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Beyond Grantmaking

The Role of Philanthropy in Conflict Prevention and Resolution

Peace and security funders are making important contributions to global peace and stability, despite making up less than one percent of total foundation giving. In 2013 alone, an analysis of grantmaking conducted by Foundation Center found that 288 foundations made nearly 2,000 grants totaling $283.2 million globally, with 8% of this going to Europe. These funders are investing in efforts to prevent, mitigate, and resolve conflict and to rebuild after conflict.

Beyond investment, Dr Avila Kilmurray argues in her recent study that funders working in “conflict-affected environments must, of necessity, go beyond the technicalities of grant-making to consider the power struggles that lie at the heart of contested societies”. The study shows that while some of the challenges and obligations experienced by organisations operating in conflict settings are unique to grantmakers, most are shared with other civil society organisations: changing conflict dynamics, the importance of upholding principles like conflict sensitivity and “do no harm”, willingness to take risks, understanding the context, and identifying and partnering with local actors and initiatives.

Under the theme, “Beyond Grantmaking: The Role of Philanthropy in Conflict Prevention and Resolution”, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), the Foundation Center and DAFNE will co-host an event that brings together a group of about 25 foundations, trusts, philanthropic associations and other civil society organisations to explore common challenges and emerging practices within the field of conflict prevention and resolution.

The event will explore the following questions around conflict prevention and resolution:

  • Mapping the landscape among European organisations: Who is doing what, where, and how?
  • What is the role of philanthropy within it?
  • What are the key challenges facing the field?
  • What are the key emerging practices and innovative approaches?
  • Are there particular challenges or opportunities that are unique to grantmaking and implementing organisations respectively?
  • How can grantmaking and implementing organisations deepen collaboration and leverage each others’ unique knowledge, experiences and contributions for more sustainable and impactful interventions?

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Ambassador Christian Dussey, Director, GCSP
  • Mr Marc Finaud, Senior Programme Advisor, Emerging Security Challenges Programme, Arms Proliferation Cluster Leader, GCSP
  • Dr Avila Kilmurray, Consultant, The Social Change Initiative, former Director of Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
  • Dr Lawrence T. McGill, Vice President for Knowledge Services, Foundation Center
  • Ms Celia McKeon, founder of Rethinking Security, formerly with Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  • Dr Jean-Marc Rickli, Global Risk and Resilience Cluster Leader, GCSP
  • Tirana Hassan, Director, Crisis Response Programme, Amnesty International
  • Alan Bryden, Assistant Director and Head of the Public Private Partnerships Division, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)
  • Dr Gervais Rufyikiri, Executive-in-Residence, GCSP; former Vice-President of Burundi
  • Ms Annika Hilding Norberg, Peacebuilding Cluster Leader, GCSP 
  • Ms Lauren Bradford, Director, Global Partnerships, Foundation Center

The day is made up of plenary sessions, workshops and includes networking lunch and cocktail. 

Participation is free and by invitation only. If you are interested to attend, please contact info@gcsp.ch.

In the interest of providing a distraction-free environment to all participants, Foundation Center and the GCSP maintain a no-solicitation policy covering this event. 

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In association with:


GCSP, Maison de la paix

Any questions?

Contact our staff, we can advise you.

+41 22 730 96 00

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