Business and Peace

Project Overview

Many companies presume that constructive management of “externalities” will contribute to peace—through such practices as risk mitigation, conflict sensitivity, ‘shared value creation’, human rights promotion, corporate social responsibility, and a range of other corporate initiatives.  Yet to date there is little concrete evidence supporting this conclusion.  Much remains to be learned about what corporate practices are effective, not just in mitigating conflict-inducing business activities, but also in building peace.

As enthusiasm for the enhanced role of companies in advancing peace has grown, so too has confusion and questionable claims about what private sector actors can accomplish in conflict contexts.

This collaborative learning process was undertaken to develop a strong framework for analysis and action that will help companies move beyond risk management to exert positive impacts on the conflict contexts in which they work.  In consultation with peacebuilders and the private sector, CDA and its partners will conduct a series of case studies regarding business contributions to peace.  Stakeholders will engage in joint comparative analysis of the project case studies and provide feedback on preliminary findings, ensuring that findings and recommendations are realistic and grounded in experience.

Ultimately, the project will offer practical, evidence-based findings about how companies can play a proactive and constructive role in peacebuilding.

CDA Partners

Core Questions

  • What are the appropriate roles for the business sector in promoting peace, as a stakeholder and/or as an active party?
  • What are the parameters and definitions of “business for peace”?
  • How is it different from conflict sensitivity and risk management?

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