We help mining, oil and gas companies adopt business practices that take into account the conflict risks and peace opportunities of their activities, and work with communities and governments to manage and use their natural resources peacefully.

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Natural resource management banner
Introduction: 

Businesses can play a positive role in contributing to peaceful economic development, but at times can also exacerbate tensions and fuel violent conflict.

We help mining, oil and gas companies adopt business practices that take into account the conflict risks and peace opportunities of their activities, and work with communities and governments to manage and use their natural resources peacefully.

We advise and train businesses to assess the risks and impacts of their operations on communities, and promote greater communication between companies and local people, to ensure economic activities do not fuel tensions or violence.

Why: 

Natural resources can provide opportunities to increase economic development in fragile and conflict-affected states.

However, in many cases the lack of effective and inclusive management leads to unchecked and violent competition, increased corruption, damaging socio-economic change and inequity of wealth distribution, leading to greater instability and violence.

Improving the knowledge and understanding of governments, companies and communities of natural resource management, improving the flow of information between them and creating opportunities for dialogue, can help prevent or manage these conflicts.

Moreover, if natural resources are managed in a way that is more equitable, sustainable and inclusive, this can create greater incentives for peace, such as shared material benefits and increased interdependence.

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'Militarising aid' vs. 'Running away from conflict': The future of aid

The battle lines are starting to be drawn over how development assistance and peacebuilding do or don’t support each other, or can or can’t be made to work together, and about whether bad governance and insecurity are the right targets for international development policy and assistance.

Development thinking develops: DFID’s White Paper and what comes next

It can be safely predicted that ideas and the terms of discussion about international development will change fundamentally in the coming five years. A major policy statement from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) marks an important milestone on this road, though it’s a long way from being the endpoint. In this very long post, I explore the White Paper and a way of taking DFID’s logic forward.

Is overseas development aid working?

These are extraordinary times for those who work in overseas development. We are living through a recession of historic proportions, and yet thus far there are few overt calls for a reduction in overseas development aid. The main questions for the 2010 election will be about public spending: where to make cuts, and how deep should they be? In the past, faced with similar pressures, there would have loud and widely voiced calls for a retrenchment of overseas development assistance (ODA), and a refocusing of government priorities on issues closer to home.

Peacebuilding in Burundi: how peace transitions can work

International Alert supports a series of small post-conflict initiatives in Burundi. And some of the values that motivate these are also dear to the liberal hearts of the international community. Oliver Richmond, in his article 'Liberal peace transitions' on Open Democracy, argues that the grand liberal peacebuilding project has failed.