Knowledge Management Fund

KMF Thematic Headlines 2017-18

The KMF will award funds to projects that fall within this year’s thematic headlines. Following consultations with Platform members, the results of an online survey, and discussions with the MFA, the KMF in 2017-18 will support initiatives that pertain to existing and emerging problems within the following themes:

1. Preventing Conflict and Sustaining Peace

This theme asks what social, political and economic issues are driving conflict, and what the best ways are to transform them, build peace, and prevent violence. It recognizes that there is a seeming ‘mismatch,’ whereby the international system is not geared towards the longer-term engagement that we know is required for sustaining peace. This is just one of a growing set of tensions hindering conflict prevention at all levels of security and rule of law work. Competing priorities, values, power structures and time scales can lead to difficult choices and trade-offs. Some examples might include international justice norms vs. customary justice practices; peace vs. justice; economic growth vs. economic equality; political expediency vs. human rights; national vs. international security; or stabilization vs. long-term reconciliation.

In addition to looking into how to overcome these, other example areas for investigation might include (but are not limited to): how conflict prevention efforts can help tackle emerging challenges such as refugee flows, climate change, or political nativism; how justice and RoL can help prevent violent conflict; how to tackle systemic patterns of corruption that undermine peace; how governments, the UN and NGOs can better leverage international frameworks to build peace; how to better align peacekeeping efforts with local security and justice provisions; the role of gender in SRL provision; how to forge successful political settlements; or how programs can adapt to changing political realities to remain relevant and sensitive in fragile and conflict-affected settings (FCAS).

2. Inequality, Power and Governance

Social and economic inequality is rising between rich and poor countries, as well as between demographic groups within countries, driving political disaffection and violence. But why, and what should our responses be? The answer is often to promote ‘good governance,’ which is important but vague. As such, this theme will explicitly look to explore the systems of power driving inequality at the micro and macro levels; understand what impact power has on people’s experiences of security, the law and peace; and provide support to plan and learn from responses that challenge unequal power structures and improve how problems are governed and overcome.

3. Implementing Goal 16 of the SDGs

Goal 16 on peaceful, just and inclusive societies provides, perhaps, the first fully international framework for peace. Yet with violent conflict rising and the statebuilding agenda in crisis, initial hopes for the Goal are at risk of succumbing to fragmentation and cynicism. There have been some international initiatives, but problems abound about how to really implement the Goal, and where to start. In direct response, this theme will provide a space for people to look for and seize upon opportunities for different actors to maintain the momentum behind the Goal. With invigorated focus on how to implement and measure progress as per the agreed targets and indicators, Goal 16 can begin to be realized both in and of itself, and act as the enabler for the other goals as it was intended.

4. Change and Learning Processes

This theme explores how people, organizations and institutions working on SRL learn and why situations, practices and behaviors really change – for better or worse. Specifically, this theme will help elucidate how to translate research findings and lessons into better programming and policy. Example areas for investigation might be (but are not limited to): what really nudges behavioral change (at all levels) and how can this improve the quality of SRL work; how can accountability and oversight mechanisms better induce positive change processes; and how can interventions hope to reshape institutional practices or shift cultural norms in ways that are meaningful, sensitive and sustainable?