Upsidedown map of the world

Looking at the world in a different way


Different perspectives, shared hopes

In every conflict there are different perspectives. Talking to people on the other side and seeing things from their point of view is often the first step toward building a more hopeful and peaceful future.

In this annual report, we’ll show you just some of the many ways we brought people together to ‘look at the world in a different way’ in 2013.

Trading for peace in DRC
Engaging diaspora in reconciliation in Sri Lanka
Doing politics differently in Lebanon
Healing fractured lives in Rwanda
Finding common ground in the Caucasus
The conflict horizon
2013 Highlights
Financial results
Thank you!

Trading for peace in DRC

In DRC we help improve the livelihoods of women small-scale traders working across the borders with Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

In 2013 we trained 977 women traders on their legal rights and obligations, and 171 border agents on taxes, human rights and gender. We also helped to create 27 new traders’ cooperatives and associations, produced leaflets on the border crossing process and aired over 20 radio programmes on cross-border trade.

Crossing borders: Poor governance and war have had a devastating effect on the local economy in DRC, so finding the basic necessities to provide for a family is a daily struggle. Tens of thousands of small-scale traders rely on the border as a primary means for survival. Since 2009, we have been working to build trust across borders and empower women traders.
Border relations: We help traders to become more confident in demanding that their rights be respected. Today, there is an improved climate of trust at the border. Traders at the four borders where we work have reported a reduction of up to 60% in the number of harassment cases. 'Personally, a lot has changed for me because of this project. I understand my work much better. Now if I'm crossing the border, I know where to start and finish and what fees I need to pay to which person, so it all gets done quickly and, most importantly, in an atmosphere of respect between us and the border officials…' -Borauzima
Hopes for the future: From Goma to Gisenyi, Bukavu to Cyangugu, the common wish of Rwandan and Congolese cross-border traders is that, one day, there will be security and good collaboration between countries in the region, and that their trade will be able to lift them and their families out of their poverty. 'There is real reciprocity between us. The Rwandan traders need us like we need them. When you have been clients for a long time, you become sisters. Over there in Rwanda, they say ‘Turikumwe’ – we are one.' -Maman Bahati

Engaging the diaspora in reconciliation in Sri Lanka

We help diasporas support peace and reconciliation in their countries of origin or heritage and the countries where they live.

In 2013 we organised visits by British Sri Lankans to Sri Lanka and by Sri Lankan MPs to the UK, to promote the positive role that diasporas can play in peacebuilding. We also commissioned the Diaspora Diaries, a series of documentaries telling the personal stories of members of the Sri Lankan diaspora.

Doing politics differently in Lebanon

In Lebanon we support dialogue between youth leaders from 14 of the country’s political parties.

In 2013 we organised a study trip for the group to Switzerland to learn about mechanisms for power-sharing and conflict resolution, and provided them with training in negotiation. We also held eight dialogue sessions on issues including national defence and managing oil and gas resources in the country.

Healing fractured lives in Rwanda

In Rwanda we help to address the social, psychological and economic impacts of the 1994 genocide.

In 2013 we ran dialogue clubs in 34 communities and 17 schools. We started 19 new trauma counselling groups, bringing the total to 54, and provided support to over 600 new people. And our local partner provided refresher training for trainers on how to create and manage cooperatives.

Dialogue clubs

“[The dialogue club] taught me how to approach survivors and ask their forgiveness. This has given me the dignity I lost when I was in jail.”

Aloys, perpetrator

“I joined the dialogue club to find solace. The trauma counselling was especially helpful. The training helped me realise there is no future for peace unless I can live in peace with my neighbours, even if they participated in my attack during the war.”
Patricia, Tutsi survivor


“This pineapple plantation brings together survivors, ex-prisoners and ex-combatants. We work side by side for the common good.”
Alexis, ex-prisoner

Find out more

Finding common ground in the Caucasus

In the Caucasus we encourage greater collaboration between societies across the Nagorny Karabakh conflict divide.

In 2013 we organised study programmes for journalists to Bosnia and Herzegovina and for experts to Northern Ireland, from which they shared insights in the media and at events across the region. We also trained journalists on media ethics and provided opportunities for them to build professional contacts across the conflict divide.

The Conflict Horizon

The Conflict Horizon

Peace is the big under-reported good news story of the last 20 years. But what lies ahead? Alert’s Secretary General Dan Smith looks at what’s in store for peacebuilding.

In 2014 International Alert is discussing a new ‘strategic perspective’, an exercise we undertake every five years to look ahead to the next five years.

It is an extended complex discussion that starts by asking, ‘What’s going on in the world for both good and bad?’ It identifies some key problems and issues for us to address, looks at our experience and abilities, and prioritises our main tasks. And it ends by asking, ‘What kind of organisation do we need to be in order to do that?’

