underlying assumptions at the policy level on how trust comes about in Security and Rule of Law (SRoL) partnerships. Drawing on a policy review and interviews, it identifies two prevalent ‘Theories of Change’ as causal pathways for SRoL programs towards enhancing citizens’ trust in security-related state institutions. It then critically reflects on these causal assumptions, considering recent advancements in trust research from various disciplines. Based on analysis, it provides recommendations on how to better reflect trust and trust-building in SRoL policies and programming.https://berghof-foundation.org/library/trust-building-in-security-and-rule-of-law-partnershipsWorldwide
People’s Perceptions of Peace Accord Implementation in Colombia: Comparing Attitudes among the Conflict-Affected PopulationHelga Malmin BinningsbøPeace Agreement, Inclusive Peacebuilding, Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DM&E)
​November 2021 marked the fifth year of the 15-year implementation period of the Colombian peace accord. The ambitious accord aims to end violence, reduce poverty, and increase the well-being of the rural population through the establishment of 16 regions targeted for peace accord implementation (Programas de Desarrollo con Enfoque Territorial, PDETs). To succeed, peacebuilding in Colombia must bring tangible benefits to the people in the PDETs and ensure their continued support. This policy brief presents preliminary results from two survey waves of 12,000 respondents in the PDETs, examining whether the most conflict-affected populations think the implementation of the accord is achieving its aims.
https://www.prio.org/publications/12879Colombia
Breaking the Silos: Pragmatic National Approaches to PreventionPaige Arthur, Céline MonnierEarly Warning, Locally-led Peacemaking Initiatives, Inclusive Peacebuilding
Through the twin resolutions on sustaining peace, member states have agreed on the relevance of a cross-pillar approach to prevention. Now the challenge lies in implementation. One place to look for positive examples is at country level, where governments tend to have a more pragmatic and less “siloed” approach to prevention, addressing the different risk factors simultaneously. In this policy briefing, we draw on examples from Côte d’Ivoire and Timor-Leste to illustrate how countries have developed integrated actions on prevention that cut across sectors, including security, development, and human rights. We then highlight options for the UN to better support these strategies
through cross-pillar approaches and identify practical ways forward for
governments implementing prevention approaches.
https://cic.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/pragmatic_national_approaches_to_prevention_final_august_31_web.pdfCote D'Ivoire
Organized Crime in Mali: Why it Matters for a Peaceful Transition from ConflictLuca Raineri, Chiara GallettiOrganized crime, institutional fragilityInadequate governance, institutional fragility and widespread insecurity are both consequences and causes of the expansion of criminal activities. The impact of their proliferation is key to understanding the current – and endemic – instability affecting Mali. Yet, to date, there is little indication that policy strategies put forward by the Malian government, as well as by its international partners, are learning from the past to engage with the issue of organised crime as a threat to peace and security. This policy brief aims to help address this gap. Understanding how crime impacts on the achievement of development goals, on conflict risks, and on mounting fragility and safety threats is indeed crucial for building long-lasting and sustainable peace in Mali.https://www.international-alert.org/publications/organised-crime-mali/Mali
Identity, Gender, and Conflict Drivers in PakistanJumaina SiddiquiGender, Identity and Conflict, Conflict Prevention
Based on a study conducted in the Pakistani town of Haripur that investigated children’s attitudes toward identity, this Peace Brief finds that identity-based divides are in fact not the primary drivers of conflict at the community level, but notes the continuing salience of gender identity, which produces differing social expectations and differing understandings of conflict resolution roles.
