Key Policy Institutions and Think Tanks in Peacebuilding and Related Fields

Dear Colleagues

Over the past two decades, many new institutions from governments, foundations and nonprofits have emerged that provide in-depth policy analysis of current conflicts and the effectiveness of existing responses. In order to stay up to date on current crises, success stories in preventing, managing and transforming conflicts, and larger policy lessons for the field, reading reports from many of these institutions is indispensable.

While it is not possible to provide a complete list of all these institutions in the world, I wanted to start off by providing a list of some the key institutions out there. Feel free to suggest additional institutions. Also if you're looking for more media/news reporting, please visit the posting Useful Media Sites for News About Conflict and Peace. For a list of key publishers of books related to peacebuilding see the guide.

In developing the list of policy/think thanks, the goal is to include institutions that provide more in-depth analysis over the long period, examining trends and challenges in the field and that work at least a regional or international level. This is intended to be a list of peacebuilding practice organizations, but those that provide a more analytical, policy and broad perspective.

1) SwissPeace -is a practice-oriented peace research institute in the area of conflict analysis and peacebuilding. We research the causes of wars and violent conflicts, develop tools for early recognition of tensions, and formulate conflict mitigation and peacebuilding strategies. swisspeace contributes to information exchange and networking on current issues of peace and security policy through its analyses and reports as well as meetings and conferences.

2) Berghof Foundation - is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organisation, supporting conflict stakeholders and actors in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace through peacebuilding and conflict transformation. To enable conflict stakeholders and actors to develop non-violent responses in the face of conflict-related challenges, the Foundation works with like-minded partners: currently in selected parts of Europe and Asia, the MENA region an Latin America. Its approach combines the knowledge, skills and resources available in the areas of conflict research, peace support and peace education. The Berghof Foundation sees itself as a learning organisation capable of supporting sustained efforts for conflict transformation. The Foundation also maintains the very useful Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation which is a comprehensive and cumulative website resource that provides continually updated cutting-edge knowledge, experience and lessons learned for those working in the field of transforming violent ethnopolitical conflict.

3) International Alert - is an independent peacebuilding organisation that works to lay the foundations for lasting peace and security in communities affected by violent conflict. We work in over 20 countries and territories around the world, both directly with people affected by violent conflict as well as at government, EU and UN levels to shape both policy and practice in building sustainable peace. IA has a very research program providing up to date information on best practice, emerging themes in peacebuilding such as climate change, the intersection of business and peace, gender and more.

4) Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior - is a think tank based in Madrid that aims to provide the best and most innovative thinking on Europe’s role in the international arena. It strives to break new ground in its core research interests of peace and security, human rights, democracy promotion, and development and humanitarian aid, and mould debate in governmental and non-governmental bodies through rigorous analysis, rooted in the values of justice, equality and democracy.

5) Conciliation Resources - is an international non-governmental organization registered in the UK as a charity. We work mainly in the South Caucasus, Fiji, Uganda, Sudan and West Africa in partnership with local and international civil society organizations and governments. We also publish Accord: an international review of peace initiatives and are involved in projects in Colombia and the Philippines.

6) The Alliance for Peacebuilding - plays a leadership role in developing and disseminating innovative approaches to peacebuilding, including collaboration between conflict resolution organizations and organizations in the fields of development, relief, human rights, and security. We initiate, develop and support collaborative action among nongovernmental, governmental, and intergovernmental organizations. We also build understanding of and support for peacebuilding policies and programs among leaders in government, business, media, philanthropy, religion, and other sectors of civil society. In addition, we help increase the effectiveness of the peacebuilding field by developing networks, disseminating best practices, and enhancing organizational capacities and professional skills.

7) CDA Collaborative Learning Projects - CDA Collaborative Learning Projects). We are committed to improving the effectiveness of international actors who provide humanitarian assistance, engage in peace practice, and are involved in supporting sustainable development.

8) The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research - is an independent think tank, a global network and a website for peace by peaceful means. It inspires a passion for peace from the grassroots to the corridors of power. It promotes conflict-mitigation and reconciliation in general and in selected conflict regions through meticulous on-the-ground research, active listening, education and advocacy.

9) The Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is the principal body through which the OECD deals with issues related to co-operation with developing countries. They provide publications and analysis on peacebuilding, fragile states, gender and more that summarize best practices across key donor agencies.

