It is often said that there can be no development without peace, and no peace without development. The international community now recognises that one of the major elements of strategic peacebuilding is a strong and equitable socio-economic foundation. Since 1999, Alert has been working on a range of initiatives that address economic issues and their links with conflict and peace. This has included work with the business community, including the multinational and local private sector, which operates in conflict zones to ensure that its conduct does not fuel tensions or even violence, but can contribute towards creating a stable political climate instead. In all of our work, we engage and collaborate with civil society organisations and researchers, business communities and governments, including donor agencies, to address the links between economic interventions and conflict and peace through research, awareness raising, capacity building, accompaniment and advocacy.
The analysis emerging from this and other in-country work is fed into our advocacy initiatives at local and global levels with businesses, governments, international institutions and civil society in order to formulate policy recommendations and develop practical guidelines to ensure that all economic interventions avoid ‘doing harm’ and can play a positive role towards building peace.
The Economy and Peacebuilding Team’s working methods and approaches differ according to context and initiative, including:
- Research and publications on relevant issues;
- Development and dissemination of methods and tools for corporate and development agency audiences;
- Policy development and policy advocacy;
- Participation in relevant international policy forums and initiatives;
- Networking, convening and constituency-building;
- Development and delivery of trainings for different audiences;
- Dialogue facilitation and lesson sharing;
- Partnerships, consultancies and technical assistance with public institutions and private companies to facilitate institutional change;
- Political economy and conflict analyses to inform Alert’s and others’ programming in this area;
- Accompaniment and support to Alert’s field programmes.
We offer a number of ‘products’ tailored to specific needs and objectives:
- Knowledge products – such as reports, articles and books
- Capacity products – such as resource packs, trainings and training modules
- Policy products – that summarise and present key advocacy messages
Our vision is of a world where the economic 'peace factors' are strengthened, not undermined.
Our goal is that economic development, investment and trade in conflict-prone and conflict-affected countries strengthen and do not undermine peace. We want to ensure that economic interventions in conflict-prone and conflict-affected countries help to reduce violent conflict and build peace. We therefore aim to enhance the peacebuilding potential of a variety of economic interventions that are key in conflict contexts: the conduct and investment of private companies, the international community’s economic recovery efforts and government policies and practices.
- Economic development, trade and investment be informed by an appropriate understanding of their possible impacts on conflict dynamics and peacebuilding potentials;
- Relevant public and private sector actors use methods, tools and skills to mitigate conflict dynamics and contribute to peacebuilding;
- Relevant international institutional set-ups and policies be conflict-sensitive.