swisspeace is a practice-oriented peace research institute. It carries out research on violent conflicts and their peaceful transformation. The Foundation aims to build up Swiss and international organizations' civilian peacebuilding capacities by providing trainings, space for networking and exchange of experiences. It also shapes political and academic discourses on peace policy issues at the national and international level through publications, workshops and conferences. swisspeace therefore promotes knowledge transfer between researchers and practitioners.

swisspeace was founded in 1988 as the Swiss Peace Foundation in order to promote independent peace research in Switzerland. Today the Foundation employs more than 40 staff members. Its most important donors are the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the United Nations.

swisspeace is an associate institute of the University of Basel.

Telephone: +41 31 330 12 12
Sonnenbergstrasse 17, P.O. Box, CH-3000 Bern 7
No programmes have been added yet.
No support mandates have been added yet.

Senior Program Officer

Location: Basel, Switzerland
Period: 01/09/2019 to Indefinite
Application Contact: ( )
Application Deadline: 20/08/2019 12:00 pm

The swisspeace Statehood Program is looking for a new Senior Program Officer. Main tasks: 

  • Coordinate ongoing mandates and projects related to governance, decentralisation, and peacebuilding in Syria with local and international partners
  • Develop new ideas and projects and secure corresponding funding, thus contributing to the financial sustainability of the Statehood Program
  • Represent swisspeace vis-à-vis partners and provide senior expertise in the implementation of mandates and projects, including the supervision of staff as necessary.
  • Supervise the administrative and financial management of projects and mandates
  • Contribute to the swisspeace training courses organized by swisspeace and the University of Basel
  • Expand network with national and international actors

For full details about the vacancy Senior Program Officer, please follow the link



KOFF info sheet: Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment and Conflict Sensitivity

Since the late 1990s the international community has become increasingly aware that no actor in the context of violent conflict can ever be neutral. Accordingly all interventions have the potential not only to have a positive impact but also to generate unintended negative impacts on the conflict context. It is now acknowledged that, even in well-thought out and circumspect peacebuilding programs, interventions do not automatically build peace. Many scholars and organizations subsequently started to develop conflict sensitive methodologies and tools to assess the impact of their humanitarian, development or peacebuilding interventions on the conflict context. Many institutions are currently looking for appropriate tools and methodologies to mainstream conflict sensitivity. This KOFF InfoSheet discusses important aspects of the current debate and trends without claiming to provide a complete overview. Please note that the abbreviations are explained at the end of this paper.


Policy and Research Papers

Archives against Genocide Denialism?

This paper discusses the role of archives in situations of conflicting memories such as in the case of the official Turkish denial of the Armenian genocide. A crucial problem of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation are the divergent perceptions of what to consider as proper ‘evidence’, i.e. as objective, reliable, impartial or trustworthy sources of knowledge in order to prove the Armenian genocide.

For full access to the policy paper Archives against Genocide Denialism?, kindly follow the link. 


La société civile, un acteur indispensable à la paix et à la sécurité

Durant les quatre dernières décennies, les groupes de la société civile ont joué un rôle crucial en documentant, en surveillant et en établissant des rapports sur la mise en œuvre de projets. Les informations fournies par la société civile sont capitales pour le travail d’alerte précoce, la prévention et la transformation des conflits ainsi que pour le relèvement post-conflit.

Afin d'accéder à l'analyse, La société civile, un acteur indispensable à la paix et à la sécurité, veuillez suivre le lien.


La société civile, un acteur indispensable à la paix et à la sécurité

La société civile joue un rôle crucial de surveillance sur la mise en œuvre de traités. Les informations fournies sont capitales pour le travail d’alerte précoce, la prévention et le relèvement post-conflit.

Afin d'accéder à l'analyse, La société civile, un acteur indispensable à la paix et à la sécurité, veuillez suivre le lien.


The psychosocial approach in peacebuilding

Can and should we simply blank out our emotions in certain contexts? Key figures from the world of international collaboration and peacebuilding increasingly agree about one thing: at times of social change, the feelings of those affected cannot be ignored. And this is precisely where the psychosocial approach comes in, which is concerned with the emotional sensitivities and social reality of individuals.

This approach is particularly important in conflict situations as few things are as emotionally charged as violent confrontations. Although our partners at federal level and those from the NGO world have been working with the psychosocial approach for a long time now, it has recently come to prominence again and more is being done to exploit its potential. In fact, the psychosocial approach is enjoying a veritable renaissance and taking a wide variety of forms.

The focus of peacebuilding is slowly shifting toward the potential of methods which place “human” aspects at the heart of things. This new awareness of psychosocial structures is feeding into the work done with people’s emotions, and the creativity involved is almost limitless.

To read the full article, The psychosocial approach in peacebuilding, please follow the link provided. 


Burkina Faso at Crossroads

Long spared by the Sahel’s jihadi groups, Burkina Faso is now confronted with increasingly frequent and lethal attacks in its northern and eastern provinces. Whereas the armed forces have launched some operations to contain the jihadi incursion, there has also been a spontaneous proliferation of vigilantes to counter bandits in the hinterlands. This policy brief aims to examine the latent informalization of the state security apparatus and its impact on the political trajectory of the country. By resorting to the ‘rule standardization1’ thesis, I argue that while the pluralization of security institutions may apparently provide the biggest opportunity for Burkina Faso to contain the jihadi incursion, any failure from the government to keep this patchwork of (new) security providers under tight control is likely to contribute to the country’s political fragmentation. This will constitute a blow to the resilience that the ‘land of honest men’ has shown until now and add Burkina Faso to the list of Africa’s fragile states.

