In support of the Evidence Act and as part of the U.S. national security architecture, USIP is carrying out its own learning agenda. Peacebuilding has long been viewed as too messy and complex for evidence-based approaches — but USIP’s mix of research and practice belies that assumption.
The USIP Learning Agenda is a joint venture of our thematic, regional and evaluation centers as well as a partnership between our own experts and leading academic researchers. DevLab@Penn (formerly of Duke University) is supporting all aspects of our learning agenda. Specifically, the agenda includes 12 strategic questions that we believe are critical to international peacebuilding today and that were formulated in consultation with experts within and beyond USIP:
Evidence Review Papers
Security Sector Governance and Reform
Are reform programs that are focused on greater transparency, accountability and inclusivity of security-sector institutions effective?
Preventing Violent Extremism
Can promoting community resilience alleviate violent extremism?
What constitutes effective use of evidence to inform project design in peacebuilding?
What are the necessary viability factors for parties to a peace negotiation?
How can trust-building and relationship-building initiatives foster conflict management and conflict resolution, and enhance the sustainability of agreements and processes to address violent conflict?
Can systems science make practical contributions that help peacebuilding practitioners and decision makers address violent conflict more effectively?
What form of unofficial dialogue might be useful under various circumstances and with what participants?
Youth, Peace and Security
What systemic and structural barriers prevent youth from participating meaningfully in peacebuilding?
Can reconciliation contribute to durable peace during and after violent conflict?
In the coming months, USIP will be issuing comprehensive evidence-review papers in each of these areas on this page. We hope that the papers will contribute to vigorous discussion and to the advancement of evidence-based policy and programs across the international peacebuilding community.