The starting point is that peace is the big under-reported good news story since the end of the Cold War. Today there are fewer wars (50 in 1990 compared to 32 in 2012) and on average they are shorter and less lethal. There have been more peace agreements (646 from 1990–2007) and an increasing proportion of them endure for longer. There have also been more peacekeeping operations, and significant and sometimes massive international spending on recovery from war.

Beneath the headline

The achievement of expanding the zone of peace is real but limited in several ways.

The growth of peace has slowed. The number of armed conflicts per year fell steadily from the mid-1990s for a little over a decade, but that trend has ended.

Ending the fighting is not the same as building peace. It is a necessary start, but in many cases the risk of a re-eruption is still there.

Building peace needs sustained international support. This is proving harder to come by these days, with austerity in public spending making the decision to start a new peacebuilding operation even more sensitive.

Other kinds of violent conflict also undermine security. Yet these are generally not addressed by formal peace agreements and the panoply of UN operations and institutions.

Even with these limitations, the achievements are real. A great deal has been learnt and for all the failures, missteps and sometimes catastrophically misguided political agendas, the world is in a better place now than it could have been.

Good. Because the next 20 years will make the last 20 seem like a rehearsal for the real thing.

Rising pressures

Some long-term developments worldwide are generating severe conflict risks.

Against a backdrop of a growing population – 7 billion worldwide, increasing by 100 million a year – urbanisation is on the rise.

Urban population is already at 3.5 billion and is rising by 125 million a year. This is a demographic shift of unprecedented scale. While urbanisation is not necessarily bad, it does accelerate consumption of natural resources.

Prices and demand for natural resources are on an upward curve, which means increasing competition between the major consumers.

2.6 billion people live on less than $2 a day – well over a third of the world’s population. Such inequality is dramatic and growing. And because modern technology makes the world more transparent, people with less know what they are missing out on. This resentment is easily politicised.

“Human security will be progressively threatened as the climate changes,” says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Societies that do not or cannot adapt or become more resilient to climate change will be unable to protect themselves.

Ways forward

To understand insecurity, the key is to understand how problems interact.

The risk of violent conflict is high where there has recently been violent conflict, where authority is based on arbitrary power, and where institutions to handle and resolve conflicts fairly are weak or non-existent. These characteristics will only become more acute in the face of increasing urbanisation, natural resource competition, inequality and climate change.

Interlocking, interacting risks such as these require combined responses based on cooperation. This cannot be the ‘cooperation’ of one party telling the other what to do, but a willing and mutual partnership. Approached like that, managing the risks is possible.

At this stage in the discussion, we have identified seven key pathways for cooperation:

  1. Addressing the impact of climate change.
  2. To achieve this requires moving inequality to the centre of the international development agenda.
  3. The management of natural resources is equally important. As long as governments are unable to manage their natural resources, they will be pushed around by big powers and corporations. And as long as populations are unable to properly participate in managing resources, they will be pushed around by whoever controls the state’s levers of power.
  4. To get to grips with these issues, communities, organisations, individuals and societies as a whole need to get to grips with gender. Gender is the key to understanding how we grow as people – as women and as men – and therefore has a critical effect on how we handle conflict.
  5. What determines the quality of responses to many of the risks we face is the strength of institutions, especially local ones, whether formal or informal.
  6. While sustainable peace cannot be built purely from the top down, the state is also indispensable.
  7. All this means that development strategies need to recognise that peace, and growing the modes and institutions that sustain it, are as central to development as a country’s economy and productivity.

These are the outputs of a work in progress about how International Alert sees the world and defines its tasks. Read my thoughts in full on this topic on our website.

2013 Highlights

2013 Financial Results


Income graph: 2007: £7467000, 2008: £10367000, 2009: £10510000, 2010: £9902000, 2011: £13028000, 2012: £12978667, 2013: £12962652


2013 expenditure graph: 38% Africa Programme, 22% Eurasia Programme, 15% Asia Programme, 13% Peacebuilding Programme, 1% Fundraising, 1% Management and Administration

Thank You!

Thank You!
Thank you to all those who make this important work possible, including our generous donors and dedicated partners.


International Alert would like to thank our strategic donors:

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

UK Department for International Development UKAID

We are grateful for the support of all our other donors, who make our work possible:

Anglo American Services Ltd.

Asian Development Bank

Australian Government’s Overseas Aid Programme (AusAID)

C B and H H Taylor 1984 Trust

Coffey International Ltd.

