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A peaceful society is a necessary precursor for development interventions (i.e. healthcare, education, jobs). Transparency, citizen mobilization, functioning markets and government accountability are critical building blocks to lasting peace.

Size/Magnitude of Problem

Violence and conflict fundamentally undermine human well-being and development, and the effects of violence in one area can spread to neighboring states and to other parts of the world, hurting development and impeding economic prospects for entire regions.i Children living in fragile states are twice as likely to be undernourished and three times as likely to be out of school,ii and the economic costs of violence in 2015 was $13.6 trillion—13%.3% of the world’s GDP.iii

  • 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence.iv 15 countries are classified as having "very low" levels of peace, and 17 countries have "low" levels.v
  • As of 2015, 65.3 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations—an increase of 5.8 million from in 2014 (59.5 million).vi
Desired Equilibrium

Contentions among communities, states and non-state actors are resolved justly through strong peacemaking systems, preventing tensions from escalating into violence. States maintain peace through diplomatic institutions and effective social policies. Communities value the human rights of all groups and successfully hold governments accountable.

Ways Skoll social entrepreneurs are addressing the issue:
  • Shifting norms of violence through peace-based trainings and messaging tools (Afghan Institute of Learning, Search for Common Ground)
  • Addressing the link between regional environments and social unrest (EcoPeace)
  • Tying peace interventions to economic development opportunities (Peaceworks, Roots of Peace, Videre)
  • Advocating for peaceful legislative action to protect from and prevent violent injustice (Crisis Action, International Center for Transitional Justice, Independent Diplomat)

i World Bank (link)
ii World Bank (link)
iii Institute for Economics & Peace (link)
iv World Bank (link)
v Institute for Economics & Peace (link)
vi UNHCR (link)

Critical Geographiesi
Discrimination/Violence Against Minorities

As defined by SPI (≥ 9/10 score)
Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan, Myanmar, Israel, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Russia, Nepal, Kenya, Turkey

Political Terror

As defined by SPI (> 4/5 score)
Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq


As defined by Global Peace Index ("Very Low" score)
Syria, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Central African Republic, Ukraine, Sudan, Libya, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia, North Korea, Nigeria