Preventing Armed Conflict

Analysing armed group recruitment factors to craft effective prevention interventions.

In recent years, much of the discussion on conflict has shifted from resolution to prevention. While this is welcome, there is a real question about which interventions can actually help prevent conflict onset.

MEAC is committed to generating evidence that enhances our understanding of armed group recruitment dynamics, a key component in conflict onset and exacerbation. Through a holistic and context-specific approach, the project examines the factors influencing individuals’ paths toward association with armed groups. By comparing the experiences and attributes of those involved with armed groups and their unassociated peers before conflict onset,

MEAC isolates the factors that increase the likelihood of association in a given context. The project conducts in-depth analyses of various factors that influence recruitment, such as coercion, economic hardships, climate change-related livelihood challenges, social networks, and governance issues, amongst many others, to pinpoint specific opportunities to reduce risks and develop evidence-based prevention interventions. By addressing recruitment drivers and bolstering protective factors, including climate-sensitive policies and engagement of familial and social networks, MEAC aims to support policymakers and practitioners in designing targeted and effective prevention efforts against armed group recruitment.