Commonwealth Secretariat

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Development Alternative Initiatives

Ecopetrol, Bogotá, Colombia

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

European Commission

Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK

Foundation for the Development of Human Resources

Foundation for the Global Compact

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

Humanity United

International Resources Group

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, UK

Joyce Green Association

Kyrgyz Republic’s Community Development and Investment Agency (ARIS)

Management Systems International (MSI)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland

Misereor Germany

Open Society Initiatives

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Shell International B.V.

Talk for a Change

The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust

The Centre for Cultural Relations

The Morel Trust

The Open Gate Trust

The Souter Charitable Trust

Transition International

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

United States Department of State

Workers Beer Company (BWTUC Ltd.)

World Bank

Zentrum für Internationale Friedenseinsätze (ZIF)


We acknowledge our partnerships with:


African Institute for Corporate Citizenship

CARE International

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc.

Colombian Mining and Energy Committee (CME)

Conciliation Resources

Crisis Management Initiative (CMI)

DanChurchAid – Folkekirkens

Engineers Without Borders

EPLO and all its members

Folke Bernadotte Academy

Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK)


Institute of Development Studies

International Crisis Group

King’s College London

Observer Research Foundation (ORF), India

Occidental de Colombia



Search for Common Ground

South Asia Network for Security and Climate Change (SANSaC)

Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research North-South (NCCR N-S), Nepal

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)

The Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition (AAHM)

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), India

The Hague Institute for Global Justice

University of Karachi, Pakistan

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

World Bank – Centre on Conflict, Security and Development


African Union

13 Suns Tours P.L.C.

African Union Commission: Peace and Security Department, Department of Political Affairs, Department of Economic Affairs, Directorate of Communication and Information

Institute for Security Studies (ISS)

International Leadership Institute

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia

Oxfam International


Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC)

Aide et Action pour la Paix (AAP)

Association d’Appui à la Promotion de l’Entrepreneuriat Local (APPEL-Kivu)

Association d’Appui aux Initiatives de Base (APIBA)

CARE International

Collectif des Associations Féminines pour le Développement (CAFED)

Démarche pour une Interaction entre Organisations à la Base et les Autres Sources de Savoir (DIOBASS)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Kvinna til Kvinna

La Commission Diocésaine Justice et Paix (CDJP)

Le Caucus des Femmes de Sud Kivu pour la Paix

Programme de Stabilisation et Reconstruction (STAREC), Coordination Provinciale du Nord-Kivu

Réseau des Femmes Africaines Ministres et Parlementaires en RDC (REFAMP)

Réseau Haki na Amani (RHA)

Search for Common Ground

Solidarité des Femmes Activistes pour la Défense des Droits Humains (SOFAD)

Solidarités Féminines pour la Paix et le Développement Intégral (SOFEPADI)

The Stabilisation Support Unit (SSU) of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)


African Union Liaison Office

Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL)

Centre for Justice and Peace Studies

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

New African Research and Development Agency (NARDA)


Mouvement Malivaleurs


British Council

Social Development Direct

Rwanda and Burundi

Association des Femmes Rapatriées du Burundi (AFRABU)

Association Rwandaise des Conseillers en Traumatisme (ARCT-Ruhuka)

Collectif des Associations Féminines et ONG du Burundi (CAFOB)


Duterimbere IMF (Institution de Micro-Finance) Ltd.

Duterimbere NGO


Imbaraga NGO

Institut de Recherche et de Dialogue pour la Paix (IRDP)

National Commission for the Demobilisation and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants

National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG)

National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC)


Radio Isanganiro

Réseau Femmes et Paix (RFP)

Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA)

Transitional Justice Consultation Group



Sierra Leone

African Union Liaison Office

Campaign for Good Governance

Mano River Women’s Peace Network (MARWOPNET)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Network Movement for Justice and Development


Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development Organisation (BIRUDO)

Civil Society Coalition for Oil in Uganda (CSCO)

Gulu University

Kabarole Research and Resource Centre (KRC)

Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA)

Kitara Heritage Development Agency (KHEDA)

Makerere University

Northern Uganda Business Forum for Peace

Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas (PFOG)

Refugee Law Project (RLP)

Rural Initiative for Community Empowerment (RICE – West Nile)


Tullow Oil

Uganda Christian University

Uganda Investment Authority

Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi

Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI)

Voluntary Initiative Support Organization (VISO)



Frame Beirut

Lebanese Center for Policy Studies

Permanent Peace Movement


Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED)

Association of Women of Abkhazia

Caucasian House

Caucasus Business and Development Network (CBDN)

Centre for Humanitarian Programmes

Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society

Committee for Youth Affairs, Sport and Tourism under the Government of Tajikistan

Council of Europe Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights


Danish Refugee Council (DRC)

European Partnership for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (EPNK)

Foundation for Tolerance

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

Inter-Church Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO)

Kyrgyz Agency for Community Development and Investment (ARIS)

