When it comes to implementation, peacebuilding is activity-rich but strategy-poor. Frequently, organisations find themselves having to respond to rapidly changing situations on the ground, obtaining funding for some areas and relying on implicit or thumb-rule planning.
The term 'strategy' is commonplace, but what does it mean? A strategy is a comprehensive plan or set of activities which integrates the organisation's vision, aims and policies. A well-formed strategy helps to utilise and allocate an organisation’s resources into a unique approach based on internal competencies, anticipated changes in the peace and conflict processes and strategic actors or partners. It is usually long term.

In practice, this can take many forms: finding an intended course of action to deal with a situation, locating an organisation within the practical environment, developing a consistent, specific stance for example in lobbying, or developing a shared organisational ‘character’ and ideology. Austin Consult’s strategy development and planning expertise lies at the intersection between peacebuilding and organisational development.

Completed projects include:

  • designing, developing and implementing a cross-organisational, strategic framework of multi-dimensional approaches, from constitutional reform to collaborative problem-solving workshops (Sri Lankan-based INGO)
  • reviewing and assessing integrated approaches for implementation (London-based INGO)
  • network mapping and audit, strategy and process design of network approaches for conflict transformation (international network)
  • conducting feasibility studies, project design and proposals for peacebuilding partnership projects (Sri Lankan NGOs, German NGOs)
  • specific problem-solving for ad hoc issues, e.g. how to move from bi-lateral to multi-lateral negotiations (various NGOs and governments)