Contributing data and analysis to support evidence-based policy making
Our PA-X Peace Agreements Database offers policy makers and practitioners a rich resource to quickly access peace agreement provisions. This data can be used to compare and contrast the outcomes of a diverse range of peace agreement negotiations. This analysis can yield important lessons learned and policy points that can usefully inform policy-making.
Examples of our policy engagement include:
UK conflict policy
Our work has provided substantive input to UK conflict policy, for example through their engagement on sequencing of peace agreements and constitutional processes. Our research also shaped the themes on conflict-resolution processes and fair power structures, informing the FCDO (formerly DFID)’s ‘Building Stability’ Framework, and the DFID/ODI-hosted Wilton Park Conference on Re-thinking Conflict, State building and Fragility.
The UK government’s Stabilisation Guide explains its approach to stabilisation (protect, promote, prepare) and refers to our work in the context of political bargaining and political settlements in (post-)conflict countries. The guide highlights Bell and Pospisil’s work on formalised political unsettlement, as well as our papers on political, military, and economic power-sharing, and business and peace agreements.
Women, Peace and Security agenda
Our work on local peace processes fed into a 2022 UN Women report on women’s roles in local mediation in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. The report defines ‘local mediation’ as “referring to community-level mediation efforts that have limited territorial scope, are mediated by someone from that community, and address disputes that concern that community” (pp. 8) – a definition informed by the PA-X Spotlight report, Local Peace Processes: Opportunities and Challenges for Women’s Engagement, based on the PA-X Gender and PA-X Local Peace Agreements databases. Read more about our work on local agreements and the UN Women report.
A PeaceRep recommendation was featured in the 15-year review of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which fed into the new 2015 UNSC Resolution on Women, Peace and Security. Following this recommendation, the German Government provided $5 million to support training and policy advice to women in Middle East peace processes over the next five years.
Our data also informed the UN Secretary-General’s 2019 annual report on the implementation of Security Council resolutions 1325 and 2122. The report sets out the continued importance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and calls for the UN and its member states to strengthen efforts towards implementation. The report cites data from the PA-X Peace Agreements Database on inclusion of gender references in peace agreements, which shows that between 1990 and 2018, only 353 of 1,789 agreements (19.7 per cent) included provisions addressing women, girls or gender.
Finally, we have co-produced a short video with UN Women explaining seven tactics for women to influence stalled peace processes.
Other multilateral policies
Data from the PA-X Gender Peace Agreements Database and the Covid-19 Ceasefires Tracker informed the OECD’s States of Fragility 2020, which examines the dramatic impact of Covid-19 on the global state of fragility and sets out a policy agenda at a critical turning point. The report also refers to Untangling Conflict: Local Peace Agreements in Contemporary Armed Violence by Jan Pospisil, Laura Wise, and Christine Bell.
Our work has informed the World Bank’s World Development Report 2017. In addition, Professor Bell’s work, including her research on ‘formalised political unsettlements’ with Jan Pospisil, has been cited in the influential 2018 joint World Bank-United Nations Pathways for Peace study.
The Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) gave confidential advice to an international organisation on the use of transitional funding mechanisms. ASPR’s advice drew on the PA-X peace agreement database and publications about multi-donor trust funds to analyse when and how such funds had been set up, and where funds had addressed similar conditions in other countries.