Ongoing Fund Awards

Testing the effectiveness of UN peace support operations

This research uses data to explore links between multilateral interventions and de-escalation of cross-border conflict.

Few studies have thoroughly explored potential correlations between specific characteristics of UN peace support operations – such as coalition type, mission size, number of peacekeepers, equipment type, mandate length, etc. – and conflict de-escalation. This study aims to address this knowledge gap using machine learning and advanced statistical techniques, guided by specialists whose expertise covers conflict dynamics, state fragility, multilateral interventions in Africa, and use of AI-based technologies for conflict prevention.

This study, led by researchers at UN University (UNU) will focus on UN peace support operations in central Africa and the Sahel. Quantitative data relating to peace support operations and conflict dynamics will be sourced from UN and conflict data sets. UNU’s research will test the effectiveness of this type of method and could lead to new insights on how the UN should intervene in cross-border conflicts.


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Tailoring climate response strategies in conflict settings

How should climate response strategies be customised for local conditions in conflict settings?

International and regional climate adaptation and mitigation policies and interventions are set to increase dramatically in the coming years. However, there is limited understanding of the impact of these activities in local settings within regional conflict zones. This research by Indiana University seeks to provide a more nuanced assessment of the relationship between climate mitigation and conflict at the local – rather than national – level.

Using the case study of South Sudan and its neighbouring borders with Sudan and Ethiopia, the research uses remote methods to explore the effects climate change has upon conflict.

To effectively analyse the impact of identified climate adaptation and mitigation strategies on conflict, the project will make groundbreaking use of a new instrument which uses remote satellite data. It will be the first time this instrument is used during an academic study.

Exploring international efforts to reduce organised violence

This research uses AI to explore what works and what does not work in international efforts to reduce organised violence in conflicts.

Understanding what works and what doesn’t work is important when planning interventions to reduce organised violence. This study by University of Bath uses machine learning to analyse the extent to which power-centric ‘masculine’ language is present in key UN and US government texts. With a focus on interventions in Syria, the study aims to find links between masculine language in public statements, the types of interventions they relate to, and the levels of organised violence in the places where those interventions occur.