Innovation in Conflict Prevention (ICP) is a project aimed at identifying promising approaches, responses, and practices in the prevention in armed conflict, focusing on six country case studies in Africa.

ICP Podcasts

Policy Briefs

Other Publications

CP Innovate

CP Innovate showcases promising responses, approaches, and concepts for effective prevention of armed conflict.

About the Project

Short Summary

Through the Innovation in Conflict Prevention (ICP) project, the Igarapé Institute and the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) are teaming up to identify how innovation takes place in conflict prevention practice in Africa. This project aims to support the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), and Regional Economic Communities (RECs)–as well as national and local stakeholders—in avoiding the outbreak, escalation or recurrence of armed conflict.  We are focusing in case studies in three regions of Africa: the Sahel, the Great Lakes Region, and the Horn of Africa.



Over the past decade, major organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), and their member states have renewed their commitment to expanding conflict prevention responses around the world. This new urgency in thinking seriously about conflict prevention is due in part to the far-reaching human and economic costs of armed conflicts, especially in Africa and the Middle East. Yet the availability of information on “what works” to prevent conflict is surprisingly thin. There are comparatively few repositories of good practices, much less effective means of sharing and distributing them among relevant institutions and individuals. In mapping and analyzing innovation in conflict prevention in three regions of Africa, the project aims to help fill this gap.


The initiative assesses a wide range of relevant policies, programs, and practices in selected conflict clusters across Africa, focusing on three areas: the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes region. The project’s overarching outcome is to reduce the threat of violent conflict to vulnerable populations in selected African states. ICP is focusing on several key thematic priorities, including mediation, gender and inclusivity, organised crime, combating violent extremism, and South-South cooperation. The initiative is developing a digital compendium of responses and proactively disseminating findings to key decision makers and networks of practitioners.


The project serves as a resource for national governments, multilateral agencies, and non-governmental organizations, among other stakeholders. Knowledge products such as policy briefs, articles, and strategic notes will be developed for a host of institutions associated with the United Nations (Department of Political Affairs, Department of Peacekeeping and the Peacebuilding Support Office), the African Union (AU) and its various departments, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and relevant divisions of specific government and civil society stakeholders in New York, Addis Ababa and settings in the Sahel, the Horn, and the Great Lakes regions.


The project will particularly emphasize the critical importance of adopting and mainstreaming a gender lens. Our team is committed to examining the specific role of women in designing, implementing, and evaluating conflict prevention, as well as international peace and security more generally. A special effort will be placed on identifying innovative policy and programming solutions to prevent and reduce organized violence that involve women and girls across Africa. Likewise, the team will explore the ways in which conflict prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding activities have actively fostered the participation of women.

Case Studies

Partner Institution

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) partners to build knowledge and skills that secure Africa’s future. Its goal is to enhance human security as a means to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity. The ISS is an African non-profit organisation with offices in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Senegal. This work covers transnational crimes, migration, peacekeeping, crime prevention and criminal justice, peacebuilding, and the analysis of conflict and governance. The ISS uses its networks and influence to provide timely and credible analysis, practical training and technical assistance to governments and civil society. This promotes better policy and practice, because senior officials can make informed decisions about how to deal with Africa’s human security challenges.


The ICP Project has been supported by the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2017