Our Theory of Action for Change

The Conducive Space for Peace Initiative takes its point of departure in the assumption that it is possible to support and sustain peace in countries and regions that are conflict-affected and that the international system in support of peacebuilding is falling short of its potential. We have seen that, despite good intentions, the international system sometimes fails to meet the goals that it is aiming to achieve and does not function according to the values and principles identified as critical to sustainable peacebuilding. Such principles include local ownership, dignified spaces for collaboration (including between national and international actors), meaningful participation of all relevant stakeholders (including women) in peacebuilding processes, flexibility in programming, long term and predictable funding, etc.

We know that there are many people working to support peacebuilding who see potential for doing better. CSP aims to support and serve these changemakers and champions by generating knowledge of alternative approaches and how to implement them and by supporting broader systemic changes.

We also know that there are many actors in the international systems that aim to support peacebuilding who don’t believe that change is important or possible. For these actors, we aim to inspire them to see that there is, indeed, great potential to do peacebuilding support better.

It is our hypothesis that if we can build a shared desire to create systemic changes that will ensure better support for peacebuilding, and if we can foster the development of knowledge, ideas, and examples about how to do so, the international systems and practices in support of peacebuilding, will change. In particular, we believe that generating changes in development aid programming procedures, practices and processes in relation to peacebuilding, will lead to more successful international support to sustainable peace.


New Pathways Forward

Over the years of our work, we have sought to find models and examples to demonstrate how the peacebuilding support system can change. While there are some best practice examples to learn from and share, efforts to broadening these efforts to enable larger systemic change are few. Accordingly, one of the key areas of activity of CSP is to promote the development of new or adjusted approaches to supporting peacebuilding, to amplify the learning and experience of those who are supporting peacebuilding in different and more successful ways, and to develop communities of practice in this area.

While our engagement at national and international level should in and of itself generate improvements in peacebuilding support, we believe that it is the learning and sense of possibility that these models generate that will have the potential to generate systemic changes in the international system that supports peacebuilding. Accordingly, capturing and amplifying learning, and developing an evidence base is another key area of activity of CSP.

Qualities we aim to enhance and cultivate in the systems that support peacebuilding

  • Peacebuilding processes are led by national actors
  • Peacebuilding happens through broad platforms of collaboration
  • The role of international actors is to support a conducive space for such efforts
  • Processes promote dignity, equality, respect, ownership, inclusion, transparency, accountability, flexibility, creativity, and inter- connectedness
  • Meaningful participation of marginalised groups and women is ensured
  • Accountability towards end beneficiaries is a guiding value
  • Processes recognize and address the dimension of inter-connectedness and shared responsibility among people and countries of the world in relation to armed conflict
  • Creativity in methods and processes enables effective innovation and development of new approaches to emerge
  • Diverse voices, including vulnerable ones are given spaces in the process
  • Processes are inductive and build on learning, rather than pre-defined outputs

Theory of Change



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