https://www.usip.org/publications/2017/03/identity-gender-and-conflict-drivers-pakistanPakistan
From Militants to Policemen: Three Lessons from U.S. Experience with DDR and SSRAlison Laporte-OshiroDemobilization, Disarmament, Reintegration (DDR), Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, Governance: Transition
Consolidating the legitimate use of force in the hands of the state is a vital first step in post-conflict peacebuilding. Transitional governments must move quickly to neutralize rival armed groups and provide a basic level of security for citizens. Two processes are vital to securing a monopoly of force: disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration and security sector reform. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) involve disbanding armed groups that challenge the government’s monopoly of force. Security sector reform (SSR) means reforming and rebuilding the national security forces so that they are professional and accountable. U.S. experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo yielded three crosscutting lessons: go in heavy, tackle DDR and SSR in tandem, and consolidate U.S. capacity to implement both tasks in a coordinated, scalable way.https://www.usip.org/publications/2011/11/militants-policemen-three-lessons-us-experience-ddr-and-ssrWorldwide
Climate-Related Security Risks and Peacebuiliding in MaliFarah Hegazi, Florian Krampe, Elizabeth Seymour SmithClimate and peacebuiliding, Climate change, Climate-related risksClimate-related security risks are transforming the security landscape in which multilateral peacebuilding efforts are taking place. Following a similar assessment of Somalia conducted in 2019, this study offers another glimpse into the future of peacebuilding in the time of climate change by providing an in-depth assessment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). To help future peacebuilding efforts become more climate sensitive, the study aims to produce practical knowledge on: (a) how climate change in Mali is challenging the successful implementation of MINUSMA’s mandate; and (b) how MINUSMA has taken the challenges stemming from climate change into account in its ongoing operations. Mali is experiencing a multidimensional crisis, triggered by a rebellion in the north of the country in 2012. The northern and central regions are currently the most affected by violence and insecurity. Socio-economic exclusion, poor governance in peripheral areas and competition over natural resources are among the complex set of root causes of the current conflict. Combined with weak governance, climate change is further undermining people’s human security. The dependence on natural resources for livelihoods makes large segments of the population in Mali vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which are reshaping the social, political and economic context, and thereby potentially amplifying local grievances and marginalization.https://www.sipri.org/publications/2021/sipri-policy-papers/climate-related-security-risks-and-peacebuilding-maliMali
National Dialogues: A Tool for Conflict Transformation?Susan Stigant; Elizabeth MurrayDialogue, Peace Processes: Strategies, FacilitationNational dialogue is an increasingly popular tool for conflict resolution and political transformation. It can broaden debate regarding a country’s trajectory beyond the usual elite decision makers; however, it can also be misused and manipulated by leaders to consolidate their power. This brief includes principles to strengthen national dialogue processes and considerations for international actors seeking to support these processes.
https://www.usip.org/publications/2015/10/national-dialogues-tool-conflict-transformationWorldwide
Corporate Strategies to Assist Post-Conflict Peacebuilding in ColombiaAngelika Rettberg, Daniel Medina, Jason MiklianPrivate Sector and Peacebuilding, Economics and Conflict, Fragility​Colombia’s transition to a post-conflict country has brought security gains and economic benefits to many parts of the country. However, this transition has come amidst political polarization, state weakness, and continuing illicit economies. In this brief, we discuss how the private sector has reacted to this changing political and economic environment. We present lessons learned from our research, confirming that the “logic of the firm” takes different shapes in transition from conflict to peace. We recommend that policies to promote business participation in post-conflict peacebuilding should include the identification of specific business opportunities and potential markets in the regions and economic sectors considered most promising.
https://www.prio.org/publications/11205Colombia
Role of Provincial and Local Government in Reparation: Addressing Immediate Reparative needs of Conflict Victims in NepalInternational AlertTransitional justice, ReconciliationThe Nepal government must provide reparations as compensation for the harm caused and the trauma still being experienced by thousands of individuals and families following the aftermath of the decade long armed conflict.Reparation serves as a vehicle for acknowledging past violations and state responsibility for harms suffered by victims as well as a public commitment to respond to their enduring impact.3 Domestic reparation programs are considered to be the most effective tool for victims to receive reparation.Reparation must be “adequate, effective and prompt” building upon the principle of “full reparation”.1 Providing reparation is not just a policy choice but an obligation owed to victims as a result of an unlawful breach of international and domestic law during the conflict. Victims of gross violation of human rights and humanitarian law have a right to reparations and States have a corresponding obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill this right.2 4 It is important to note that reparation not only means compensation but measures including restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of non-recurrence.5 6 Reparation can take place as individual or collective, material or symbolic reparation, or both.7https://www.international-alert.org/publications/role-provincial-and-local-governments-reparation/Nepal
