Interpeace Launches a Guidance Note on Assessing Resilience for Peace

Over 80% of humanitarian emergencies around the world today are conflict-related. More than half of all these crises are protracted conflicts of 8 years or more. Whereas immediate needs of vulnerable and suffering populations are only increasing, the trend will not abate unless we focus greater attention on preventing these conflicts in the first place and resolving existing ones more sustainably.

The brave people working to build peace in such contexts tend to focus their attention on the fault-lines of a country, the nature of broken relationships and mistrust that are at the heart of a society’s fragility. Those efforts often overlook deep sources of resilience that exist even in the most difficult circumstances. When identified and enhanced, those factors of positive resilience provide a powerful basis upon which to build a more durable peace.

It is with this vision that Interpeace initiated the Frameworks for Assessing Resilience Programme in order to identify, analyze and strengthen sources of resilience for peace. With case studies in Liberia, Guatemala et un Timor-Leste, local people and their authorities were engaged through qualitative consultations, quantitative surveys and multi-sectoral dialogue processes in order to articulate - in their own voice - the endogenous capacities for resilience for peace that they possess.

The experience of assessing resilience for peace in three pilot countries, combined with an expert-practitioner dialogue on resilience as well as an extensive literature and practice review has fed into the development of a framework and guidance note on assessing resilience for peace. This Guidance Note will enable practitioners and policy makers working in the peacebuilding and related fields to integrate a resilience approach and indeed resilience assessments into their work

For practitioners, resilience assessments can complement conflict analyses in the design of conflict-sensitive and context-specific policy and programming, whilst also drawing attention to the endogenous capacities that exist at different levels of society. It can also offer a crucial tool, for national and international actors alike, to assess what progress is being made (or not) over time towards the strengthening of sources of resilience for peace, the reduction of risks of conflict and, crucially, the prevention of factors of fragility.

For policy-makers, a resilience approach has a strategic value in seeking to provide a common language – resilience – upon which greater synergies can be nurtured between the fields of peacebuilding on one hand, and humanitarian action, development assistance and disaster recovery, on the other.

The Guidance Note will be launched during a panel discussion hosted by Interpeace in Stockholm on June 9th.

Agenda Stockholm FAR Launch

Agenda for the Stockholm FAR Launch event






















Lire le Guidance Note for Assessing Resilience for Peace.

Lire une bref exposé qui reflète ce que l'expérience du FAR nous a appris sur les spécificités de la résilience en relation avec les conflits et la valeur ajoutée de l'utilisation d'une approche de résilience pour la consolidation de la paix

Lire une note d'information sur la pertinence de la résilience pour la paix dans la poursuite des Objectifs de développement durable de l'Agenda 2030.

En savoir plus sur les études de cas spécifiques :


Lire le rapport sur le Liberia.


Lire le rapport sur le Timor oriental.

Lire le Survey Report for TimorLeste.


Lire le rapport sur le Guatemala.

Lire le rapport d'enquête sur le Guatemala.


Stockholm FAR Launch


Strengthening peace through 'resilience' in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

L' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is based on extensive work of states, multilateral organizations and civil society organizations, that will guide international development policies of the next fifteen years. The attention now shifts to the design and implementation of national level development plans and policies that will enable countries to meet these goals.

The inclusion of Goal 16, as well as the upholding of peace as a cross-cutting theme in the SDG framework, in principle represents the long awaited mainstream of peace into the development discourse. Goal 16 seeks to: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” However, there is still little clarity on how this might be operationalized.

This brief proposes that a resilience orientation to peacebuilding can help countries meet the “peace goal” of the SDGs, as well as providing a vehicle for integrating this universal aspiration with the other Goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. It draws on evidence collected over the course of Interpeace’s Framework for Assessing Resilience (FAR) Programme including pilot research in Timor-Leste, Guatemala et un Liberia.

Peace among us - A population-based study about resilience for peace in Guatemala

Twenty years after the signing of the peace accords between the State of Guatemala and the National Revolutionary Unity of Guatemala (URNG) in 1996, Guatemala remains confronted to poverty, exclusion, violence and other conflicts and social issues. These are both roots and consequences of social and political polarization, lack of confidence in and legitimacy of public institutions and political leadership, and weakening of the social fabric. After twenty years of peacebuilding efforts, the need remains to better understand, assess and ultimately leverage the positive assets and attributes of individuals, communities, and institutions in the country.

This report represents the findings from a nationwide survey on resilience for peace that the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), in collaboration with Interpeace’s Guatemala Regional Office, have undertaken in the context of Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR). Programme. It seeks to contribute to the understanding of what makes Guatemalans able to anticipate risk, resolve conflicts collaboratively, and respond creatively to crisis – what we call resilience for peace.

The report has been authored by Phuong N. Pham and Patrick T. Vinck of HHI.

The results of the survey can also be viewed through an interactive map.