Kyrgyz President’s Administration



Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Osh Media Center

Public Committee for Development of Tajikistan

Public Council for Foreign and Security Policy

Representative Office of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in the Republic of Tajikistan


Save the Children, Netherlands

Society for Humanitarian Research

Sputnik Kyrgyzstana

Youth and Society



British Embassy

Myanmar Business Coalition on Aids (MBCA)

Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) – CSR Unit


Antenna Foundation Nepal (AFN)

Center for Legal Research and Resource Development (CeLRRd)

Equal Access Nepal (EAN)

Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ)

Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD)

Institute for Human Rights and Communication Nepal (IHRICON)

Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre (LACC)

National Business Initiative (NBI)

National Judicial Academy (NJA)

Radio Sagarmatha


Youth Action Nepal (YAN)


British High Commission

European Union

London School of Business and Finance

Oxfam Novib (Pakistan Programme)

Society for Community Strengthening and Promotion of Education, Balochistan

Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)

UN Global Compact, Pakistan Chapter

We Can End All Violence Against Women - Pakistan Chapter


Aboitiz Power, Inc.

Agusan del Sur Environment and Sustainable Development Council

Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM), Inc.

Asian Institute of Management – Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development

Asian Institute of Management – Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership

Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Government

Bangsa Iranun Kababaihan (BAI-KA)

Bangsamoro Development Authority

Bangsamoro Transition Commission

Brooke’s Point Irrigators Association

CAMMPACAMM Tribal Council

Comval Provincial Tribal Association

Davao Multistakeholder Group on Energy Concerns (DMGENCO)

Environmental Legal Assistance Center

GPH Negotiating Panel and Secretariat

House of Representatives – Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity

Iligan Institute of Technology of the Mindanao State University

Indigenous Peoples Apostolate

Indigenous Peoples Center for Development Services

Integrated Mangrove Growers Organization

Intergovernmental Fiscal Policy Board

International Monitoring Team

Iranun Chamber of Commerce

Joint Normalization Council

Laak Tribal Council

Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Foundation

MILF Negotiating Panel and Secretariat

Mindanao Business Council

Mindanao Development Authority

Mindanao Multistakeholders Group (MMG)

Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute

Mindanao State University

Monkayo Tribal Council

Montevista Integrated Tribal Association

Municipal Local Government of Brooke’s Point, Palawan

Municipal Local Government of Parang, Maguindanao

Municipal Local Government of Rosario, Agusan del Sur

Muslim Business Forum

Nagkakaisang Tribu ng Palawan

National Commission on Indigenous Peoples

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Pailig Development Foundation, Inc.

Palawan Council for Sustainable Development

Panlalawigang Asosasyon ng mga Ayta sa Bataan

Penauntungan Et Kapalawanon

Philippine National Police

Pinagkaisang Lakas ng mga Ayta na Matalangao at Ulingan

Provincial Local Governmental of Compostela Valley

Samahang Magsasaka na Sumbiling and Taratak

Senate of the Philippines – Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation and Committee on Public Order and Safety

Tabang Ako Siyap Ko Bangsa Iranun Saya Ko Kalilintad Ago Kapamamagayon (TASBIKKA), Inc.

Talacogon Tribal Council

Teduray Lambangian Dulangan Manobo Ancestral Domain Council

Therma South, Inc.

Therma Visayas, Inc.

Third Party Monitoring Team

Timuay Justice and Governance

Tri-peoples Concern for Peace Progress and Development of Mindanao (TRICOM)

Tribal Health Workers of Bataan

United Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders

Western Mindanao State University

Sri Lanka

Achieving Real Change (ARC)

Association of Professional Sri Lankans in the UK (APSL)

Business for Peace Alliance (BPA)

Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA)

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

Commonwealth Secretariat

Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council (CYEC)

Congress of Religions

Cordoba Foundation

Good Practice Group

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Kadirgamar Institute

Muslim Aid Sri Lanka (MASL)

National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organizations

National Youth Services Council

One Text Initiative (OTI)

Peacebuilding and Development Institute Sri Lanka (PDI-SL)

Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS)

South Asia Policy Research Institute (SAPRI)

Sri Lanka Development Journalists’ Forum (SDJF)

Sri Lanka High Commission in London

Sri Lanka UK Business Chamber

Sri Lanka Youth Parliament

Tamil Information Centre

The Mahatma Gandhi Centre (MGC)

The National Christian Council

The North East Interfaith Forum (NEIFR)

Verite Research

Voices for Reconciliation

Young Political Leaders Forum (YPLF)


United Kingdom

Global Education Derby

Lancashire Global Education Centre

Music in Detention

Stockwell Partnership

Talk for a Change

West London YMCA

Y Care International

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