Consolidating Peace through Inclusive Access to Livelihoods in NepalPhil VernonInclusive peace, Livelihood accessImproving access to livelihoods opportunities for men and women from different identity groups is critical for peace. This is especially true in Nepal, where ethnic, religious, caste and gender-based exclusion has long been understood as a cause of conflict. Nepal is at a crucial phase in its peace process. High-level agreements have been reached, the new constitution agreed, and elections held. People are now expecting a peace dividend.https://www.international-alert.org/publications/consolidating-peace-through-inclusive-access-livelihoods-nepal/Nepal
Contributing to People's Safety and Peace in Cueibet, South SudanSafeworldIntra-communal conflict In this brief Safer World provides a context update about the current situation in Cueibet –a county in Lakes state in South Sudan. They present safety and security challenges identified by communities, authorities and civil society for all levels of government, and national/international organisations to consider. They also provide recommendations for how best to address the challenges identified such as the easy availability of weapons, cattle raiding, weak justice systems and a lack of security services to turn to.https://www.saferworld.org.uk/resources/publications/1334-contributing-to-peopleas-safety-and-peace-in-cueibet-south-sudanSouth Sudan
Aid Coordination and Delivery : Yemen Policy Note 5World BankHumanitarian Engagement, Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, FragilityThis policy note outlines options for aid coordination and delivery in Yemen. It draws on a vast amount of experiences and lessons learned from post-conflict recovery and peace building processes both in Yemen and elsewhere over the past decade.Its central message is that timely international support and targeted financial aid will be critical to the implementation of a new peace agreement in Yemen, but delivery of this support will have to be carefully designed, sequenced, and coordinated in order to overcome divisions and assist Yemen in addressing the challenges driving the cyclical nature of conflict in the country. This note highlights the importance of focusing efforts in the immediate termon sequencing and coordinating while the conflict is ongoing, and negotiations move forward to support immediate recovery programming once negotiations achieve a positive outcome. This note argues that the peace dividend, that is recovery and development, and humanitarian assistance need to be effective immediately to build peace and overcome the causes of conflict. At the same time such arrangements should strengthen national systems and capacities that are needed toeliminate poverty, promote development objectives, and help to build peace.These challenges are compounded by the fact that expectations will be extremely high during the immediate aftermath of the latest round of conflict,absorptive capacity will remain limited for years to come, and the government capacity to deliver will be hindered by its lack of access and legitimacy in certain parts of the country even following a peace agreement.https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28592Yemen
The Dynamics of Conflict, Development Assistance and Peace-Building : Sri Lanka 2000-05World BankDiplomacy, Development, Peace Processes: Implementation
Significant transformations in the socio-political and economic landscape of Sri Lanka in recent years encouraged five development partners-World Bank, Asia Foundation, and the governments of the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Sweden to collaborate on a conflict assessment in 2005. This reflects a growing trend in the development partner community of combining efforts, pooling resources, and taking advantage of comparative strengths to engage in conflict analysis exercises. The multi-donor conflict assessment revisits the underlying structures of conflict, identified in the previous conflict assessment, and explores the current dynamics of conflict factors with a particular focus on the peace process and international engagement. This note presents key findings of the assessment, in particular, the approaches supported by development partners in Sri Lanka. While this is drawn solely from the Sri Lanka experience, it is likely to have a broad relevance to many such countries. https://mars.gmu.edu/handle/1920/12779Sri-Lanka
Youth Participation in Global Governance for Sustaining Peace and Climate ActionMasooma Rahmaty and Jimena Leiva RoeschYouth, climate change, policy, frameworks, locally-ledThis issue brief outlines the synergies between the youth, peace, and security (YPS) and youth climate action agendas. It also examines the factors that contribute to young people’s exclusion from global governance, including negative misperceptions of youth, outdated policy frameworks, lack of funding, and weak links between youth and global governance fora. The paper concludes with recommendations for governments and multilateral institutions to better assess the links between youth, peace, and climate change and include young people in decision-making processes.https://www.ipinst.org/2021/04/youth-participation-in-global-governance-for-sustaining-peace-and-climate-actionWorldwide
