The Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP) is a consortium led by International Alert and funded by the European Commission1. IfP draws together the complementary geographic and thematic expertise of 10 civil society organisations (and their networks) with offices across the EU and in conflict-affected countries. Its aim is to develop and harness international knowledge and expertise in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding to ensure that all stakeholders, including EU institutions, can access strong independent analysis in order to facilitate better informed and more evidence-based policy decisions.
Violent conflicts represent a threat to life, security, growth and prosperity. The human, physical and social destruction wrought by violent conflict entrenches institutional weakness, fractures communities, collapses economies and further diminishes poorly functioning social services.
The EU has significant potential to contribute to conflict prevention and peacebuilding. It is the world’s largest aid donor, and the EC has Delegations in over 120 countries and plays an important role in global trade. In order to address root causes of the conflicts and expressions of violence, the EU can draw on the Community’s geographical and thematic instruments and programmes, including the Instrument for Stability and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights as well as on its diplomatic, civilian and military capabilities in the context of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)/European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
To date, however, this potential has not been fully realised. Although recent years have witnessed a reduction in the number of violent conflicts, more than 30 remain active throughout the world with many other countries struggling to prevent the (re)-emergence of war. Despite the progress made over the last decade and a half by the EU and the wider international community, much remains to be done in understanding and developing the policies, practice and skills required to end the appalling suffering endured by those affected by violence and war.
In recognition of these complex challenges, IfP promotes a strategic vision of peacebuilding and conflict prevention focussing on the root-causes and factors which fuel conflict. This emphasises that peace cannot be made on behalf of people but international bodies can do much to build the resilience within societies necessary to transform the attitudes, behaviours and structures which drive violence. This demands a tailored, holistic, inclusive and participatory approach.
Accordingly, IfP’s activities include:
- Collaborative, evidence-based research linking policy and practice.
- Policy dialogue at all levels (local, national, regional and international) and between representatives of all relevant stakeholders;
- Capacity-building and shared learning for and amongst local and international civil society organisations, think-tanks and academic institutions, relevant governments and bi-lateral/multi-lateral institutions.
- Training and awareness raising to promote and enhance skills and knowledge amongst all target beneficiaries.
THEMES & COUNTRIES
IfP focuses on multiple themes, across multiple regions and organised under the framework of six interconnecting clusters. Thematically, the action includes: security; gender; democratisation and transitional justice; mediation and dialogue; regional cooperation on environment, economy and natural resource management; and Capacity-building and training.
Geographically, the action covers - in addition to EU Member States – the Balkans and Ukraine; the South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, including the territories of Nagorny-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Abkhazia); the Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Palestinian
Territories); Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan); Asia (Nepal, Aceh, Pakistan) and Latin America and the Caribbean (Andean region, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras).
Adelphi Research ; Crisis Management Initiative (CMI); European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO); Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE); Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) ; International Alert (IA); International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ); Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael (Clingendael Institute); Partners for Democratic Change International (PDCI); Saferworld (SW).
1Further to the decision of the European Parliament to support the establishment of a Conflict Prevention Network for the coming years as a preparatory action (budget line 19.04.05), a call for proposals was launched in 2006 by the European Commission and a grant contract was signed with International Alert and its partners.
About the Partners
See below for descriptions of each organization
| Adelphi Research
Adelphi Research was founded in 2001 as a non-profit organization. The mission of Adelphi is to promote high-quality interdisciplinary research and strategic policy analysis, to provide public policy consulting and training, and to facilitate dialogue for institutions and among civil society in Europe and abroad. Its expertise builds on a multi-disciplinary staff of 25 lawyers, economists, engineers, political scientists and environmental planners. Our core programme on environment, conflict and cooperation includes some 50 projects on research, strategic analysis, public policy consulting and dialogue on the interface between natural resources, environment, conflict and peacebuilding. Our work is based on a comprehensive understanding of environment and includes among others the following topics: conflict resources, conflict sensitive programming, conflict mainstreaming strategies, Capacity-Building for conflict analysis and prevention, early warning indicators, transboundary environmental cooperation for peacebuilding, integrated assessment methodologies, governance and state fragility, as well as climate change, energy and security. For more information on Adelphi Research and its programmes, projects and services please consult www.adelphi-research.de and www.ecc-platform.org.
| Clingendael- Netherlands Institute of International Relations
The Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’, based in The Hague, aims to promote the understanding of international affairs by conducting research, and by organising courses and training programmes. The Institute acts in an advisory capacity to the Dutch government, parliament and civil society organisations, as well as to the general public.
Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit (CRU) conducts research on the nexus between security and development with a special focus on integrated/comprehensive approaches on conflict prevention, stabilisation and reconstruction in fragile and post-conflict states. Specialising in conducting applied, policy-oriented research, linking academic research with policy analyses, the CRU translates theoretical insights into practical tools and policy recommendations for decision-makers in national and multilateral governmental and non-governmental organisations. Activities include stability assessments of specific countries/regions; governance assessments; SSR related assessments; and assessing and analysing the interventions of international actors in conflict and post-conflict situations and fragile states. The CRU has developed (analytical) instruments for conducting such assessments and supporting policymakers in developing new policy concepts and in promoting joined up approaches of developmental, foreign affairs, defence and other actors in dealing with the complexities of fragile and post-conflict states. (www.clingendael.nl/cru)
| Crisis Management Initiative
Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) is an independent, non-profit organisation that promotes and works for sustainable security. CMI's mission is to strengthen the capacity of the international community in comprehensive crisis management and conflict resolution. CMI seeks practical solutions and effective multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Crisis Management Initiative
- Promotes sustainable security in a pioneering way
- Brings together actors to seek solutions to security challenges
- Engages in Capacity-Building among the international community in conflict prevention, resolution and transformation
- Advocates solutions for security
- Uses comprehensive approaches that bind together security and development, good governance, justice and reconciliation
Founded in 2000 by its Chairman, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, CMI has, among other things, mediated the negotiations for a peace agreement in Aceh, Indonesia; supported information sharing and interoperability in crisis management; enhanced the role of civil society in EU civilian crisis management; contributed to bringing a European perspective to conflict resolution in the Black Sea region; started to forge a network to systematise know-how on Track II mediation; and shaped the agenda and priorities of European security research.
| ELIAMEP- Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy
Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) was founded in 1988 and operates as an independent, non-profit, policy-oriented research and training institute. It functions as a forum of debate on international issues, as an information centre, as well as a point of contact for experts and policymakers.
Important subjects for research at ELIAMEP have included European integration and Greece's experience as a member state of the EU; the deepening and widening of European and regional organisations; comparative political, economic and military developments in Southeastern Europe, the Black Sea region, the Mediterranean and the wider Middle East; Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue (including strategies of tension reduction and conflict resolution); EU migration policy; environment and security; and, intercultural inter-religious dialogue. ELIAMEP has an active participation in several research consortia funded by the EU Framework Programmes.
ELIAMEP also organizes training seminars for high-ranking officials and policy-makers from Greece, Southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Middle East regions, the EU and the U.S. The Halki International Seminars form the core of ELIAMEP’s training activities for young leaders. (www.eliamep.gr)
| EPLO- European Peacebuilding Liaison Office
EPLO is the platform of European NGOs, networks of NGOs and think tanks active in the field of peacebuilding, who share an interest in promoting sustainable peacebuilding policies among decision-makers in the European Union.
EPLO aims to influence the EU so it promotes and implements measures that lead to sustainable peace between states and within states and peoples, and that transform and resolve conflicts non-violently. EPLO wants the EU to recognise the crucial connection between peacebuilding, the eradication of poverty, and sustainable development world wide and the crucial role NGOs have to play in sustainable EU efforts for peacebuilding, conflict prevention, and crisis management.
