|Motto||Preventing violent conflict, building safer lives|
|Founded at||Bristol, United Kingdom|
|Focus||Peacebuilding, conflict prevention|
|Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe|
Saferworld is an international non-governmental organisation with conflict prevention and peacebuilding programmes in over 20 countries and territories in the Horn of Africa, the African Great Lakes region, Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus. It was founded in Bristol, UK in 1989 and now has its main office in London.
Much of Saferworld's work includes obtaining research and conducting specific analyses on current conflicts. One of the main objectives of the organisation is to enhance the power and influence of individuals, by encouraging vocalisation of grievances and social injustices. Saferworld achieves this through careful analysis of conflicts and arranging sit-down discussions between stakeholders.
Saferworld addresses many community-based issues through in-depth analysis and objective examination. One of the organisation’s strengths is its ability to delve into conflicts, rather than scraping the surface and gauging assistance on an underdeveloped perspective. Saferworld also takes special interest in understanding how conflicts affect women, children, and other demographics.
Saferworld was founded in 1989 in Bristol, UK. After changing its name from the Nuclear Freeze Campaign to Saferworld, its focus moved from nuclear weapons proliferation to campaigning for more effective controls on the proliferation and misuse of conventional arms. This included advocating for an EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, and involvement in the first discussions about what is now known as the Arms Trade Treaty.
In the 1990s, Saferworld began looking at the broader elements of conflict such as governance, power, marginalisation, access to resources, and development. Saferworld moved from Bristol to London in 1995, and a grant from the UK Department for International Development in 2000 enabled it to expand its work to start in-country programming.
In 2010 Saferworld started programmes in the Middle East and North Africa, including Yemen, and developed an increasing focus on cross-border and regional conflict.
Saferworld’s mission is to prevent violent conflict and build safer lives, and create environments where:
- people play an active role in preventing and transforming conflict and building peace
- people have access to fair and effective paths to address the grievances and inequalities that drive conflict
- people with influence exercise power to promote just and equitable societies
Community security approach
Saferworld's community security approach aims to respond to people's perceptions of insecurity and conflict by improving relationships between community members and their security providers, such as the police. It was developed by working directly with people living in conflict-affected contexts.
Saferworld works to create safer communities in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. Saferworld also has a China programme involving work with policymakers, academics and commercial actors to ensure China contributes positively to conflict prevention.
Europe and Central Asia
Saferworld has been active in the Caucasus since 1999 to support a people-centred approach to analysing and responding to conflict. The organisation works on Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, including disputed or unrecognised territories such as Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Central Asia is also a focus region for Saferworld. It works in the Ferghana Valley, specifically in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, to improve people’s security by working with the police and local communities.
Middle East and North Africa
Egypt, Libya and Yemen are Saferworld’s focus countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The focus in Egypt is on improving the responsiveness, conflict sensitivity, gender sensitivity and accountability of security and governance providers. In Libya it works on improving people’s security and supporting Libyan civil society in peacebuilding.
Saferworld’s Yemen programme aims to promote inclusive and accountable peacebuilding and governance. Saferworld continues to work with communities in Yemen affected by Yemen's Civil War and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
Saferworld works on a number of issues in conflict prevention.
Saferworld is addressing the issue of global arms transfers and the rising number of small arms and light weapons. Its work on arms transfers can be divided into:
Gender, peace and security
Saferworld works on gender, peace and security issues such as violence against women and understanding the roles of women and men in preventing and perpetuating conflict. The organisation also provides input into policies on conflict, such as UNSCR 1325.
Security and justice
Saferworld works to promote security and justice systems that are effective, accountable and responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable in society, working with governments on security sector reform programmes. It also works towards improving community security in several countries by building trust between the police and communities and promoting joint action to improve their safety and security.
Saferworld has been working to ensure the inclusion of peaceful and inclusive societies within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is now focusing on making sure that the targets and indicators within the SDGs – and how they are implemented – support the achievement of the peace goals in practice.
Constructive alternatives to counter-terror
Saferworld has carried out analysis of current counter-terror, stabilisation and statebuilding approaches. The analysis has examined alternatives to these current approaches that are more effective in building peace, less violent, and more focused on people. Saferworld has produced in-depth analyses of past counter-terror approaches in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen.
Saferworld receives funding from a range of donors including governments, trusts and foundations and individuals.
- European Commission
- UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR)
- Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Irish Aid
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
- Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
- Royal Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
- UK Department for International Development
- UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Trusts and foundations
- Aide a la Decision Economique
- Coffey International
- Development Alternatives Inc.
- Economic and Social Research Council
- International Development Research Centre
- Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
- Oxford Policy Management
- Oxfam Novib
- Pax Christi
- United States Institute for Peace
- World Vision
- Official website
- South Sudan: how conflict shapes life in local communities – in pictures
- Arms Trade Treaty enters into force offering fresh hope for the protection of civilians in 2015
- Bond NGO awards celebrate collaboration in complex times
- UK fuelling Yemen civil war with arms sales to Saudi Arabia, says Amnesty
- Saferworld on Twitter
- Saferworld on Facebook
- Saferworld's YouTube channel
- Saferworld: Preventing Violent Conflict. Building Safer Lives. 2014. Saferworld. 2 October 2014. http://www.saferworld.org.uk/
- "South Sudan: how conflict shapes life in local communities – in pictures". The Guardian. 2015-05-11. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
- Anyangwe, Eliza (2016-02-29). "New deal, old mess? Making the global goals work for the most fragile countries". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
- "You Can't Bomb Your Way to Peace". Open Society Foundations. Retrieved 2016-04-07.