Business Plan

Workstreams showing country engagement


CIC’s objectives over the next two years are to advocate for big ideas, while continuing to showcase small, practical steps that show the value of multilateral action, both in the formal organizations and in more flexible multi-stakeholder groupings. We believe that a new narrative is needed to restore credibility in international actions, and that this has to include listening to what divides us, acting on what unifies us, and focusing on results that are visible to people around the world in their daily lives.

NYU Center on International Cooperation Business Plan cover

Organizational Theory of Change

Our organizational theory of change, across all of CIC’s work, has the following assumptions:

  • National and international efforts support each other—for example, using international platforms to showcase and give momentum to national reforms, to bring new ideas and to address global issues which no one country can address alone.
  • Successful change is generally achieved through a complementary relationship between those in charge of decisions (governmental leadership, private sector, and multilateral decision-makers) and those who can catalyze, advocate, and influence from civil society, academia, and member states.
  • Data and evidence are crucial, both in building the case for change and ensuring that the changes we advocate are the right ones and are likely to deliver results.

Read the 2022-2024 CIC Business Plan


The Promoting and Defending Multilateralism program will focus on multilateral reform in a period of growing tensions and polarization. The program has three workstreams—the case for action and solutions; UN-IFI cooperation, and UN senior appointments. This program analyzes forward risks and opportunities for multilateralism in line with the commitment of the United Nations to strengthen strategic foresight, and identifying opportunities for action around the upcoming UN Summits and other international events; seeks to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the UN and IFIs in addressing the challenges of fragile, conflict, and violence-affected contexts; and monitors senior appointments at the multilateral institutions.

The Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding program supports efforts to strengthen the nexus between humanitarian response, development support, and peacebuilding (the HDP nexus) in countries grappling with crises and crisis prevention. The objectives of the program are to provide an evidence base for improving responses on the ground and to contribute to policymaking in support of collective action at the global, regional, and national levels.

The Pathfinders for Peace, Justice and Inclusive Societies initiative will focus on supporting the work of the Pathfinders’ Grand Challenges on Halving Global Violence, Inequality and Exclusion and Justice for All, highlighting their cross-cutting nature and collective force in realizing the larger 2030 Agenda, while providing a space for partnership and action. As an international thought-leader on SDG16+, the Pathfinders will continue to “occupy this space,” expanding understanding of SDG16+ targets on peace, justice, and inclusion, supporting partners and the global movement for action, and delivering on its role in international debates and dialogues.

In the regional and country programs, we will focus on a number of regions and countries that risk being “forgotten crises:” West and Central Africa, Syria and its surrounding region, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Timor-Leste and, to be determined—Haiti, Sudan, and Myanmar. Within Pathfinders, in addition to supporting fragile situations, we will also work with middle- and high-income countries to help exchanges on their challenges along with supporting and showcasing their progress. These countries include several in the Latin American and Caribbean, Indonesia, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Joint Programs Across CIC (2022-2024)

CIC, like every organization dealing with international issues, has its own silos. We have consistently worked to encourage more joint work that takes advantage of CIC’s expertise in different programs. In 2022-23, this will include programs on:

  • Trialing local interventions for violence prevention (Congo Research Group and Pathfinders’ Movement to Halve Global Violence)
  • Justice for refugees and mental health, and access to mental health and psychosocial support (Pathfinders’ Justice for All program and crisis prevention)
  • Mitigating the spillover effects of COVID19 and the war in Ukraine (multilateral, prevention and humanitarian, and Pathfinders inequality and exclusion)
  • Aid modalities for staying engaged in forgotten crises (multilateral, crisis prevention and humanitarian)
  • New Agenda for Peace and other aspects of Our Common Agenda, input to the High Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism (multilateral, peacebuilding, and prevention and Pathfinders’ Movement to Halve Global Violence)

Joint Work Across Pathfinders

The Pathfinders’ three Grand Challenges lead on national engagement, thereby enabling more substantively/technically specialized staff to be on the frontlines of national delivery. Particular attention is paid nonetheless to working together (across the Grand Challenges), as well as to working with a broad range of partners even when national engagement is led by justice, inequality and exclusion, or violence reduction. To increase joint work at country level and thematically, Pathfinders will:

  • Have grand challenges represent other pillars during in-person country missions and virtual engagements with capitals in Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste (also jointly with prevention and peacebuilding), Colombia (also jointly with prevention and peace-building), Chile, Cabo Verde, Senegal, Ukraine, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Conduct work on the secondary impacts of Ukraine inside Ukraine and in the region, including on people’s access to justice, smalls arms spillovers, and rising inequality and exclusion and its links to food security.
  • Start scoping work on climate and SDG16+, with an initial output around the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP).

Download the CIC September 2022-August 2024 Business Plan

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