Creating the Political Space for Prevention: How ECOWAS Supports Nationally Led StrategiesPaige Arthur, Céline MonnierMonitoring/Verification: Regional Organization, Early Warning, Citizen action
In discussions on the prevention agenda at the United Nations, member states express reservations about potential infringement upon their sovereignty. Some are concerned about an approach to prevention that entails an assessment of their vulnerabilities and risks for violent conflict. This policy brief looks at how ECOWAS has addressed similar sensitivities with its member states in West Africa and is successfully accompanying them to build nationally led, upstream prevention strategies.https://cic.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/regional_organization_final_august_29_pdf.pdfWest Africa
Incorporating Gender into UN Senior Leadership TrainingLesley Connolly, Sarah TaylorGender, Inclusive Peacebuilding, FacilitationA gender perspective provides the possibility of strengthening and nurturing the effectiveness of peacekeeping. Senior mission leadership teams can greatly benefit from training on gender policies and frameworks, as well as how to apply them in planning and field operations. Gender-sensitive training can guide senior leadership to ensure the preparedness and efficacy of peace operations, taking into account the multiple challenges and crises that such operations might bring. A gender perspective in the context of UN peace operations entails a relevance for senior leaders to effectively implement mission mandates. There are existing gender-related training and preparation techniques that can be increasingly included in the understanding and analysis of missions, which can broaden the traditionally male-dominated models of decision-making. A better grasp on gender considerations at a practical level can better inform, as well as reflect an essential factor in the approaches to senior leadership training. https://www.ipinst.org/2019/04/incorporating-gender-into-un-senior-leadership-trainingWorldwide
Creating Spaces for Effective CVE ApproachesGeorge HolmerViolent Extremism, Training, YouthUnlike other counterterrorism strategies, countering violent extremism (CVE) focuses on preventing individuals from being recruited into or joining violent extremist groups. CVE is a complex endeavor, largely because the reasons individuals become involved in extremist violence are in themselves complex and the dynamics are unique to each conflict. Using Kenya as an example, and drawing on observations from a recent visit, the author explores how promoting a more nuanced understanding of radicalization can help reach those who are at risk of being pushed and pulled into extremist violence.
https://www.usip.org/publications/2014/09/creating-spaces-effective-cve-approachesKenya
Building Peace from the Margins: Borderlands, Brokers and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka and NepalJonathan Goodhand, Markus Mayer, Oliver WaltonWar-peace transitions, Borderland brokersThis policy brief draws on findings from a two-year collaborative research project on the role of borderland regions in war to peace transitions in Sri Lanka and Nepal. The research examines political and economic changes in ‘post-war’ transition from the perspective of state margins, and, by doing so, it inverts the top-down, centrist orientation that informs post-war peacebuilding and development policy.https://www.international-alert.org/publications/building-peace-margins/Sri Lanka
Transitional Justice: What Do the People Want? Views from the ground in Guatemala, Nepal, and Northern IrelandKarin Dyrstad, Helga Malmin Binningsbø, Thandeka Brigham, Kristin M. BakkeHuman Rights: Transitional Justice, Rule of Law, Citizen action​The Guatemalan peace process from 1990 to 1996 represents an early example of the inclusion of civil society in a negotiation process. However, once included, what role could civil society play – and in this case what role was it allowed to play? Clearly, civil society had an influence on the negotiations between the government and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG), but on some sensitive and critical issues civil society was prevented from exerting pressure on the parties. This case brief looks at the ethical implications of this situation.
https://www.prio.org/publications/11155Worldwide
Creating Stability through Prevention: a Locally Driven Ebola Prevention Campaign in LiberiaPurdue Peace ProjectPublic health, EbolaIn 2014, a decade after a prolonged civil war conflict, Liberia faced the greatest Ebola outbreak in its history. Over the course of the outbreak, more than 10,500 cases were recorded in the country and the total death toll equaled more than 4,500 individuals. The Ebola crisis posed not only a public health challenge, but also a political challenge in a country where post-war peace is still tenuous. To prevent the further spread of Ebola in their country, the Pen-Pen Peace Network (PPPN) – a peace committee of local Liberian citizens convened by the Purdue Peace Project (PPP) – designed, organized, and implemented what they called the Ebola Prevention Campaign. The PPPN conducted their Ebola Prevention Campaign with the support of the PPP and Women Movement for Sustainable Development Liberia (WOMSUD-Liberia). This report highlights the objectives, strategies, challenges, and impacts of the Ebola Prevention Campaign. The report is based on findings produced from data collected at multiple points in time between September 2014 and January 2015 during the Ebola Prevention Campaign.
