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It Takes a Generation: West African Success Stories

Published June 24, 2014 | By Nate Haken

Many truisms about peace-building incline towards pessimism. There is a “vicious cycle,” a “conflict trap,” “unintended consequences,” the problem of “political will,” and a slew of transnational “exogenous pressures” beyond the sphere of anyone’s control. Certainly, the Fragile States Index (FSI) is often perceived as a buffet of bad news stories and cautionary tales with the same sorry countries at the top of the list year after year. But there are also cases of sustained and steady progress that give occasion for hope. Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa offer two lessons for peace-builders working for lasting change.

From Failed to Fragile: Renaming the Index

Published June 24, 2014 | By Krista Hendry

When the Failed States Index (FSI) was first published in 2005, the use of the term ‘”failed state” was designed to highlight and draw attention to the very real risk that people faced if their state failed to address the factors and conditions that we were measuring. While we all agreed that the term “failed state” was fraught with issues, mainly that we were not calling any country on the list failed, we knew it would likely get attention. And it did. Despite this, almost every year, we would revisit the name and think about whether we could change it finally. We had the attention and we knew people used the Index and waited eagerly for its release. Surely they would seek it out even if we changed the name?

Fragile States Index 2014: The Book

Published June 24, 2014 | By J.J. Messner, Nate Haken, et al.

The Fragile States Index, produced by The Fund for Peace, is a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure. By highlighting pertinent issues in weak and failing states, The Fragile States Index—and the social science framework and software application upon which it is built—makes political risk assessment and early warning of conflict accessible to policy-makers and the public at large.

Conflict Bulletin: Borno State - May 2014

Published May 7, 2014 | By Patricia Taft and Nate Haken*

Borno State, the location of the April 2014 abduction of nearly 300 school girls, is at the heart of what has been called the “Boko Haram” insurgency. The insurgency, perpetrated by a militant group called Jamāʻat Ahl as-Sunnah lid-daʻwa wal-Jihād (JAS), began in 2009 as a mass uprising against police in the states of Bauchi, Yobe, and Borno in which hundreds died. Violence de-escalated rapidly after insurgent leader Muhammed Yusuf was captured and killed. However, in 2011, the death toll began once again to rise and kept rising for the next three years. In May 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa to contain the violence.

CAST Guide d’Évaluation des Conflits

Published March 10, 2014

Dans le cadre de sa mission, le FFP se concentre sur le développement de stratégies pratiques et d’outils constructifs permettant de faire face aux questions liées à la sécurité découlant d’Etats fragiles et en déliquescence. Un de ces outils est le CAST (Conflict Assessment System Tool), une méthodologie développée par le FFP qui permet d’évaluer les possibilités d’effondrement des Etats. Cet outil mesure ces possibilités dans des contextes de pré-conflit, de conflit actif et d’après conflit. Cette méthodologie utilise aussi bien des indicateurs qualitatifs que quantitatifs, se fie à des sources publiques de données, et génère des résultats quantifiables. Le CAST a diverses mises en pratiques pour les gouvernements, les organisations internationales, les sociétés privées, les organisations humanitaires, les armées, les chercheurs et les média.

CAST Conflict Assessment Framework Manual

Published March 10, 2014

FFP focuses on developing practical strategies and constructive tools for meeting security challenges stemming from weak and failing states. One of those tools is CAST (Conflict Assessment System Tool), a methodology developed by FFP for assessing the vulnerability of states to collapse. It measures this vulnerability in pre-conflict, active conflict and post-conflict situations. The methodology uses both qualitative and quantitative indicators, relies on public source data, and produces quantifiable results. It has diverse applications for governments, international organizations, private corporations, humanitarian organizations, the military, academic scholars and the media.

FFP Annual Report to the Voluntary Principles Plenary 2014

Published February 10, 2014

The Fund for Peace (FFP) is strongly committed to continuing its support of the Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights (VPs). We publicly endorse the VPs on our website and undertake efforts to raise public awareness of their existence as well as to support information sharing between those involved regarding implementation. We greatly welcome feedback from other participants as to how we could more strongly support the VPs going forward.

Human Rights & Business Roundtable Annual Report 2013

Published January 13, 2014 | By J. J. Messner*

Launched in 1996, the Roundtable was the first forum designed for multinational businesses and mainstream human rights organizations to discuss issues of common concern in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, and confidentiality. Today, the Roundtable focuses exclusively on the extractive industry, although the lessons learned and case studies of the Roundtable provide value to all sectors. The Roundtable is an invaluable resource for corporations and NGOs to work together to promote sustainable development.

Conflict Bulletin: Adamawa State - January 2014

Published January 10, 2014 | By Patricia Taft*

Formed in 1991, Adamawa is one of the largest states in Nigeria. Located in the country’s northeast, it borders Cameroon to the east, Borno state to the north, Gombe state to the west, and Taraba state to the south. Its position makes it a key corridor between Borno, a hub of Boko Haram activity, and other states. Its population of about 3.5 million are mainly made up of farmers and cattle herders. The economy is predominately agriculture, although the state also has some mineral wealth. Common crops include maize, millet, sorghum, rice, yams, and cassava. Cotton and groundnuts are also produced as cash crops.

Briefing: Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Continues to Unfold

Published December 11, 2013 | By Jacob Grunberger

On Friday March 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm JST, an earthquake registered as a 9.0 on the Richter Scale occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. The earthquake was comparable in its magnitude to the earthquake that hit Sumatra in 2004, roughly the equivalent of 23,000 Nagasaki bombs being simultaneously detonated. The earthquake and ensuing tsunami destroyed towns and infrastructure, ultimately ending in billions of dollars worth of damage and the confirmed loss of about 16,000 lives. Located on the northeast coast of Japan, 219 kilometers from Tokyo, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant run by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) felt the first effects of the event.

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