Conflict and Peace Analysis Unit

In the fulfillment of its mandate, CPA’s programming focusses on the mutually reinforcing areas of democratic governance and peace.

The Centre’s activities in the area of peace building includes:

  • Policy oriented analyses of the current situation in Sri Lanka
  • Applied and academic research into conflict and its transformation
  • Proactive engagement at all levels (Tracks I, II and III) of conflict transformation and peace building processes
  • Dimensions of human security specifically looking at human rights and humanitarian issues
  • Implementing strategies for peace and governance reform using traditional and new media
  • Polling on public attitudes towards peace, conflict and governance
  • Conducting seminars and symposiums related to multi-level and multi-track peace processes, and current and comparative situations on conflict and peace.
  • Peace advocacy and outreach activities with media, local civic organizations and institutions.
  • Liaising with national and international organisations engaged in facilitating / mediating a negotiated settlement to the ethnic conflict.
  • Conducting research on peace related issues with a view to informing policy makers and the general public in order to increase public debate.


Ongoing projects and programmes

Monitoring the Factors Affecting the Peace Process
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has been engaged in a project “Monitoring the Factors Affecting the Peace Process” to assess the current status of the peace process. This project involves 4 of CPA’s units and the Point Pedro Institute for Development, which looks at economics issues. Looking at developments within a quarterly period, this project produces reports for the corresponding periods.

A number of key factors, that impact the peace process, have been monitored to observe trends of change or stasis. The factors have been grouped into a series of clusters which reflect critical dimensions of the peace process. The trends will suggest the level of change in each cluster and in sum will indicate how the peace process and its environment have been strengthened or weakened. Trends observed in each of the various clusters and factors are carried in the Cluster Report while the Synthesis Report analyses change and statsis in the clusters in sum. These documents could be downloaded in PDF format.

Peace Confidence Index (PCI)
Peace Confidence Index (PCI) is a quarterly survey that captures the changing trends in public opinion towards the peace process. The study is used to develop a numerical indicator of the level of public confidence in the Sri Lankan peace process, while explaining the fluctuations in public opinion in response to developments in the political arena. The survey was first conducted in May 2001 and since then SI has conducted 27 waves of the study.

Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) Survey on the Sri Lankan Peace Process
The initial KAP survey conducted in 2003 focused on understanding the nature, extent, and underlying dynamics of public support for the peace negotiations in Sri Lanka. SI subsequently conducted 2 more waves of the study in 2004 and 2005 to obtain a deeper knowledge of Sri Lankan attitudes towards the peace process and thereby provide information to policy makers. The survey was supported by a grant from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with technical assistance from the Academy for Educational Development (AED), a non-profit organization supporting assistance programs in more than 130 countries.

Peace Polls Study
SI conducted the survey component of the Peace Polls study which is being carried out by Dr. Colin Irwin from the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool. The aim of this study was to identify the differences of opinion amongst different ethnic communities on the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict and thereby assist the parties to formulate a political solution.

Publication on Power-Sharing Proposals
This publication is a compilation of all power sharing ideas and proposals articulated in the country over several decades. The compilation also contains in-depth commantaries of these proposals by leading experts on Sri Lankan constitutional law in the country including Mr. Rohan Edrisinha and Mr. Asanga Welikala of CPA. This is a joint CPA – Berghof Foundation for Conflict Resolution in Sri Lanka publication.


Past projects and programmes

Constitutional Government, Fundamental Rights & States of Emergency in Sri Lanka, Asanga Welikala author
Commissioned by Friedrich Naumann Stiftung Fur Die Freiheit this monograph reviews the Sri Lankan constitutional and legislative framework relating to States of Emergency as well as governance and fundamental rights.

Hear their Voices: Promoting the Human Rights of the Most Vulnerable in Sri Lanka through Professional and Independent Media
The project’s aim is to promote and increase the society’s understanding of the human rights of the most vulnerable in Sri Lanka by improving media reporting of their issues. It addresses the priorities of “advocacy for the rights of vulnerable groups” and “enhancing education, training, monitoring and awareness raising on human rights and democratization issues”.

Profiling the Situation of IDP Children
This is a study profiling the protection concerns of children displaced due to armed conflict in Sri Lanka, commissioned by Save the Children in Sri Lanka. The study is expected to provide an opportunity to focus on issues pertaining to recent IDP children displaced since April 2006 and to document the situation in relation to their protection and care. The study will comprise of a desk research  component as well as a field research component in collaboration with a team comprising of a psycho-social consultants and field researchers. The project is aimed at documenting the situation with IDP children, their needs and vulnerabilities, protection and care issues, case studies of effective protection mechanisms, the role of relevant actors, and an analysis of national laws, policies and structures relevant to protection and care needs of IDP children.

Ethnic Peace – Civil Society Survey
Prof. Ashuthosh Varshney of the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Michigan partnered with CPA in conducting his cross-national research on ethnic riots. In 2000, Prof. Varshney published his research on ethnic conflict and civic life to explain the role of civil society in mitigating ethnic riots in India. This research hads been expanded to five other countries that experience similar ethnic riots. SI conducted the survey component of the study by assessing civil society organizations and their work on ethnic peace in Sri Lanka in the cities of Colombo, Kandy and Negombo.

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