How can we promote inclusive, equitable, and peaceful societies?

Conflict transformation and peace-building research contributions to Sustainable Development Goal 16

Workshop Area A 201 September 7, 2017 11:00 to 12:30 - 14:00 to 15:30

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Remko Berkhout1, Claudia Zingerli2

1transition compagnions, Austria; 2Swiss National Science Foundation


In the r4d Forum Social Conflicts of September 2016, the 3 three consortia of the Social Conflicts Module of the r4d programme explored opportunities for synthesis, synergy and mutual learning. Together with experts from the review panel, the consortia identified SDG goal 16 – “To Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for SD, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”, as one of the four key synthesis perspectives for the next phase of the r4d programme. From the research perspectives of the three projects they also identified important links to SDG 5 on Gender Equality and SDG 10 on Reduced Inequality.

One the one hand, based on research results the consortia were confident that they would be able to bring new insights, policy recommendations and tools for application to both the body of knowledge and practice. Their evidence provides new analyses on innovative community-based early warning systems, impacts of transformational justice processes, participatory institutions at local levels and law enforcement agencies, and a state of the art global data base on conflict negotiations.

On the other hand, these recent research initiatives asserted that they had not yet come to grips with the global playing field of SDG16, its networks, research agenda, policy challenges and knowledge gaps.

Recent scoping by CIC/SAS confirms that this applies across the ecosystem of key actors that will have to deliver on SDG 16. Challenges include the lack of a long-term roadmap, fragmented expertise across different fields, data gaps, and ineffective collaboration. The CIC/SAS scoping brings up the following elements:

(1) Building awareness of delivery opportunities and gaps among member states; (2) development of an action platform that will increase actor power and alignment; (3) act as convener and catalyst for greater innovation and ambition; (4) build a strong link with practice in the field; (5) knowledge partnerships between state institutions, multi-lateral and international organizations, and private and civil society actors will allow for developing effective and inclusive monitoring systems capable to provide; and (6) use ‘big data’ for peace and development.

The session shall make use of a potent setting for building a partnership between the consortia and networks of the social conflicts module of the r4d programme and the ‘Peaceful societies, time to deliver’ programme. This programme needs to build a critical mass of actors including strong grass-roots linkages of the kind that the r4d network has on offer. The CIC/SAS activities on the other hand offers a strong global podium to validate research findings and accelerate research uptake. In the process Swiss global development leadership on reaching SDG16 is strengthened, while coherence of development policy and funding streams improves.