Work Area: Transitions to Peace

Preventing the recurrence of conflict and making peace last is a paramount challenge of our time. When supporting a country as it transitions out of a war, the international community promotes truth commissions, reconciliation and, or, accountability mechanisms. However, there is little knowledge of what can make these mechanisms succeed and what the traps are to avoid. With this programme, the Foundation seeks out and shares insights from past experiences to make these practices more productive and resilient.

A threat to peace:

  • On average, post-conflict reconciliation lasts only seven years and roughly 60% of all conflicts recur.1
  • The cost of armed conflict amounted to $1.02 trillion in 2017.2
  • The cost of armed conflict has increased by 106 per cent over the last 11 years.2

African young girls playing peekaboo outdoors while laughing and smiling together.

What we did in 2018:

  • The Foundation launched its landmark study “Challenging the Conventional: Making Post-Violence Reconciliation Succeed” in partnership with Interpeace.
  • Based on case studies of reconciliation processes in Guatemala, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Ireland, the report poses critical questions that need to be asked by national and international actors engaged in reconciliation efforts.
  • The study was the second in a series of three examining the three essential constituents of peace processes: the first looked at the role of truth commissions, the second at reconciliation efforts. The third will focus on justice and accountability for past human rights abuses.

What we are doing now:

  • We will share the findings of “Challenging the Conventional: Making Post-Violence Reconciliation Succeed” with governments, international organisations, civil society and practitioners leading reconciliation efforts in various countries, including Colombia.
  • We will begin work on a study on justice and accountability in post-conflict countries.


A group of people of different ages and nationalities smiling down at the camera.