Using resilience to build peace - Practice brief: resilience and peacebuilding

The mainstream approach to peacebuilding is for the most part premised on finding solutions to fragility. As such, conflict analysis is the primary tool used to inform programmes and policies. Whilst a sound understanding of conflict dynamics, including root causes is necessary in order to develop an appropriate response, the fragility focus tends to overshadow the capacities and processes which are present, even in fragile contexts. Because even in the most challenging situations, there are individuals and communities acting to counter the effects and causes of conflict. Failure to take stock of these efforts can, and often does, undermine the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions, warranting criticism that programmes and policies are too generic and not sufficiently context specific.

Based on Interpeace’s experience with its Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR). programme (FAR) in Liberia, Guatemala et un Timor-Leste, this brief proposes that using resilience assessments alongside conflict analyses can make peacebuilding initiatives more context-specific, more locally-owned and therefore more impactful. A resilience orientation offers an operational strategy for making peacebuilding more assertive about building peace and promoting transformation as opposed to being solely a response to fragility. After explaining the specificities of the concept of resilience in relation to conflict and peace, this brief will look at the added value of using resilience to build peace.

How humanitarian response can strengthen resilience to violent conflict and end need

Last week, about 8,000 participants gathered in Istanbul, for the first World Humanitarian Summit.  The event was launched to bring together world leaders, representatives from the humanitarian and development sectors, and other actors to identify and commit to new ways of addressing what has been described as the greatest global humanitarian challenges the world has faced since World War II.

Interpeace was there to contribute recommendations to this new wave of humanitarian reform.


World Humanitarian Summit - Istanbul 2016

Conflict is a key factor in the current humanitarian crisis, which has seen humanitarian need outstrip available resources: today, 80% of humanitarian aid is delivered in response to violent conflict. Strategies are therefore urgently needed to limit cycles of violence and long-term need, reduce people’s risks and vulnerability, and improve people’s abilities to become more self-reliant.

Interpeace’s inputs focused on the practical question of how humanitarian response can help break cycles of violence and need. “We don’t propose that humanitarian actors should become peacebuilding actors,” said Interpeace’s Lisa Rudnick, discussing her talk at the WHS. “Rather, we propose that, especially in fragile contexts where social and political ties are broken, local capacities for resilience to violent conflict can and should be strengthened through the ways humanitarian actors partner with local actors. But to do that, we need to move beyond partnerships on paper’ to meaningful partnerships.”

Meaningful partnerships signify an important shift not only for how internal and external actors work together, but also why. “Partnerships can be a powerful tool for strengthening resilience,” says Nene Morisho, Director of Pole Institute, Goma, DRC. “If resilience to violent conflict is the goal, then this has implications for how local partners are chosen, what role they play, and how those partnerships are evaluated.”

Interpeace’s specific recommendations for how this can be done were developed through a collaborative engagement with local partners in three contexts. Beginning in 2015, Interpeace launched a project together with Indigo in Côte d’Ivoire, Pole Institute in DRCet Mustakbalna in Palestine to learn about local experiences of collaboration with external actors in the context of humanitarian response. When crisis hits, people are more than just beneficiaries of external aid. We wanted to learn from them how they are actors in their own experiences, and how working with external actors can contribute to the capacities a society needs to not only endure difficulty, but to move beyond what lead to conflict in the first place.

Côte d'Ivoire, Photo credit: INDIGO

The teams in all three contexts found many examples of local responses to crises, demonstrating that capacities persist even in the most adverse circumstances. Unfortunately, these were not always valorized by the international actors, who at times end up replacing rather than supporting local systems when they intervene – a tendency that the UN Secretary-General has called to reverse in the Agenda for Humanity.

“How aid is delivered is just as important as what is delivered. If you don’t build from local capacities, and if you don’t have resilience in view, you can end up doing harm when you intend to do good,” summarizes Onesphore Sematumba from Pole Institute in DRC in a video produced from the research.

Therefore, key recommendations emerging from the project and shared at the World Humanitarian Summit, are to redefine the success of humanitarian response to include strengthening resilience to violent conflict, and to adapt the system at different levels so that it does not only strive to meet immediate needs, but, in the process, strengthens societies’ social and political cohesion, inclusivity, and ability to transform beyond the fractures that fueled conflict.

Read more about our insights and recommendations Cliquez ici or browse a short overview of the recommendations Cliquez ici.

Get a glimpse of the local voices that are at the heart of the study through the accompanying video Cliquez ici.


Assessing resilience for peace - Guidance Note

This report is the product of the Framework for Assessing Resilience (FAR) programme. It offers analytical and operational reflections and guidance reflecting an approach to the assessment of resilience both as a lens – or a way of seeing, analyzing and understanding peace and conflict in any society – and as a vehicle which serves as an operational way of doing things.

The methodology and approach of this programme, which are documented in this guidance, also reflect an approach to locally owned and driven processes which are themselves powerfully animated by the endogenous nature of resilience.

This guidance aspires to inform both policy and practice. We hope the guidance note may be absorbed in both the policy and practitioner worlds, adapting these areas of thought and practice to the individual country context so as to respond more effectively to conflict-related challenges, threats, or stressors. Perhaps the guidance note might even be transformative, like the proposed framework and approach to resilience for peace itself.