10) The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution - as a South African-based civil society organisation working throughout Africa to bring creative African solutions to the challenges posed by conflict on the continent. ACCORD’s primary aim is to influence political developments by bringing conflict resolution, dialogue and institutional development to the forefront as an alternative to armed violence and protracted conflict. ACCORD specialises in conflict management, analysis and prevention and intervenes in conflicts through mediation, negotiation, training, research and conflict analysis.

11) The Social Science Research Council -has a long-standing commitment to developing better understanding of problems of global security and cooperation, from work on arms control and nuclear proliferation, to emerging social, political, and religious movements, global public health challenges, and persistent forms of conflict and threats to human security.

12) United Nations Development Program - Supports out a wide variety of development projects around the globe. Within UNDP, the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery has a number of relevant publications.

13) The International Crisis Group - is now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.

14) The United States Institute of Peace - provides the analysis, training and tools that prevent and end conflicts, promotes stability and professionalizes the field of peacebuilding. USIP regularly publishes an array of comprehensive analysis and policy recommendations on current international affairs issues, especially on the prevention and resolution of conflict. USIP resources also include practical tools, training and courses for conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

15) The Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR) is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organization, active in Romania and internationally since March 2001. The main purpose of PATRIR is to promote peacebuilding, and constructive conflict transformation, and at the same time the prevention of all forms of violence - direct, structural, and cultural - in Romania, and internationally. The organization carries out extensive research, publications and advocacy on peacebuilding practice and effectiveness.

16) Catholic Relief Services - Justice and Peacebuiding Unit - Peacebuilding emerged as one of CRS' top priorities following  the horrific experiences in Rwanda and the Balkans in the 1990s.  Today, justice and peacebuilding integration is a core competency of the Agency. Strategic ojectives include greater equity for poor and marginalized people, improved social cohesion and more effective Church and inter-religious engagement. CRS has a number of excellent publications on peacebuilding practice, indicators, water, extractives  and more.

17) UN Peacebuilding Commission - is an intergovernmental advisory body of the United Nations that supports peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict, and is a key addition to the capacity of the International Community in the broad peace agenda.

18) Institute of Security Studies is a non-profit regional research institute operating in Sub-Saharan Africa that focuses on human security in Africa. An excellent resource for academics and professionals in the areas of conflict analysis, conflict management, peacebuilding and other security-related fields. It collaborates Governments and Civil Society at strategic level and assists in policy implementation.

19) West African Network for Peacebuilding - is a West Africa Civil Society Organization with over 450 member- organizations working in Partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and has Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The network carries out training, advocacy and policy related research.

20) The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict is a global civil society-led network which seeks to build an international consensus on peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict. ince holding its Global Conference in 2005, GPPAC has worked to strengthen civil society networks for peace and security by linking local, national, regional, and global levels of action; to establish effective engagement with governments, the UN system and regional organisations; and to carry out projects within the five main programme areas identified in its Global Work Plan (2007-2010).

21) The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre (PPC) is a not-for-profit, Canadian-based institution dedicated to improving the effectiveness of peace operations around the world. Using a multi-disciplinary and activity-based learning approach, the PPC teaches and trains those who serve in conflict zones including civilians, military personnel and police officers. Since its inception in 1994, the PPC has trained over 18,000 individuals from over 150 countries.

22) RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, an independent and international research and policy think tank based in Singapore at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. We are one of the core institutes of the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative, and the secretariat of NTS-Asia, a consortium of partner institutes in Asia focusing on Non-Traditional Security studies.

23) 3P Human Security  The mission of 3P Human Security is to foster understanding and support for conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the US government.  3P emphasizes the need for local civil society perspectives, principled negotiation, peace process support strategies, sustainable development and clear civil society-military relationships in security policymaking.

24) The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization specializing in conflict resolution. IMTD’s mission is to promote a systems-based approach to peacebuilding and to facilitate the transformation of deep-rooted social conflict through education and conflict resolution training. IMTD’s multi-track approach to peacebuilding expands the traditional framework of peacemaking to include both official and unofficial spheres such as non-governmental structures, businesses, private citizens, educational and research institutions, peace activists, religious organizations, foundations and mass media. By transforming conflict through a multi-track lens, IMTD’s activities address the tangible and intangible conditions perpetuating a conflict.

