Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT)

The Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT) is a new international initiative. It is the first nongovernmental organisation dedicated to the practical integration of policymaking in the areas of democracy, development, rule of law and security in periods of political transition in fragile and conflict-affected states.

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Policy and Research Papers

Inclusive Transitions Framework | Institute for Integrated Transitions

Based on two years of research, interviews, and expert workshops, this publication outlines a new conceptual and operational framework aimed at improving outcomes in fragile and conflict-affected states transitioning out of conflict or repression by zeroing in on inclusiveness as a guiding principle.

Transitions are critical junctures in which these states have an important chance to break with cycles of conflict and repression. To help make the most of the opportunity, while managing the tensions and divisions that a transition inevitably brings to the fore, the publication offers practical ideas for leaders at all levels of society to strengthen social cohesion, equality, and a sense of common nationhood.
 Recognising the great differences across countries and transitional contexts, the publication is not a “how-to guide” but instead a framework to be drawn upon and applied differently in different times and places. It offers detailed analysis and practical advice on inclusive policy-making in 10 priority areas: Political Dialogue Processes; Nation-Building Programs; Institutional Design; Elections and Political Party Development; Transitional Justice; Rule of Law; Security; Education; Economic Growth; and Taxation and the Administration of Public Resources.

The full publication is available in English, while an overview of its findings is available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.


Inclusive Social Contracts in Fragile States in Transition: Strengthening the Building Blocks of Success

There has been notable progress among policymakers in recent years to understand the unique challenges fragile states face and strategise how they might be overcome. There is, for example, a greater focus on issues such as inclusive politics, societal dynamics and local solutions. In-depth country assessments are now considered essential for developing a clear roadmap to reduce fragility. However, increases in understanding have not been matched by improvements in practice; weaknesses persist in how fragility is defined, flagged, assessed and addressed. Too often, the wrong issues are emphasised, possible trouble spots go unidentified, lessons gained from assessments are unused, and links between fragility and conflict cycles are underestimated.

This report explores ways of strengthening the building blocks of inclusive social contracts in fragile states during times of political and post-conflict transition. 

For full access to Inclusive Social Contracts in Fragile States in Transition: Strengthening the Building Blocks of Success, please follow the link. 


The Limits of Punishment: Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism

The Limits of Punishment is a research project led by the United Nations University’s Centre for Policy Research, in partnership with the Institute for Integrated Transitions, and supported by the UK Department for International Development. It seeks to understand if, when and how transitional justice, in combination with other conflict resolution tools, can contribute to transitions away from conflict in settings affected by major jihadist groups. Specifically, it aims to answer two questions:

  1. What are the effects of current approaches toward punishment and leniency for individuals accused of association with jihadist groups in fragile and conflict-affected states?
  2. What factors should policymakers consider in designing alternative and complementary strategies leveraging transitional justice tools to better contribute to sustainable transitions away from conflict?

For full access to the paper The Limits of Punishment: Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism, please kindly follow the link. 


Entrepreneurs as Peacebuilders in Fragile States

Although peacebuilders seek out creative ways to build social cohesion, reform institutions, and change political incentives in fragile contexts, they rarely consider local entrepreneurs as possible entry points for change. This is despite the fact that entrepreneurs can – and do – substantially contribute to all these goals as part of their day-to-day activities. 
This new IFIT publication examines the various ways such actors can contribute to peace and the conditions that need to be established for them to do so. It is premised on the idea that only inside-out change can bring sustainable peace to the most difficult contexts, and that entrepreneurs offer a uniquely scalable mechanism to drive such change from within.
The publication provides analysis, case studies and a set of practical recommendations on how to leverage entrepreneurs' potential, highlighting the important peacebuilding role such actors play.

To have access to the full publication, Entrepreneurs as Peacebuilders in Fragile States, kindly follow the link.


Rethinking Peace and Justice

The publication's primary authors, Louise Mallinder and Ron Slye, demonstrate that flexible approaches to justice, particularly as part of negotiated transitions out of armed conflict, have received increased recognition in international law and policy in recent years. Drawing on state practice and policy, the publication explains how carefully designed legal leniency measures can play an important role in helping societies to move beyond violent pasts; and how negotiation techniques and process design can take advantage of the flexibility international law allows in order to balance peace and justice. 

For full access to the paper Rethinking Peace and Justice, please follow the link. 


The Role of Communications in Transitional Justice

The publication argues that communications and narrative must occupy a much more central part of the vision of transitional justice. For too long, war crimes tribunals and truth commissions have tried to tell too much of the storyline of mass abuse on their own, disconnected from a larger national conversation and societal narrative that seek to re-imagine a different future in the aftermath of conflict or authoritarian rule. Some of the most powerful voices shaping such narratives – media, public intellectuals and artists – have been treated as just one more type of stakeholder, rather than as distinctive protagonists in creating the possibility of transformative results.

For full access to the document The Role of Communications in Transitional Justice, please follow the link.