https://cla.purdue.edu/ppp/documents/publications/Creating.pdfLiberia
Strengthening Locally-Led Peacebuilding: From Policy to ActionLiz Hume & Leslie MitchellLocally-led, conflict prevention, reccomendationsLocally-led peacebuilding (LLPB) is critical to preventing and managing violent conflict and building sustainable peace in conflict affected and fragile states. This policy brief outlines the importance of LLPB programming in building local individual and organizational ability to lead and partner with international organizations, identifies best practices for and challenges of donors and implementing international partners working to advance LLPB, and provides recommendations for its meaningful implementation. While this policy brief focuses on the peacebuilding sector, these recommendations are also applicable to international development and humanitarian assistance.http://hdl.handle.net/1920/12784Worldwide
At the Gates to Peace: Mediators as GatekeepersJørgen Jensehaugen, Kristoffer Lidén, Isabel BramsenMediation, Inclusive Peacebuilding, Peace Process
Limiting the number of parties Brief Points and reducing external interference in peace mediation used to be considered the recipe for success. Yet, this logic of exclusion has been countered by an ever-growing expectation of inclusivity to create a just and sustainable peace. This policy brief explores how attempts to balance exclusion and inclusion affects the roles and responsibilities of peace mediators.https://www.prio.org/publications/13059Worldwide
Development and Prevention: National Examples of LinkagesPaige Arthur, Céline MonnierEconomics and Conflict, Inclusive Peacebuilding, Conflict PreventionDevelopment is an essential tool for conflict prevention, as often root causes are related to lack of equitable access to economic opportunities, or a combination of political and economic inequalities that fuel grievances—as highlighted in the 2011 World Development Report and the 2018 UN–World Bank Pathways for Peace report. Some risk factors may therefore need to be addressed with development tools. Drawing on field research and on member state reporting at the recent High-level Political Forum in July 2019, this briefing highlights development measures countries have taken to support prevention, and highlights ways the UN system can better assist these efforts.https://cic.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/policy_brief_linkages_development_-_prevention-final.pdfWorldwide
Paving Pathways To Peace Talks With Sanctions Exemptions?Rebecca BrubakerSanctions, Mediation, Diplomacy
The majority of UN sanctions regimes are designed in support of a peace process or to protect an
existing agreement. Most of these peace processes involve talks that take place outside the country
or region in conflict. Often, however, key stakeholders in the conflict – whose participation in the
talks is necessary for a credible and even a durable outcome – are under UN travel bans and asset
freezes. These targeted measures are among the most frequently applied of all UN sanctions. Thus,
it is often assumed that mediators face a dilemma: exclude listed individuals from talks held abroad
or include them and risk violating the existing travel ban and adjoining asset freeze.
Or do they? In all but one of the existing UN sanctions regimes, there are little known and rarely
used exemptions that would allow sanctioned individuals to participate in peace talks. The language
varies in specificity and scope and the process for applying differs between regimes (and even
within regimes). But the overall message is clear: mediators possess a formal option for requesting
an exception to a sanctions measure in order to enable the successful convening of parties for
peace talks.1
The following memo will briefly outline the existing constellation of exemptions related to peace talks,
examine how they are meant to work, share insights on how they actually work, discuss implications
for policy practitioners, and propose actions aimed at improving these exemptions’ attractiveness
to mediators.
https://collections.unu.edu/eserv/UNU:7875/SanctionsMediation_WEB.pdfWorldwide
Middle East and North Africa Local Service Delivery Initiative : Promoting Social Accountability and Demand for Good GovernanceBeddies, Sabine; Felicio, Mariana; Dedu, Gabriel; Fall, Fatou; Vagneron, Caroline governance,citizen action, rule of lawGood governance is an underlying condition for the formulation of effective and efficient public policies, programs, and services. It implies a social contract and adherence to rules and laws that enable improved interaction between government and constituents on transparency, accountability, and participation. Good governance is equitable and inclusive, responsive and consensus-oriented. Governance reforms rank high on the development agenda of many Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, particularly in regard to public service delivery. Social accountability approaches aim to improve the performance of public services, user satisfaction, and value for money. This note highlights lessons learned thus far from the four Local Service Delivery Initiative (LDSI) pilot programs. https://mars.gmu.edu/handle/1920/12776Middle East
Mediation in the Yemeni Civil War: Actors, Outcomes, and Lessons LearnedJúlia Palik, Siri Aas RustadMediation, Peace Processes: Strategies, Negotiations
​Yemen is the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world today. Qatar, the UN, EU, US, and the Gulf Cooperation Council have tried to mediate the conflict between the Government of Yemen and the Houthis. But mediation efforts have been complicated by the duality of roles: some mediators have been directly involved as a conflict party, and others indirectly involved, providing support to those engaged in the war. These factors violate the mediation principle of impartiality and diminish a mediator’s credibility and leverage. This brief analyzes all mediation efforts between the Yemeni government and the Houthis since 2007, reviewing the strategies, outcomes, and implementation processes to identify the factors that have hindered successful mediation.
