Conflict and Violence Prevention & Transformation

Conflict and Violence Prevention & Transformation


​​​SDC engages itself to prevent and transform​​ conflict and violence by using a conflict-sensitive programme management / CSPM approach and by supporting peace building. In line with its 'Peace and Statebuilding Strategy' and through actions and policies aiming at reducing the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict and through the creation of the necessary conditions for sustainable peace, by i.e. building trust and addressing the deep-rooted structural causes of violent conflict, the FCHR Unit and FCHR Network contribute to conflict prevention and transformation.

Conflicts are the expressions of tensions and incompatibilities between different interdependent parties regarding their needs, interests and values. Conflicts are not exclusively negative, as they can also help societies to develop. The problem starts when conflicts are settled through violent means and when they threaten to reverse development achievements.

Conflict and violence prevention and transformation approaches aim at preventing and transforming social and political conflicts through peaceful mean​s. They involve more than merely ensuring that crises do not happen in the first place. They also mean tackling the root causes of injustices, inequalities, social tensions and conflicts, in order to make a step 'out of fragility' and prevent the recurrence of violence. Supporting a strong, just and inclusive society that embodies democratic values and reinforces good governance is an important ingredient towards conflict and violence prevention and transformation.

The nexus between development and security – freedom from fear


The development perspective in the discourse on security means to always have in mind the security of the people, their ​​​personal, political and community rights.

Fragility and weak ins​titutions are threatening not only the security of the states but also the rights and safety of individuals. Fragility appears as individual insecurity in the daily life of the people in and beyond armed conflicts. People are threatened by violations of rights, by different forms of violence, by discrimination, legal uncertainty, bad governance and lack of accountability, corruption and intimidation in the exercise of their political, personal and community rights. Poor people and communities are even more affected by violence. They constitute the majority of the victims of terrorism (understood as indiscriminate violence against civilians with the aim of creating fear and panic) both in developed and developing countries.

This nexus is reflected in the Peace & Statebuilding goals of the new Deal and SDG 16.

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Prevention of violence and violent extremism


Development actors look at violence as the tip of the iceberg of fragility issues like missing perspectives, lack of accountability of states and e​specially security institutions, corruption and exclusion with correlated psychosocial effects on the individual. Therefore, prevention of violence for International Cooperation means to address the root causes of fragility in a specific context.

Violence often begins at home and takes on many forms like criminal or gang violence (continuity of violence). The same fragility issues like social exclusion and the perception of injustice can lead to extremist violence. In the last years, this topic has moved to the centre of attention of international actors and decision makers and induced important policy discussions and operational developments to shape prevention approaches.

The prevention of violence and violent extremism is a challenge for SDC's development programs. SDC's main prevention approach to meet this challenge is the consistent application of development instruments like the Conflict Sensitive Program Management (CSPM), understood as a comprehensive risk approach, the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA), a gender-sensitive analysis as well as a strict result orientation, to be fit for purpose.



  1. GCERF Webseite
  2. GCERF Fact Sheet.pdf
  3. GCERF project stories
    GCERF Human Interest Stories Bangladesh.pdf
    GCERF Human Interest Stories Nigeria.pdf
    GCERF Human Interest Stories Mali.pdf



1. Basic UN documents:

UN Action Plan PVE

Path-breaking publications from UNDP :


2. Worldbank


3. NGO publications:

  • The prevention project: Development recommendations on PVE 2017.pdf
  • Mercy Corps:
                    • Mercy Corps Nigeria Voices of Boko Haram
                    • Mercy Corps Research Brief: Motivations and Empty Promises
                    • Mercy Corps: Youth Consequences Report





Security Sector Reform (SSR)


Security sector reform (SSR) aims for a society where the security sector, including police, military and the judicial system, respects human rights and is under democratic control. It is a key component in international development cooperation. SSR: The approach of Security Sector Reform provides an important toolbox for the building of effective and accountable institutions, especially of the security sector. With DCAF, SDC has a recognized strategic partner on the way to improve its work in the nexus between development and security policy.

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Humanitarian Demining and Development


Mine action makes an important contribution to peace, security and development. It is a fundamental prerequisite for humanitarian action, peace processes, security and socio-economic development among the affected communities of countries concerned. Mine action plays a very real role as an enabler: letting refugees and internally displaced people return home, allowing the affected population to regain access to areas where they live and work, permitting agricultural land and natural resources to be used again and the necessary infrastructure to be repaired or built.

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