Taken as a whole, the framework for integrating peacebuilding into economic development set out in my blog post of 10 February may seem disempowering. It explains the importance of integrating peace into economic development. It identifies areas where actions can help shape a more peace-conducive economy, and broad outcome indicators thereof. But it also makes clear that many of these factors are largely structural and interlinked, thus resilient to change.
Investment, trade and aid can have adverse effects on local communities and economies, undermining peace and even creating or exacerbating conflict.
We help companies to assess the risks and impacts of their operations on local communities.
Investment, trade and aid can generate significant economic wealth and help support social development. However, they can also have adverse effects on local communities and economies, undermining peace and even creating or exacerbating conflict.
We help companies to assess the risks and impacts of their operations on local communities, to ensure their activities do not fuel tensions or violence. We advise governments and international institutions on how to enhance the peacebuilding potential of their economic policies and projects. We also support local communities to shape and benefit from economic development.
Our work is important because investment and trade can help support peace and development, but those who invest in conflict-prone and high-risk places often lack the skills and experience to avoid exacerbating instability and violence.
Businesses that invest in conflict-prone or high-risk areas often experience reduced access to markets and capital, damaged infrastructure and direct attacks on personnel and assets.
By proactively adopting policies and practices which are sensitive to local conflict contexts, comply with human rights standards and follow best practices in corporate sustainability, businesses can minimise any adverse impact their conduct and investment could have on local communities. In doing so, they can also reduce risks to their operations and contribute to local stability and development.
It is also important to better utilise the positive role that domestic and international investment and trade can play in supporting peace and development in conflict-prone countries. This needs to be reflected in the international community’s economic recovery efforts and government policies and practices, which should promote and support activities that encourage economic recovery and private sector development.
Finally, it is important to empower local populations and civil society organisations to better protect their rights, and to shape and benefit from the economic activities affecting their communities.