https://www.prio.org/publications/11353Yemen
25 Spheres Of Digital Peacebuilding And PeaceTech Lisa SchirchDigital security, technology, peacebuilding, conflict preventionThis policy brief outlines twenty-five spheres where technology can contribute to peacebuilding goals and describes five generations of thinking related to the evolution of technology’s impact on peacebuilding. Digital peacebuilding contributes to democratic deliberation, violence prevention, social cohesion, civic engagement, and improved human security. Digital peacebuilding contributes to the wider field of digital citizenship and “tech for good.” The policy brief concludes with seven recommendations to build social cohesion, civic engagement, and improved human security, which emerged out of a recent Peace Direct global consultation and a Toda Peace Institute workshop.https://mars.gmu.edu/handle/1920/12785Worldwide
Food Systems in Conflict and Peacebuilding SettingsCaroline Delgado, Vongai Murugani, Kristina TschunkertHunger and violence, Food insecurityFood security is closely related to peace and stability. Failing food systems and the resultant increasing world hunger are among the most pressing issues of our time. The figures are stark: in 2020, 155 million people were acutely food insecure—an increase of nearly 20 million from the year before. Nearly 30 million people were on the verge of starvation, meaning that they did not know where their next meal would come from. The world is thus far not on track to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 (Zero Hunger) by 2030. Despite the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, violent conflict remained the main driver of global hunger in 2020. The number of active violent conflicts is on the rise, and they are also becoming increasingly severe and protracted. Conflict has a direct negative impact on food systems, affecting people’s ability to produce, trade and access food. In most armed conflicts of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, conflict actors have used food as a weapon of war and deliberately destroyed food systems, with lasting food insecurity as a principal legacy of war. Moreover, food insecurity may create grievances that can escalate into instability and violent conflict, acting as a channel for individuals or groups to express broader socio-economic and political grievances. Simply put, without a resolution to food insecurity, it will be difficult to build sustainable peace, and without peace, the likelihood of ending global hunger is minimal. The increases in both acute food insecurity and violent conflict demand urgent and decisive action. The objectives of this three-part policy paper series are to emphasize the urgency of addressing the relationship between conflict and food insecurity and to point out existing opportunities to do so. This initial paper aims, firstly, to inform policymakers of the intricate relationships between food security and violent conflict. Secondly, it aims to alert policymakers to the potential ability of sustainable and equitable food systems to contribute to peace, and then highlights the action required to enhance this potential. The paper synthesizes existing research and evidence, concluding with four recommendations. The second paper explores the links in context, detailing how they play out in two specific settings: Venezuela and Yemen. The third paper discusses opportunities and practical steps that can help to break the vicious circle of hunger and conflict.https://www.sipri.org/publications/2021/other-publications/food-systems-conflict-and-peacebuilding-settings-pathways-and-interconnectionsWorldwide
Atrocity Prevention through Persuasion and DeterrenceJonas ClaesEarly Warning, Human Rights, Conflict PreventionThis Peace Brief describes the key findings and conclusions from a working session organized by USIP on April 5, 2012. The participants included 25 leading policymakers, scholars, and NGO leaders with a focus on conflict management and atrocity prevention. The brief serves as input for the U.N. secretary-general's report in advance of the U.N. General Assembly's interactive dialogue on timely and decisive responses to prevent and halt genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity in accordance with the Responsibility to Protect principle.https://www.usip.org/publications/2012/06/atrocity-prevention-through-persuasion-and-deterrenceWorldwide