EPLO advances the interests of its members through common policy positions and consequently advocating for those common positions. EPLO disseminates information and promotes understanding of EU policies of concern to its Members. The Office builds also solidarity and cooperation amongst its members and with other relevant NGO networks. Finally, EPLO raises awareness about the contribution the EU should make to peacebuilding and the need to hold the EU accountable to its own political commitments of helping secure peace within and outside its borders. (www.eplo.org)
| FRIDE - La Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior
La Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) is a think tank based in Madrid that aims to provide the best and most innovative thinking on Europe’s role in the international arena. It strives to break new ground in its core research interests of peace and security, human rights, democracy promotion, and development and humanitarian aid, and mould debate in governmental and non-governmental bodies through rigorous analysis, rooted in the values of justice, equality and democracy.
FRIDE engages in rigorous analysis of the difficult debates surrounding ethical questions in international relations. Our main contribution to international debates stems from the work of three separate research departments:
- Peace, security and human rights
- The development and promotion of democracy.
- Improving humanitarian action and development.
FRIDE has established the Club of Madrid and the magazine Foreign Policy-Spanish Edition, and is associated with the Toledo Centre for International Peace (CITpax), and Development Assistance Research Associates (DARA). (www.fride.org/homepage_english)
| International Alert
International Alert is an independent peacebuilding organisation that has worked for over 20
years to lay the foundations for lasting peace and security in communities affected by violent
conflict. Our multifaceted approach focuses both in and across various regions; aiming to shape
policies and practices that affect peacebuilding; and helping build skills and capacity through
training. Our regional work is based in the African Great Lakes, West Africa, the South
Caucasus, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Colombia. Our thematic projects work at local,
regional and international levels, focusing on cross-cutting issues critical to building
sustainable peace. These include business and economy, gender, governance, aid, security and
justice. We are one of the world’s leading peacebuilding NGOs; in 2006 our income was £5.3
million and we had more than 100 staff based in London and our 10 field offices. (www.international-alert.org)
| ICTJ- International Center for Transitional Justice
The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) assists countries pursuing accountability for past mass atrocity or human rights abuse. The Center works in societies emerging from repressive rule or armed conflict, as well as in established democracies where historical injustices or systemic abuse remain unresolved.
In order to promote justice, peace, and reconciliation, government officials and nongovernmental advocates are likely to consider a variety of transitional justice approaches including both judicial and non-judicial responses to human rights crimes. The ICTJ assists in the development of integrated, comprehensive, and localized approaches to transitional justice comprising five key elements: prosecuting perpetrators, documenting and acknowledging violations through nonjudicial means such as truth commissions, reforming abusive institutions, providing reparations to victims, and facilitating reconciliation processes.
The Center is committed to building local capacity and generally strengthening the emerging field of transitional justice, and works closely with organizations and experts around the world to do so. By working in the field through local languages, the ICTJ provides comparative information, legal and policy analysis, documentation, and strategic research to justice and truth-seeking institutions, nongovernmental organizations, governments and others. (www.ictj.org)
| PDCI- Partners for Democratic Change International
Partners for Democratic Change International (PDCI)is a global partnership of fifteen independent, local organizations in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East that work to advance civil society, good governance and a culture of change and conflict management worldwide. Our member organizations are independent and interrelated, sustainable and growing, and seek to ensure a high standard of work.
Although PDCI’s 15 NGO members work in diverse areas according to their own contexts and strategic directions, four main themes, all rooted in respect for human rights and dedicated to peaceful outcomes of change and conflict, reflect their common priorities and competences: conflict and change management, civil society development, democratic development, and social inclusion.
PDCI envisions a global partnership that promotes a culture of peace worldwide, and societies in which citizen participation is ensured at all levels. (www.pdci-network.org)
Saferworld is an independent non-governmental organisation that works to
prevent armed violence and create safer communities in which people can
lead peaceful and rewarding lives.
We do this through research, advocacy and training, working with
partners at every level from grassroots community action groups to
We believe in working with others to achieve common objectives. Our aim
is to empower local partners with the skills to become more effective
Established in 1989, we work in Africa, Asia and Europe. We have staff
based in our offices in London and Nairobi, and in all the regions in
which we work.
We receive funding from a range of donors including governments, the
European Commission, trusts and individuals. (www.saferworld.org.uk)