Conflict is a major restraint to development and poverty reduction; sustained peace is the bedrock of a prosperous and flourishing society. The past seven years have seen a rapid rise in civil wars, with disastrous humanitarian consequences particularly in the Middle East, the Sahel, and the Horn of Africa. Protracted or recurrent conflict is driving human migration and a growing poverty gap between conflict affected and other developing countries. The World Bank estimates that by 2030, nearly half of all people living in extreme poverty will live in conflict-affected places.
Rarely has there been a more important time for us to develop our understanding of how to achieve long-lasting reconciliation, which is vital to liberate countries from cycles of violence, unlock their potential, and allow their citizens to flourish.
Led by Anna Caffell, our Peace and Reconciliation programme documents how nations have forged pathways to peace, exploring the interlinked roles of locally-led initiatives pioneered by civil society organisations and visionary leadership willing to cross political boundaries. We aim to analyse common patterns so that other countries will be able to learn from their experiences and achieve long-lasting reconciliation.