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Crisis Prevention & Peacebuilding

The Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding program supports efforts to strengthen the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding nexus for countries in crises as well as prevention initiatives, which focus on three critical areas of work—operationalizing prevention at the United Nations, data-driven approaches to peace, and the Good Peacebuilding Financing initiative.

Preventing Crises and Building Peace

The Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding program builds on the achievements of CIC’s previous work: efforts to operationalize the prevention agenda at the UN (including leading work on nationally-led prevention and Good Peacebuilding Financing), support for data-driven approaches to prevention and peacebuilding, and work to strengthen the HDP nexus at country level. As the UN starts to implement Our Common Agenda—which highlights the need for a preventive approach, for better financing options, for better foresight capabilities, and the need for integrated HDP work—this program brings a newly integrated angle to global policy discussions and country-level practice. Our critical areas of work are as follows:

Operationalizing Prevention

The geopolitical underpinnings of the world order are undergoing a sea change, with rising challenges to multilateral system and contest between the US and China. Escalating crises—such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change—place unexpected pressures on the system, which continues to focus on response rather than prevention. Meanwhile, there are new and proliferating forms of conflict, with an alarming human tool.

This work focuses on two sides of effective peacebuilding: national ownership and acceptance, and good financing practices.

  • Prevention: we are providing innovative, policy-relevant, and real-time evidence and arguments for advancing the chances for sustainable peace, with a focus on operationalizing prevention at the UN; we include a thematic interest in mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in this work.
  • Good Peacebuilding Financing: we are looking at how policy solutions to improve the way development cooperation works in fragile countries can be implemented moving forward

Humanitarian Crises

Guided by the conclusions of our major, multi-year review of efforts by the UN and its partners to operationalize the triple nexus, the Humanitarian Crises program builds on two decades of work to advance peace, justice, and inclusion in crisis-affected areas (often for generations on end). The pandemic, and more recently the war in Ukraine, have only reinforced the necessity (and difficulty) of such collaborative action to resolve protracted crises, given their interlocking health, humanitarian, economic, and political repercussions.

This program currently focuses on three main areas:

  • Government and localization
  • Politically-contested circumstances
  • UN reform and capacity on the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus

Data-Driven Approaches to Prevention and Peacebuilding

After two years of establishing and strengthening an ecosystem of actors doing data for peacebuilding and prevention work, along with building their capacity efforts, we are building on this momentum to continue fostering innovative, data-driven, and tech-forward approaches to prevention and peacebuilding as part of the New Agenda for Peace.

Partnerships are an essential feature of how we work. We align our own comparative advantage in crosscutting expertise on politics, security, and justice and deep ties to international policy actors with the advantages of others in the Global South or working on longer-term, academic research. We are proud that our current and former partners include the Institute for Security Studies–South Africag7+ countries, NYU School of Law, ODI, UN agencies, the World Bank, and many others.

The program continues the tradition of work on conflict prevention at CIC, including its long-standing Global Peace Operations Review books and website.

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