25) The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) is an independent, interdisciplinary institution established in 1959 that focuses on the driving forces behind violent conflict and on ways in which peace can be built, maintained and spread. Known for its effective synergy of basic and policy-relevant research, PRIO also conducts graduate training and engages in dialogue and reconciliation, public information and policy-related work for the UN, the World Bank and several governments. Our work is organized in thematic research groups;at the PRIO Cyprus Centreand the Center for the Study of Civil War (CSCW). Since 2011 PRIO has a US partner in the 501(c)3 nonprofit Peace Research Endowment. PRIO also owns and edits two top academic journals, Journal of Peace Research (JPR) and Security Dialogue, and it is editorial home to two others, Journal of Military Ethics and International Area Studies review. In 2010 JPR and Security Dialogue were ranked among the ISI's top ten international relations journals in the world.

26) Institute for Inclusive Security - across the globe, women play a vital but often unrecognized role in averting violence and resolving conflict. The Institute for Inclusive Security recognizes the important characteristics women bring to the negotiating table, whether it be experience with grassroots activism, empathy across cultural divides, or a less threatening demeanor which grants access behind enemy lines. To empower women around the world to take an active role in their society, Inclusive Security focuses on research and documentation, partnerships, and training.

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Tags: Analysis, Guide, Policy, Publication, Research, Resource, Think Tanks


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Comment by Peter Jones on January 21, 2010 at 7:46pm
This excellent list of peacebuilding institutions and resources was forwarded to the membership of the Institute for 21st Century Agoras. I'm a board member of this US-based non-profit organization dedicated to a democratic transformation of society through the processes of structured dialogue with committed stakeholders. The Agoras Institute is working with the Future Worlds Center over recent years with successful engagements leading toward the reunification of Cyprus.

Heiner Benking, who shared your work with us, posted a recent interview with Dr. Aleco Christakis, the systems thinker who created Structured Dialogic Design after his work as an organizer of the original Club of Rome. He reviews the Problematique of the Club as a 40-year retrospective, highly recommended.

In other institutes, see Ohio's National Peace Academy and Dayton's International Peace Museum to add to your list.
Comment by Elisa Lurkis on January 19, 2010 at 10:07pm
I would add the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, which works on the ground in conflict and post-conflict areas such as Nepal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, focusing on human rights advocacy training and civil-government peacebuilding training.
Comment by LisaSchirch on January 18, 2010 at 11:00pm
I'd add the 3D Security Initiative, a program solely devoted to being a policy voice for conflict prevention and peacebuilding among US security policymakers.

It publishes policy briefs focusing on peacebuilding on a wide range of issues and regions.
Comment by David Mwaniki on January 18, 2010 at 4:08pm
I would add Global Crisis Solutions (GCS).
It is an independent, non-profit Human Security Think Tank operating in Sub-Saharan Africa that focuses policy research and analysis on peace and security and human rights. An excellent resource for academics and professionals in the areas of conflict analysis, conflict management, peacebuilding and other human security related fields. It collaborates with Governments, Multi-lateral institutions and Civil Society at strategic level and assists in policy formulation and implementation.
Comment by MaryFrances Lukera on January 18, 2010 at 11:27am
Thanks for this useful info.
Comment by nino viartasiwi on January 18, 2010 at 8:56am
Thank you for the list. It helps me so much to explore more about peace, as I just a beginner rookie in this challenging field of study. Nino
Comment by Catia Cecilia Confortini on January 18, 2010 at 1:49am
I would also add a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, monitoring and working toward full implementation of UN SC Res 1325 on Women Peace and Security
Comment by Dr. Fungisai Nota on January 18, 2010 at 12:49am
Craig - Many thanks for the list. I am putting together a course on the Economics of Peace and Conflict, my students will be using a lot of the organizations you provided for research.
In teaching the Economics of Peace and Conflict, what are the topics you highly recommend? I am opening up this question to everybody .. all ideas are welcome.
Stay blessed
- Nota
Comment by Solomon Inuwa on January 17, 2010 at 11:02pm
This is an excellent compendium of Peace Building organizations. There is no doubt that it will always be a peace researcher's delight. -Solomon
Comment by Adrienne Stork on January 17, 2010 at 10:47pm
The UN Environment Programme also has a Post-conflict and Disaster Management Branch. They work on the linkages between natural resources and peacebuilding, as well as the role that natural resources play in peacekeeping situations. They have conducted post-conflict environmental assessments in many countries, including Kosovo, Afghanistan, OPT Gaza, Sudan and others. Check:

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