Negotiating Disarmament – The Gender Dimension: Barriers to the Inclusion of Women in Disarmament NegotiationsDavid Felipe Gómez, Ida Rødningen, Nicholas Marsh, Júlia Palik Demobilization, Disarmament, Reintegration (DDR), Gender, NegotiationsDisarmament is seen as a key means of preventing conflict recurrence. Women are disproportionately affected by weapons: small arms and light weapons used during conflict are often used post-conflict to commit gender-based violence, and explosive weapons in populated areas can severely limit women’s access to public spaces. Women are involved both as part of armed groups, and as the leaders of campaigns against weapons. Despite these experiences, women are routinely excluded from disarmament negotiations. This brief examines three sets of barriers to women’s meaningful participation in disarmament negotiations across five peace processes: Colombia, Nepal, the Philippines, South Sudan and Sri Lanka.https://www.prio.org/publications/13064Worldwide
Failing Together: Key Lessons On How To Have Constructive Conversations About Failures In Development And PeacebuildingJessica Baumgardner-Zuzik, Emily Janoch, Benjamin Bestor, Saurav Upadhyay Development, evidence-based practiceDevelopment and peacebuilding is about tackling complex problems with different stakeholders in contexts that change every day. There is no way to solve these problems without failing. But we are reluctant to talk about failure, especially on the record. Veronica Olazabal from The Rockefeller Foundation, Lane Pollack from USAID, and Leslie Wingender with Humanity United recently spoke about what it takes to learn from failure as part of the InterAction Evaluation & Program Effectiveness Community of Practice. https://www.allianceforpeacebuilding.org/afp-publications/failing-together-5-5-2021Worldwide
Cognitive-Affective Mapping and Digital PeacebuildingEvan HoffmanConflict Analysis, Cognitive MappingIdeologies play a fundamental role in the emergence, escalation and resolution of conflict by underpinning divergent narratives and worldviews. These ideologies are often developed and sustained through a combination of interrelated and deeply-held core beliefs, values and emotions which have been acquired over the course of a lifetime and become reinforced through several cognitive processes and biases. Thus, it can be very difficult to alter or change ideologies once they have been formed. Yet, despite their central importance to conflict resolution, practitioners still need the proper tools to adequately visualise these complex ideologies in individuals and/or groups. Practitioners also have very few examples of ways to work with these divergent ideologies as part of a larger peacebuilding process. This policy brief presents a technique for visualising ideologies using a new software tool called Valence that enables technology-assisted Cognitive Affective Mapping (CAM). It then offers lessons from a recent online conflict resolution exercise in which multiple stakeholders used this tool in an ongoing water conflict in Canada via a series of facilitated Zoom sessions held in 2020.https://mars.gmu.edu/handle/1920/12709Worldwide
The Role of Civil Society in Peace Processes – A Case Study of Guatemala: Ethical ReflectionsWenche Iren HaugeLocally-led Peacemaking Initiatives, Citizen action, Peace Process

​The Guatemalan peace process from 1990 to 1996 represents an early example of the inclusion of civil society in a negotiation process. However, once included, what role could civil society play – and in this case what role was it allowed to play? Clearly, civil society had an influence on the negotiations between the government and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG), but on some sensitive and critical issues civil society was prevented from exerting pressure on the parties. This case brief looks at the ethical implications of this situation.
https://www.prio.org/publications/12985Guatemala
Fresh Insights on the Quantity and Quality of Women's Inclusion in Peace Processes Thania Paffenholz, Antonia Potter Prentice, Cate BuchananGender, Peace Process, Mediation
This policy brief resulted from a meeting of policy analysts, practitioners, and academic involved in the women, peace and security agenda to review, analyze and frame key findings from research related to women's participation and gendered approaches to inclusive peace processes. The brief was intended to contribute to the UNSCR 1325 high-level review process. The focus is on understanding why there is a persistent lack of women's direct participation in peace processes and the connection to the political economy of power as well as ways technical packages for women's participation can be strengthened and increased. Mediators play a key role in increasing women's meaningful participation. In addition, the complexity of women's multiple identities and roles needs to be better reflected in peace process design. Interspersed in the brief are both examples of women's participation in peace processes as well as recommendations for ways to strengthen women's participation. http://hdl.handle.net/1920/12897Worldwide