Secretary-General Guterres has called for a “surge in diplomacy for peace,” pointing to the comparative value of preventive diplomacy in addressing the risks of violent conflict worldwide. This recognizes that politically-driven interventions are crucial for conflict prevention, but does not get at the tougher question of how and why preventive diplomacy works. At a time when Member States are looking to reduce spending and focus on what clearly works, the need is especially high for compelling, evidence-based assessments of the role of diplomacy in preventing conflict.
As part of a project entitled Capturing UN Preventive Diplomacy Success: How and Why Does It Work? UNU-CPR conducted a range of in-depth case studies examining how the UN contributed to preventing violent conflict. From these, we developed a rigorous, but easy to implement Assessment Framework for Preventive Diplomacy. This approach provides a clear layout of the methodological challenges in evaluating political interventions in conflict settings, and a practical tool for practitioners to carry out impact assessments.