Business and Armed Non-State Actors

Project Overview

This collaborative learning project aims to develop practical, evidence-based resources that can help companies improve their impacts on conflict and human security, when they operate in areas where armed non-state actors (ANSAs) are active. “Armed non-state actors” denotes a range of armed groups, from rebel movements, to militias and criminal organizations.

CDA is currently working in Colombia with Fundación Ideas para la Paz to develop the project’s initial cases studies and a case synthesis paper, expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016. Following the conclusion of activities in Colombia, the project will extend activities to a second country.

Latest Findings

The experience of this project to date suggests that the presence of armed groups in a company’s operational area significantly complicates nearly every aspect of company-community relations, from local content to social investment to stakeholder engagement.

Evidence also suggests that, under some circumstances, companies have been able to engage local communities and relevant authorities in ways that impede an ANSA’s ability to influence communities, reduce their capacity to operate in the company’s operational area, and decrease the risks they pose for human security, as well as for corporate projects.

Core Questions

  • What strategies have proven successful, as businesses attempt to deal with the presence of armed groups in areas where they operate?
  • How can companies work with communities and governments to reduce the negative impacts of ANSAs?

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