Defining and measuring the external stress factors that lead to conflict in the context of the post-2015 agenda

With this discussion paper, Saferworld and partners would like to catalyse a more informed and in-depth debate on how the post-2015 framework can help facilitate a global partnership for peaceful societies and sustainable development. The paper focuses on seven key transnational ‘external stress’ factors that contribute to conflict across the world, which require international partnership for effective action.

The discussion paper examines evidence on the seven external stress factors, including their impact on conflict, their measurability, and the political viability of addressing them within a global development framework.

Based on our analysis, four external stresses are identified as viable for inclusion in the post-2015 development framework: illicit financial flows, arms, drugs and conflict commodities. Possible target language and illustrative indicators are presented for these. Four in-depth issue briefs summarise critical evidence on the impacts of each issue on conflict, approaches to addressing the problem, and key resources and data sources.

The paper was developed as a ‘practice product’ for the Conflict, Crime and Violence Results Initiative in collaboration with CDA. As such, although the research was financially supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the paper solely reflects the authors’ views.

“The post-2015 development framework will provide an important avenue for addressing external stress factors that contribute to conflict at both the national and international levels.”