Our strategy

Our vision and mission

For over 30 years, International Alert has been working to build positive peace and reduce violence, working across conflict lines and with all parties to conflicts.

Experienced and respected, we have a proud track record of achieving change in fragile and conflict-affected countries and territories.

Our vision is that people and their societies can resolve conflicts without violence, working together to build sustainable and inclusive peace.

Our mission is to break cycles of violence and to build sustainable peace by:

  • working with people directly affected by violent conflict to find lasting solutions;
  • shaping policies and practices to reduce and prevent violence, and to support sustainable peace;
  • collaborating with all those striving for peace to strengthen our collective voice and impact.

Connecting these three mission goals will be central to our 2019–2023 strategy for reaching bold targets to reduce violence and proactively build peace.

Responding to a world at war

We are convinced that peace is within our power if we work together and people are given the opportunities.

However, after years of decline, armed conflict is surging and we face a violent crisis of epic proportions:

  • More people are being killed in battle – rising by 27% as recently as 2016.
  • Of those injured and killed in war, 80% are civilians, many of them children.
  • Today, 68.5 million people are internally displaced persons or refugees – more than at any time in history.
  • Half of the world’s poor are living in fragile places riddled by violence, and this is predicted to rise to 80% if no action is taken.
  • Sexual violence continues to be systematically used as a tactic of war, with long-lasting devastating consequences for people and communities.

The nature of conflict is also changing. While conflicts between countries, including superpowers, remain a threat, wars are increasingly being fought within countries and territories, but are often financed and armed by outside powers.

More conflicts are in the ‘grey zone’ between skirmishes and war, with simmering fighting continuing between dispersed and fragmented groups. People are hit by different forms of violence, such as the rise in violent extremism and organised crime, while there is an increasing rejection of global multilateralism and disregard for international humanitarian laws and treaties.

In this toxic environment, the need for peacebuilding has never been more urgent. We need to scale up our impact and embrace new partnerships. Current top-down and security-led approaches are not working. Instead of fighting violence with violence, we should address the root causes of conflict.

Moving towards positive peace

Our 2019–2023 strategy outlines how, over the five years, we will redouble our efforts to break cycles of violence and build cycles of sustainable peace.

We will sharpen our focus, scale up our tried and tested approaches, and develop new strategies to respond to threats such as the rise in hate speech and violent extremism.

Our work will continue to be underpinned by research, analysis and a framing of issues that identify the root causes of violence and long-term solutions to conflict.

And we will continue to focus on five ‘positive peace factors’ that will help to lay the foundations for cycles of sustainable and inclusive peace:

  • Power

  • Income and assets

  • Fairness, equality and justice

  • Safety

  • Wellbeing

Our goals

Our core ways of working

Over the next five years, we will prioritise:


We will enable people directly affected by conflict to build peace by promoting dialogue, connecting people across conflict lines.


We will shape policies and practices to reduce violence and prevent conflict by better addressing root causes and influencing structural change in favour of peace.


We will collaborate with those striving for peace to strengthen our collective voice and impact by building and strengthening partnerships for peace.

Find out more

For more detail, download the full or summary versions of our Strategy 2019–2023 below.

Read full strategy

Read summary strategy