To read the full paper Burkina Faso at Crossroads, please follow the link provided.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Social Media and Peace Mediation

New technologies increasingly shape the environment of peace mediation, as conflict parties and mediators resort to technology for different purposes. This trend is likely to continue and yet, mediation practitioners are ill prepared and do not fully understand the impact of new technologies on peace mediation.  To address this gap, in March 2018, the UN Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA), together with three Switzerland-based organizations – swisspeace, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) and DiploFoundation – initiated the CyberMediation Initiative. The Initiative dovetails with UN efforts to better understand and leverage new technologies in global governance and collective security.

For full access to the Policy brief, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Social Media and Peace Mediation, kindly follow the link. 


Prévenir l'extrémisme violent

Depuis quelque temps, le concept de prévention de l’extrémisme violent est au cœur des discours des gouvernements, des organisations internationales et des acteurs non étatiques. Les sanglants attentats qui ont eu lieu ces dernières années un peu partout dans le monde soulignent en effet plus que jamais la nécessité d’apporter une réponse à ce phénomène, qui soit plus convaincante que les mesures principalement répressives et militaires mises en œuvre dans le cadre de la « guerre mondiale contre le terrorisme ». La prévention de l’extrémisme violent est-elle un véritable changement de paradigme dans la lutte contre le terrorisme ? Quels sont les aspects à prendre en compte si l’on veut faciliter la mise en œuvre de cette approche ? Quelles sont les conséquences sur les rôles assignés aux jeunes et aux femmes en particulier ? Enfin, quelles sont les mesures et activités déjà entreprises par les organisations suisses gouvernementales et non étatiques ?

Pour accéder à l'intégralité du rapport Prévenir l'extrémisme violent, veuillez suivre le lien.


Other Documents

Myanmar at a Crossroads

KOFF Newsletter 142

From the editorial:

On 15 October, the heads of eight Burmese armed groups signed a ceasefire with the Myanmar Government. Although this agreement, which was signed after more than two years of intense negotiations, is historical, it is also an admission of defeat for President U Thein Sein, who wanted a nationwide ceasefire to be agreed with all armed ethnic groups before the general elections that are scheduled for 8 November. The elections also constitute a significant event for Myanmar as they mark a key stage in its political, social, and economic transition. They are also the first elections that can be classed as transparent and inclusive since the country gained its independence in 1948. If these two events, inextricably linked, seem set to permanently mark Myanmar’s future, they also give rise to great challenges.

This edition enables us to learn more about the main issues faced by the international community involved in this context and presents some of the actions undertaken by the Swiss administration and civil society to address these challenges.

DCAF’s Contribution to Police Reform in Myanmar, page 7.

Read Myanmar at a Crossroads

Other Document

Ukraine Conflict: Overcoming the Deadlock

KOFF 143

KOFF Newsletter 143

From the editorial:

For almost two years, Ukraine has been gripped by an unprecedented crisis. The result of several years of public discontent due to poor governance, the events in the Maidan square very quickly turned into armed and ideological conflict which went beyond the borders of the country. Today, despite the Minsk II agreement signed in February 2015, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains highly unstable. Against this backdrop, and given the difficulties encountered when using official diplomatic channels, civil society may have a crucial role to play in resolving the armed conflict and working towards socioeconomic and institutional reforms.
 This issue features some of the initiatives launched and supported by Swiss NGOs in this context, as well as actions taken at state level not only in Switzerland, but also in Germany, where the government is preparing to take over the OSCE chairmanship.

Download Ukraine Conflict: Overcoming the Deadlock below and other newsletters by KOFF. 

Other Document

Perceptions of Governance - The Experience of Local Administrative Councils in Opposition-held Syria

This report provides new insights into Local Administrative Councils (LACs) in five case study areas in opposition-held Syria. It explores their evolution, practices and influence and the way that they are perceived amongst citizens in the communities in which they exist.

To access the entire report Perceptions of Governance - The Experience of Local Administrative Councils in Opposition-held Syria, kindly click on the link.

Other Document

Art Initiatives in Fragile and Conflict Affected Regions

Art initiatives in fragile and conflict-affected contexts receive growing attention. A broad spectrum of strategies has evolved, integrating perspectives, concepts and skills from different fields such as artistic production, international cooperation, cultural management and humanitarian work. Both during latent or violent conflict, as well as in post-conflict situations, individual artists, civil society activists and grassroots movements, international NGOs and governmental actors have gained experience with good practices and unsuccessful approaches.

To access the entire critical reflection Art Initiatives in Fragile and Conflict Affected Regions, kindly click on the link.

Other Document

No civil society, no peace and security

In this short but concise article, Natascha Cerny argues that the 'vetting' measures that are proposed for NGO participation in OSCE events risk jeopardising the effectiveness, credibility and very raison d’être of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). 

To read the full article "No civil society, no peace and security", please kindly follow the link in text.

Also available in German and French.

Other Document