This research brief by the Institute for Economics and Peace, supported by Milt Lauenstein philanthropy is the first in a series of research briefs aiming to quantify and measure the cost-effectiveness of peacebuilding activities. It presents new and important findings and data on the positive cost-effectiveness of peacebuilding activities, and includes Rwanda and Liberia peacebuilding case studies.
Measuring peacebuilding cost-effectiveness is a methodological and practical challenge that has significant consequences for the international community. Today, the world faces a historic decline in global peace; reaching a 25-year peak in violence and conflict in 2016. The past two years have seen the highest number of global battle deaths for 25 years, record levels of terrorism and the highest number of refugees and displaced people since World War II.
When this conflict and violence subsides the critical factor to maintain durable long-term peace aside from the will of warring parties, will be peacebuilding activities — the broad set of activities targeted at reducing the risk of lapsing or relapsing into violent conflict. Peacebuilding in its preventative focus is distinct from peacekeeping and peacemaking activities — which broadly involve the activities aimed at ending violence and establishing security — peacebuilding is a prerequisite for sustainable peace.
The past two years have seen the highest number of global battle deaths for 25 years, record levels of terrorism, and the highest number of refugees and displaced people since World War II.
The need to understand what works in peacebuilding, how to measure its impact and cost-effectiveness is essential to long-term efforts to prevent violence and build peace. Yet, there is much we collectively do not know about peacebuilding, what works and doesn’t work, let alone what activities broadly define it. At a time when the international community’s resources to international development and aid are under strain due to tightened national budgets and stress from humanitarian action, the need to understand and invest in the most cost-effective ways to build long term peace is more crucial than ever.